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Cloudron email: feature improvements/ideas

  • @Mallewax Do you mind providing an example or explaining what FTS is exactly? I ask because I always thought this feature was more client-oriented. For example, I can do complete text searches via the Apple Mail client and find any message I’m looking for. So what does adding FTS on the Cloudron side do in this case? I’ve never had a problem finding a message. Maybe I’m thinking of something totally different though? Just want to make sure I’m on the same page on this full text search thing.

  • @d19dotca I guess it's not the same thing when you are using a webmail client instead of a desktop app 🤷

  • @mehdi But even in Roundcube for example, I’ve never struggled to find a message I search for. That’s why I’m confused on what the advantage to FTS really is. Maybe I’ve just had good luck? lol. I mean if it improves search on webmail providers than cool, but I just wonder if it really would because the webmail apps are also just clients and I always thought this was a client-side feature, not server-side.

  • The IMAP protocol (also used by webmail) can offer a server side search for the clients to offload the search for the client to the server. Using full blown clients like Apple Mail do not really need this as Spotlight on Mac OS already indexes all mails, but especially for webmail/groupware clients this is very useful.

  • @NCKNE Sure, but as I mentioned earlier, I have never personally had an issue with the webmail clients either. I've always been able to find the message/email I was looking for (I was using Roundcube specifically more than Rainloop if that matters).

    So I guess I have to ask... what problem are we actually trying to solve here with FTS? I'm just not convinced there's a problem to begin with. I worry that we're asking for something just because we think it should be available but without really grasping the full picture. Is there an example I could try with in webmail where I cannot find a message based on a particular set of data? Maybe I just need to experience this myself before I recognize the benefit of FTS.

  • @d19dotca For small mailboxes, the client side webmail search might be good enough. Implementing a server side search can speed up the fulltext (eg. text within the mail body) search by a lot though. I am personally more keen on the implementation itself (solr or elastic search) as this core service could be offered to other apps such as Nextcloud for a fulltext search in documents as well.

  • @NCKNE Thank you, this is exactly my point, too. Sorry for not having been clearer. It is mostly a performance issue. IMAP Server-side search works sequential, without an Index.
    For smaller mailboxes not so much an issue, but for larger ones very clearly noticeable.

    Here some more background:

    Also, before I switched to Cloudron for my e-mail needs I got my feet wet and installed an e-mail server from scratch by following

    This was mostly for educating myself. I then migrated my ~ 7 GB Gmail over to this server, and this is when I realized that there is a huge perforamnce difference in search speed. The set up at "workaround" is just a "vanilla" Dovecot IMAP server.

    I then managed to install Apache/Solr on this setup and it is then when I realized how much IMAP search improves.
    From minutes to seconds...

    Hope this helps to shed more light on my desire...:-)

    Cloudron rocks and I am super happy with what I have now....even without FTS (yet)...

  • @Mallewax what would you consider a small mailbox? Mine is over 6 GB right now and again - no noticeable issue at all. Everything I can find very quickly in both Apple Mail and webmail on Cloudron. I just can’t see the benefit yet, still.

  • @d19dotca That's quite interesting. 6 GB is certainly a big mailbox. And that you find everything fast on Apple Mail is not surprising, as Spotlight Index works on your mailbox. I am just surprised that the same seems to work for you on Cloudron (Roundcube or Rainloop, I suppose).
    At any rate, I can only refer to the Dovecot reference again, where the developers themselves explain how indexing solutions improve the search speed.

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