atom feed17 messages in net.sourceforge.lists.courier-usersRe: [courier-users] lost sent mails -...
FromSent OnAttachments
Lorenzo PeroneNov 18, 2008 6:21 am 
Sam VarshavchikNov 18, 2008 6:36 pm 
Lorenzo PeroneNov 19, 2008 7:42 am 
Alessandro VeselyNov 19, 2008 8:07 am 
Lorenzo PeroneNov 19, 2008 8:58 am 
Sam VarshavchikNov 19, 2008 3:37 pm 
Lorenzo PeroneNov 20, 2008 6:46 am 
Frederik DannemareNov 21, 2008 4:59 am 
Lorenzo PeroneNov 21, 2008 5:14 pm 
Alessandro VeselyNov 22, 2008 2:29 am 
Lorenzo PeroneMay 8, 2009 12:15 pm 
Brian A. SekleckiMay 8, 2009 1:11 pm 
Sam VarshavchikMay 8, 2009 3:45 pm 
EndaMay 9, 2009 1:20 am 
Lorenzo PeroneMay 9, 2009 8:51 am 
Lorenzo PeroneMay 10, 2009 5:40 am 
Lorenzo PeroneJun 15, 2009 3:26 am 
Subject:Re: [courier-users] lost sent mails - monthly rotation
From:Lorenzo Perone (
Date:Jun 15, 2009 3:26:40 am

Here's a follow-up on this case too, in case it can help others:

On Apple Mail clients with the problem, a now confirmed workaround is to store the drafts locally instead of Imap. Filed a feedback @ Apple, if that's supposed to help...

Thanx for all contributions (Sam's in particular as always, as he pointed to the right background...)!


On 09.05.2009, at 00:45, Sam Varshavchik wrote:

Lorenzo Perone writes:

However, it is a showstopper that sometimes mails which have just been sent are not kept in the Sent folder on the server. I am running Courier 0.54 by now, and plan to upgrade to 0.61.1 on FreeBSD in the next days. Has anyone experienced this problem too? Are there any bugfixes from 0.54 to 0.61 which could _potentially_ fix such an issue?

No. Courier-IMAP does not randomly delete messages.

What I can say - from my personal experience with Apple Mail on Mac OS X 10.5.x - is that when it happened to me, the message was immediately lost. That is, I write it, the mailer autosaves it in Drafts during the writing, and then after I click send, the message is sent and delivered but does not appear in Sent. Not only on the client. If I look on the server, there's no such message in my .Sent Maildir. What I suspect right now is that there might be a problem with moving messages to the Sent folder, so that sometimes server and clients get

If there was a problem, the IMAP server would've returned an error code.

It is very well possible that your mail client takes it for granted that the message will always be succesfully saved to the folder, and does not check the error code.

out of sync. So one question is: does courier actually handle the copying of a sent message to the Sent folder, or is it by design that this is something the client has to do?

In your situation, Courier does not copy anything. The message's contents are held entirely in memory by your mail client. It connects to port 25 and sends the message using SMTP. Then, it uses the existing IMAP connection to upload the message into the Sent folder.

If an error occured that prevented the message from being saved, the IMAP server would return an error code accordingly. It is the IMAP client's responsibility to read the error code and display an error message accordingly, or take some other fashion. If the IMAP client completely ignores the error message, there's nothing that the server can do about it.

There's also another strange behavior that might be related to it, which I have noticed on several Imap clients: when writing a new message, sometimes it gets repeated many times in the Drafts Maildir. What could be the reason for this too...?

The IMAP client either does not delete an older message draft, after uploading a newer draft, or uploads multiple copies of the message. The IMAP server does not do anything on its own initiative, it always responds to commands from the IMAP client.

A very common programming error is for the IMAP client, through poor design, opening multiple IMAP connections to the IMAP server, at the same time.

That by itself is not really a problem, because IMAP allows it. Still, in nearly all cases there's no real good reason to do that. Nearly anything that can be done with multiple IMAP connections can also be done with just one.

However, the problem is that most IMAP clients usually make unwarranted assumptions, such that the changes made to the contents of the folder by one IMAP connection are immediately visible by the other IMAP connection. For example, after adding a message to the folder using one IMAP connection, the IMAP client may expect the other IMAP connection to be able to read it or do something with it.

There is no such guarantee in the IMAP specification. IMAP does not guarantee that changes to a folder's contents made by one IMAP connection is immediately reflected in the other one. They are two completely independent logins, and any changes may not get reflected immediately.

When you have a badly designed IMAP server that uses multiple IMAP connections without having any real good reason to do so, it's quite often that you also end up with an improper IMAP implementation altogether, that expects certain IMAP server behavior, and takes it for granted, issues invalid IMAP commands, and ignores the subsequent error messages, because it also assumes that the commands will always work.

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