MUA not noticing new mail

Kenneth Marshall ktm at
Mon Sep 15 18:41:49 EDT 2008

On Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 04:50:38PM -0500, Mike Eggleston wrote:
> On Fri, 29 Aug 2008, Kenneth Marshall might have said:
> > On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 01:34:24PM -0400, Wesley Craig wrote:
> > > On 29 Aug 2008, at 10:13, Kenneth Marshall wrote:
> > >> We tried many IDLE options here, but so many clients had poor IDLE
> > >> support that we ended up turning it off. The number of help desk
> > >> calls such as the one above dropped essentially to zero after the
> > >> change.
> > >
> > > I wonder if you have some practical experience to share, e.g., which 
> > > clients & versions have poor IDLE support?
> > >
> > > :wes
> > >
> > Outlook/Outlook Express drove the change for us. They would open
> > multiple IMAP connections (sent folder, deleted folder, INBOX, ...)
> > but the only folder for which they would issue the IDLE command for
> > properly was the INBOX. From the behavior of other clients, many
> > had the same issue. Apparently Outlook counted on the IDLE for the
> > INBOX counting for all additional IMAP connections to the same
> > server.
> > 
> > Ken
> I turned idled back on this morning as the user says she is still missing
> emails. This particular user has hundreds of folders and hundreds of
> sieve rules to automatically file messages into these folders (co-worker
> messages go into co-worker folders and she wants to be notified (unread
> count) that there's a message in a co-worker's folder, etc.). Is there
> a setting on sieve I need to tune?
> Mike
Sieve is not even part of the imap spec and does not have an effect on
IDLE handling by the client. It sounds like a worst-case scenario where
unusual mail handling process meets poor IDLE implementation. There is
nothing tuneable on the sieve side. If the client were implementing the
spec correctly then it would be getting notified when you have IDLE enabled,
but like I said above, those clients are few and far between. Let me know
if you figure something out that can handle this situation. The only thing
that I can think of is to have the sieve rules deliver to both the INBOX
and the specific folder and then only monitor the INBOX for new mail. I
suspect that would require changes to the workflow that may not be acceptable.


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