[Users] Access to messages

Steve Litt slitt at troubleshooters.com
Fri Nov 2 21:49:57 CET 2012

On Fri, 2 Nov 2012 15:37:25 -0400, john Culleton said:
> On Fri, 2 Nov 2012 14:58:17 -0400
> Steve Litt <slitt at troubleshooters.com> wrote:

> > Hi John,
> > 
> > This depends on whether you're using IMAP or not. I know only Claws
> > using an IMAP server. When stuff like what you describe happens to
> > me, I right click the account and say "check for new folders", then
> > "check for new messages", then "Rebuild folder tree"
> > 
> > DANGER WILL ROBINSON: "Rebuild folder tree" deletes your local IMAP
> > cache, so if your local IMAP cache is important to you, don't do it.
> > Personally, I view IMAP cache as just more gigabytes devoured
> > needlessly. But then again, I personally administer my IMAP server,
> > so I can afford to be so cavalier. 
> > 
> > If you store your email's locally under Claws instead of on an IMAP
> > server, please ignore everything I said in this email.

> I store all email locally. So I guess I don't use an imap server. 
> Any other suggestions?

Hi John,

My only other suggestion would be to do what I do and run Dovecot IMAP
server locally. This actually has a lot of advantages besides being
able to refresh your connection. Let me explain...

2001-2011 I used Kmail, storing my email in Kmail's maildirs and
mboxes. As you know, in 2011 Kmail became Kmail2, with so many
ponderous and useless moving parts that I had to stop using it, and it
was VERY, VERY hard to get my emails out of Kmail. It was almost
impossible to convert my email out of Kmail because it had two
different storage methods. Additionally, my choices of replacements for
Kmail were dependent on the email client's storage methods. Whata PITA!

My LUG friends suggested that from now on I store all my email (and
we're talking about tens of thousands of messages) on a local IMAP
server on my desktop. Then I could use any IMAP enabled email client,
secure in the knowledge that my emails were contained in a maildir
format (what Dovecot uses) independent of my email client's
capabilities. Additional benefit was that in Kmail I could create
parallel mailboxes on my IMAP server, and copy all my email to the IMAP
server, and then use any email client to hit that same email.
Another benefit is now, when I have a problem that might be Claws
related or might be IMAP related, I can use Thunderbird as a
diagnostic tool to peer into my IMAP server without using Claws.
And of course, when I go on the road, I no longer neeed to copy
my old messages to my laptop, nor sync the laptop to the desktop
when I get back. I just ssh tunnel into my IMAP server through a
pinhole in my firewall and get my email. 

Perhaps the greatest benefit, though, is NEVER AGAIN would my email
client hold my past emails hostage. I know, I know, Claws is wonderful
and why would I ever want to switch? Well, back in 2001 I was saying
that about Kmail too -- things change.

By the way, my desktop grabs my emails via fetchmail, and defines my
MTA as procmail, which knows exactly how to deliver mail to a maildir,
like the one used by Dovecot. So my filters are now
in /home/slitt/.procmailrc, a text file much easier to back up and
change than the filtering mechanism in an email client.

I'm really pleased because now my email client is exactly what it
should be -- a front end, not a storage mechanism. With my .procmailrc
based filters, I can switch email clients at a moment's notice, and I
like it that way.



Steve Litt                *  http://www.troubleshooters.com/
                          *  http://twitter.com/stevelitt
Troubleshooting Training  *  Human Performance

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