[Dovecot] Mail disappearing

Chris Green chris at areti.co.uk
Wed Aug 10 17:47:41 EEST 2005

On Wed, Aug 10, 2005 at 02:31:40PM +0100, Paul Tansom wrote:
> Chris Green wrote:
> > On Tue, Aug 09, 2005 at 10:46:57PM +0100, Paul Tansom wrote:
> > 
> >>Please don't scare the wotsits out of me, I've just abandoned Courier
> >>IMAP for two reasons:
> >>
> >>1) it seems incapable of handling subfolders anywhere but below the
> >>Inbox and the only help suggested is that I should ask the people
> >>writing my mail client to fix it - so that covers Microsoft (x2),
> >>Mozilla (x2), Eudora, Evolution and Squirrel mail for starters!
> > 
> > Of course it can't because it uses the brain-dead convention of
> > folders all being files at the same level with '.' separators in the
> > filenames indicating folders.
> > 
> > Thus a folder called 'holidays' is actually a directory called
> > 'INBOX.holidays' and a folder called 'holidays/france' is a directory
> > called 'INBOX.holidays.france'.  Why any sort of mail server would
> > want to construct a folder hierarchy like this I can never understand.
> > It's not just Courier either, there are a few maildir based servers
> > which do it.
> > 
> > (I'm not absolutely sure that the directories have the INBOX stuck on
> > the front but however it's done they have to be all rooted in the same
> > place because of the stupid idea of using '.' in the name rather than
> > a really separate directory)
> Sorry, I'm not following this one. The file structure behind my new
> Dovecot installation is exactly the same as that used behing my Courier
> one - and I've rebuilt from scratch on a new box, so the structure has
> been created cleanly by Dovecot. This may be related to the way the
> Debian package has been configured, I'm not sure.
> The key difference is in the display on the client. With Courier it
> works on the basis that the Inbox (in my Maildir directory, which
> contains the cur, new and tmp subdirectories for it) has all the other
> folders below it (stored in physical directories  within the same
> Maildir directory, using . seperators for the folder structure as seen
> by the client).

I thought (it is a while ago though) that Courier IMAP's maildirs had
*directory* names like:-


and that all these directories were rooted in the same place.  There
was no actual hierachy at all. The folders just had long names with
dots in that the Courier IMAP server fed to the client such that they
looked like real directories.

For a remote IMAP client this makes little difference except that of
having them all rooted in the same place.  For a local MUA it can be a
significant issue.

I really have never understood why any maildir server (IMAP or
otherwise) would want to do this.  It's not how qmail does it.

Chris Green (chris at areti.co.uk)

    "Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence."

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