[Alpine-info] Strange behaviour in deleting from Gmail
chappa at u.washington.edu
Tue Dec 8 10:15:45 PST 2009
On Tue, 8 Dec 2009, Michael Dalling wrote:
:) I think it is on account they set the service up as a web application
:) initially. Only later did they decide to offer IMAP access.
:) I believe the reason the IMAP access is somewhat quirky is as follows.
:) Google decided to implement "labels" instead of "folders" when Gmail
:) was just a web app (because, after all, "tagging" is more flexible than
:) "filing" and is seen as the coming thing.)
No that can not be the issue. Let me explain to you why.
An storage method (whatever it is) is just that. An storage method. There
are several that exist. You have probably heard of the "old" mbox format,
or if you are around this list, heard about mbx, mix or even maildir
sometimes. All those are storage methods. Gmail has its own.
One of the things an IMAP server is supposed to do is to transform the
storage format into the IMAP telemetry. That is, Gmail has its own
internal way of storing things, for example, labels. However it is done,
the IMAP server recognizes such way of storage as a folder.
In the imap way of doing things, a message is not supposed to be removed
of a folder except by an expunge operation. A keyword (or label) is an
attribute of a message, so removing an attribute of a message (or adding
one, like marking it deleted) is not supposed to change where the message
"is". Internally, the message can be stored however Gmail wants, that is
not a problem. Just do not remove a message from a folder. The problem is
that Gmail presents an interface to that storage system which is not
compatible with IMAP.
I find it amusing that anyone has to enable something extra to make the
IMAP server behave as it should (and it is even called "advanced
commands!" - at least in the French version is called like that)
memo to Gmail: when implementing a server, do not use folders to implement
:) One peculiarity remains. You will, unfortunately, have to, in effect,
:) delete/expunge messages in the INBOX *and* in "All Mail" to totally
:) remove them.
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