[Python-Dev] Mailbox module - timings and functionality changes

Steve Holden steve at holdenweb.com
Tue Jun 29 15:56:11 CEST 2010

I hope this is an appropriate dev topic.

It seems to me that the unicode discussions of recent days are well
highlighted by difficulties I am having using the mailbox module (hardly
surprising given the difficulties of handling email generally) even
though it passes its tests.

I can't find anything related in the issue tracker (symptoms: one
program that works fine under Python 2 in under twenty seconds takes
forever (over ten minutes) to fail while creating the (start, stop)
index to the mailbox). My code reads Thunderbird mailboxen from file
store on my Windows Vista system under 3.1.

The failures I am experiencing could easily be encoding issues so I
won't post any detail yet, but I am concerned about the timing - even
when the code is "fixed", if it needs to be, the performance may still
make the module of dubious value.

Can someone who is set up to do easily just do a timing of test_mailbox
under 2.6 and 3.2, to verify they see the same disparity as me? The test
takes about twice as long under 3.1 here (and I am concerned that
unexercised aspects of the code may extend real-world problem run times
by an order of magnitude or more).

Steve Holden           +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
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