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Babyl files, slow as molasses

    Date: Fri, 6 Nov 87 21:29 EST
    From: Barry Margolin <barmar@Think.COM>

    Most mail file formats require the mail reading application to read
    through message N to find the beginning of message N+1, because it must
    search for the message delimiter.

Why not invent a *new* format, similar to the "KBIN approach," that
precompiles all this information?  If one insists on treating mail files
like magnetic tapes, one is bound to lose.

     [... there is the problem that file positioning operations must be made
     in units of the file server's character set ... some file server
     protocols (TCP-FTP, in particular) don't permit arbitrary file
     positioning. ...]

Instead of using direct-access files, one could use a "directory"
approach, whereby each message is stored in a separate file.  TCP-FTP
would support this.