I'm deeply annoyed with IMAP

xrayspx's picture

Since my exit, stage left from VistaPrint earlier this year, I've been running my site at 1and1, with no real complaints, except that their VMs only offer Fedora Core 4, which is ages and ages old. I've been running UW-IMAP since then, and I've had some complaints. I believe those complaints might be client relate, but they might not, so I decided to try out some different servers. My only real complaint is that when running multiple clients against the same message store, they get out of sync.

Here's an example. I have two "main machines", a Mac Pro and a MacBook both running Mail.app on Leopard. If I leave the Pro running with Mail open and sorting, and go away and run the MacBook, any folders that the Pro sorts first don't get updated unless I click on them. Basically, it seems as if either Mail.app doesn't check every folder every time it updates, or UW isn't updating clients correctly. I have "Use IDLE" checked on the Macs, and I do belive UW supports IDLE, so it should push.

I've tried Thunderbird, but it annoys me in other ways. It doesn't, as of, sort by received date. It will sort by date, but it's whatever date the sender sets, which can be way wrong. There is a setting for it, "mailnews_use_received_date" in the equivalent of about:config, but it doesn't seem to do anything. You can also sort by message received ID, but that doesn't work when you're sorting mail to different folders.

So I was helping a friend with his 1and1 VM install and decided to mix things up a little. He has the same FC4 install that I do, and he'd gotten rid of most of their (now unsupported) Plesk install. I killed the rest of the default stuff, installed and configured Postfix, and went to decide on a server for IMAPs. I tried 'em all. I ended up in a fight between Dovecot and UW. UW didn't seem to want to deal, but Dovecot in the RPM version they support for FC4 (0.99) has some real problems with Mail.app. I ended up in giving him the same situation as me, UW-IMAP and hope it works.

I tried Cyrus and Courier, but neither of them met my requirement for "easy to deal with" and I dumped them both. It was at this time that I started thinking "Gee, I should either get a new VM and put Exchange or Zimbra on it", I hear exchange is a fine IMAP implementation, and they probably have 10x the developers of any of the Big 5 IMAP servers. Of course Exchange must be a weird mix of SQL guys, IIS guys (SMTP transport), IMAP guys and MAPI guys. I don't care, it seems to work. I might do an MSDN install of Exchange on W2k3 to see how it works, and if it works, give it my $39/month from 1and1 so I never have to think about mail again.

I just can't believe people still have to think about this shit. It's been a clear decade since MS came out with a Brainless Mail Transfer Agent under the Exchange banner (and it was relatively stable) and end-users didn't have think about their MTA anymore. I chalk this up to petty bickering and bitching within the IMAP community. The UW guy hates the Courier guy, and thus embraces the Cyrus guy even though he has the same gaping holes as everyone else. It's a huge mess.

I'm back on UW, I compiled and installed UW on my friends machine after giving up on Dovecot because of the Mail.app issues and the fact that newer versions of Dovecot wouldn't complile.

I never want to have to think about my email, come on Open Source Community, help me out here.