Mail Clients and POPFile's IMAP module

This page is intended to capture comments and observations on the use of various IMAP clients with the experimental IMAP module. Since the IMAP module moves messages around on the server and since there seem to be clients that do not expect another client (or a POPFile IMAP module) to change the mailbox they are connected to, this page should serve as a reference for people who would like to give the IMAP module a try, but who don't know whether their client will cooperate or not.

List of clients (in alphabetical order)

Horde/IMP (webmail)

Version unknown - Does not appear to be affected by the simultaneous use of PF's IMAP module. Messages moved by POPFile are still displayed in the original folder with a line through them when viewed in IMP (Internet Messaging Program.) At some point these messages with the lines through them disappear (not sure what determines this.) Note that moving messages with other IMAP clients cause the same behavior when viewed using IMP, so that POPFile is not to blame. Perhaps the use of expunge would help with this client. Assessment: Acceptable

Iloha Mail

Iloha Mail (webmail): Will co-connect to the server with PF and copes well with PF moving messages between folders (there is a slight lag but this can be improved by reducing the poll interval). Note that you need to check the 'expunge message when moving between folders' otherwise the client loses track of how many messages are in a folder when trying to display a page of messages. Assessment: pass


The KDE mailing program works fine, except because KMail downloads and re-uploads all mails, if IMAP filters get used (see POPFile may detect this as re-classification. If you view a new mail in the INBOX while popfile has already classified and moved the mail away, the mail gets duplicated: POPFile sees it in the INBOX later again and it has been moved away already. I'll try it using the expunge option now. Maybe KMail thinks the mail is still there, without really checking if it's deleted and then re-uploads it.

Mac OS X Mail

Popfile works fine moving messages around and Mail doesn't complain. However, some of the issues noted in other reviews come up here. Mail only checks the Inbox when it checks mail. Other folders only update when you click on them, or when you synchronize the entire account (from the Mail menu). Mail periodically synchronizes itself, at long intervals; I haven't figured out the exact behaviour, and there's no preference setting for it. Also, even in the Inbox the unread mail count can be out of sync; checking the expunge mail option in popfile solves this.

A partial work-around is to have cron run an applescript telling Mail to synchronize periodically. Even this can sometimes cause ghost duplicates of messages if popfile comes in at exactly the wrong moment. Stopping and starting popfile to offset the time a bit makes this problem go away. A better solution would be to have the script do the stopping and starting, but I haven't figured how to make this work yet (permissions problems).

Also, if you want Mail to run its filters on incoming mail, you have to do some fancy footwork, because it won't run the filters on messages that have shown up in the Inbox as a result of a sync. Easiest solution is to disable the filters and rely on popfile, but there are certain things popfile won't currently do, like flag messages or mark them as unread. So, a complete solution is the following: after all your other filters, put in a filter moving all mail to another folder, and make that folder the watch file for popfile. Then have your applescript check mail before it syncs mail.

Summary: it passes, but needs supplementary scripts to be really satisfactory.

Mozilla Mail (v. 1.7)

No problems. You might want to disable Mozilla's built-in filter to avoid confusion.

Pegasus Mail

The IMAP support of Pegasus traditionally isn't that good. The most recent version of Pegasus, however, (4.21) does a lot better with IMAP. Caveats: Pegasus will display messages flagged as deleted as if they were normal (undeleted) messages. If you keep a folder window open for an IMAP mailbox and one of the messages in the list is deleted from the server, Pegasus will throw a bunch of error messages at you if you try to open such a message. Pegasus will not (or only rarely) inform you about new messages in another folder than the INBOX. Recommended usage: Enable expunging of messages for the IMAP module, keep your IMAP folders closed in Pegasus when the POPFile IMAP module could move messages out of those folders.

Sony Ericsson T-610

Sony Ericsson T-610: Connects fine and not bothered by PF moving mail between folders (but note that it can only see mail still in the Inbox, so I've created a magnet (To address mail alias) for things I might need to see on the move which holds them in the Inbox)

Squirrel Mail (webmail)

Thunderbird (v. 0.7)

Does not appear to be affected by the simultaneous use of PF's IMAP module. Use of expunge setting in PF does not seem necessary as messages that are moved from one folder to another are no longer displayed in the original folders. Note that the core of Thunderbird 0.7 is based on Mozilla 1.7 so they are likely to exhibit similar bahavior. Assessment: Highly recommended for all levels of users.

Ximian Evolution

Ximian Evolution: Will co-connect to the server with PF but throws regular error messages when PF moves a message between folders (cannot find message xxx). After a while this can be very frustrating, as you have to click 'OK' on each error message and wait for it to refresh the folders and work out again which message is which. Assessment: not acceptable for general public use.

experimentalmodules/imapclients.txt · Last modified: 2008/02/08 19:49 (external edit)

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