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As of 2004, Procmail has been around for more than a decade, and mailets have been around for 5 years. In the past 1-2 years with the huge outgrowth of awareness and concern spam and worms, email processing has gained much interest and attention.

I recently was trying to create a command-line wrapper for the Mailet API, mainly to help developers write mailets without having to restart James. After making some progress, I was hoping to create a command-line wrapper so that this command line tool could be used the same way procmail works. Unfortunately it seems the approaches are different enough to not make this feasible, but at least I thought I could make a comparison out of this effort.

Mailet API

  • Write in Java
  • Can access the SMTP envelop, i.e., could see who is the actual recipient is and you could see a bcc recipient.
  • Cumbersome to deploy... need to drop in James
  • Accessing API (JavaMail) is heavyweight and memory intensive, but makes it relatively easy access to individual mime parts or attachments.

  • Limited third party apps.


  • Write in regex and scripts
  • Cannot access the SMTP envelop, i.e., cannot see who is the actual recipient nor see a bcc recipient.
  • Very easy to deploy, just about any server, and can
  • No MIME API (that I know of), so it's harder to strip attachments or manage nested content.
  • Extensive third party apps.

MailetVsProcmail (last edited 2009-09-20 22:58:32 by localhost)