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Matts (1087)

Matts
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I work for MessageLabs [messagelabs.com] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Friday January 24, 2003
12:13 PM

Linux SUCKS!

[ #10168 ]

I'm having an annual (maybe more frequently than that, I don't really recall) "Linux Sucks" moment. Right now it's because of lack of decent Linux IMAP clients. Every one of them sucks in one way or another, and believe me I've tried them all.

The one I keep going back to as "most usable" is Mozilla's client, which is nice, but for some reason it continually locks up for a number of seconds (presumably polling one of my many IMAP accounts that I need constant access to). And when Mozilla Mail crashes it takes the Mozilla browser with it. Yah boo. So on to Evolution, which is just irritating (has lame ass key shortcuts) and Kmail again (crashy crashy).

Ugh, I wish I hadn't forgotten my iBook today :-(

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  • This is probably the most obvious one, and I haven't had a chance to try it out myself....but did you give mutt [mutt.org] a try?
    • Mutt is a very poor IMAP client for large folders or large numbers of folders.

      Mutt was designed to munge local mail repositories very well and very powerfully (and I love it for that, and for its one-keystroke to do almost anything UI).

      OTOH, IMAP centralizes a lowest common denominator set of search and ordering functions so IMAP clients can minimize the amount of data they need to suck down to present a usable set of browsing & email features.

      Mutt, which has more configurable and more powerful fu

      • I'm kind of new to IMAP, so sorry if this sounds dumb. But is it possible to download the full IMAP archive everytime? Or do you just do it once, and thereafter get the diffs?
        • Generally IMAP clients can say "Has anything changed since T0" where T0 is the last time they accessed the folder. If something has changed, they can either download just the summary headers they need (From, Subject, etc), or they can download all the headers.

          I've been using IMAP exclusively for about 4 years now, because when I change email clients I don't want to lose all my data in some other client's custom storage location.
      • Supposedly, isync [hmc.edu] is the answer to your problems. It deals with keeping all the mail synchronised with the imap server. It's also written by the original author of mutt.

        I have no idea how well it works, just that I've spotted it before and meant to look into it.

        -Dom

        • isync's what I use. You use it to synchronise your local Maildir format mail directories to the IMAP server, and then point Mutt at the local directories.

          It's two main problems are the occasional crash/core dump (which, if you don't notice it, can leave stale isynclock files around which will stop a particular mail directory from being synced), and an overly anal configuration file format -- you can't simply say "Sync everything from this server", you have to specify each IMAP mailbox, and the local mail
          • I don't get it. iSync's solution appears to be basically download all the messages locally and sync back any changes I make to the IMAP server.

            That seems only slightly better than POP, and seems to miss the point of IMAP (i.e. I don't have to have a local store of all the messages).

            I'm not really sure why the mutt developers don't fix this. Everyone who is happy to not use IMAP raves about how mutt is so much better than everything else, so I'm confused that if they can get everything else *so* right, how
            • I don't get it. iSync's solution appears to be basically download all the messages locally and sync back any changes I make to the IMAP server.

              Yes. "Disconnected mode" in the parlance (I think). This is a good thing if you do a lot of mail reading where network connectivity isn't available (trains, planes, and, er automobiles :-) ). I imagine it's less useful if you spend most of the time connected.

              I guess it depends on what you want to use it for. My previous hack involved using rsync to send mbo