download to local directory
on the face of it, thunderbird looks like great software and I've used it on and off for decades, but it's behaviour and ui remain as unfriendly and inscrutable as a hired gun from the warlike planet zog.
to begin with, the status line betrays no clue as to what the program is actually doing. for example "downloading message 26 of 1324" will display without change for an hour while the program downloads thousands of messages or, alternatively, has finished.
similarly, an empty status line means exactly what? if most of the message headers remain on the server, is the program really doing nothing. WHY ISN'T IT DOWNLOADING THE MISSING MESSAGES??? and if it is unable to download them for some reason, WHY NOT REPORT THIS USEFUL FACT ON THE STATUS LINE???
similarly, why the obtuse semantics of 'going offline' for the simple task of downloading all mail?
and why is the option of a message per file now disabled in my settings, having been enabled during all my previous attempts at this apparently simple task. and why are my IMAP folders ghosted and in different locations to those shown on the web mail page for the same account? and why does the status line report no activity when most of these folders remain empty or wrongly identified?
I realise there may be some slippage between what my mail server is responding to IMAP requests and what it is displaying on the web mail interface, but isn't this a good reason for thunderbird to display, actually, just for arguments sake, what the blue blistering barnacles it is doing from one moment to the next??
I would love someone to describe, step by step, how to mirror my IMAP inbox folders and SNMP sent mail folder, as a message per file, in a local folder of my choosing. I can't believe it can be that difficult.
Modified by sub_
Additional System Details
- User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:64.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/64.0
- What is the "IMAP" server directory used by your mail server?
- Have you entered the IMAP server directory in the advanced dialog access from server settings? (note that some providers like Yahoo do not even offer the same folder names as their web interface used.
- Have you subscribed to all the folders in the account? (right click the account in the folder pane and select subscribe or go to Synchronization and storage in the account settings pane and select the advanced button.)
- if you are waiting for further mail to download, have you exceeded you providers daily limit on bandwidth for your mail? (Even Google have a limit on daily bandwidth.)
File per folder is disabled and has only ever been enabled for a matter of a couple weeks due to a release bug. (That may have been different where Linux maintainers build their own version and use their own defaults. But official versions had a very short window where maildir like functionality was default enabled.) File per email has so many bugs it is not considered release quality. I suggest you read the support article before asking further questions about it. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/maildir-thunderbird you probably should also be familiar with the already open bugs on the topic before you choose to use it. That way you will not be disappointed with the loss of your data when it occurs, or the wasted bandwidth when the account all downloads again. Five of the current bugs are listed as critical, that usually meant data loss.
If you want to see what the application is up to I suggest you use the activity manager, while not entirely complete it reports a lot more action that the status bar which reports only network activity to get messages really. If you are looking for errors, the error console can be helpful but is bogged down with useless errors, so it is best to clear it and then try the action to catch relevant errors.
There were moves afoot to turn the status bar off by default some years ago and it has been done in Firefox. If you use Firefox you will notice there is pop out a status when it is downloading or connecting. but most of the time it is idle and the bar is missing entirely.
But some of your assumptions need to be addressed.
to begin with, the status line betrays no clue as to what the program is actually doing.
It is not meant to tell you what the program is doing, only to provide feedback on the process of fetching mails.
similarly, an empty status line means exactly what?That no mail is currently being fetched
WHY ISN'T IT DOWNLOADING THE MISSING MESSAGES??? and if it is unable to download them for some reason, WHY NOT REPORT THIS USEFUL FACT ON THE STATUS LINE???
similarly, why the obtuse semantics of 'going offline' for the simple task of downloading all mail?I have no idead what you are trying to say there. Online and offline mean exactly that. Offline. Thunderbird acts as it you have no internet connection. Online Thunderbird acts like you have an online connection. usually it detects this status correctly, but I have seen occasions where security software and proxies have messed things to the point Thunderbird can not work it out. Obviously in offline mode you get no mail and in online mode you do. but that is about as close as the association gets. With a properly configured IMAP server with IMAP push enabled on the server there is no "get mail as such. New mail is pushed to the already connected mail client as it arrives. Not on some timed get process, although Thunderbird will still poll the server on the timed setting to pick up moved mail on the server. Gmail is one that uses push.
Perhaps it would be more constructive if you were to actually supply information, like who is the mail provider and what is the issue you are trying to resolve instead of questioning the user interface based on your perceptions of what it does.
It sounds to me like you need to use a server directory. If you use Google is is [Gmail]. It also sounds like you need to perhaps subscribe to some folder I have no idea what SNMP is in this context. I am assuming it is some sort of typo, probably SMTP as it is unlikely the reference is to Simple Network Monitoring Protocol. If it is SMTP, that is simply synchronization of the sent folder in IMAP and will only work is all devices sending mail are also placing a copy of sent mail in the appropriate folder in the IMAP account. As many web mail accounts do not necessarily do this, and spoofing of your address from places like emay certainly have no access to your sent folder your mileage may vary depending on your provider.
Did I miss anything. I tried.
Hey Matt, thank you! You've put time into this reply and I really appreciate it. I'm sorry for ranting, I was getting frustrated.. Yes, SNMP is a typo. SMTP isn't relevant anyway, just looking for my 'Sent' folder.
I've given up on T'bird and written a program in C++ with libcurl to accomplish what I need (mirror IMAP folders to my file system with a message per file).
Took 3 hours, works great. :-)
Modified by sub_
Took 3 hours, works great. :-)
Good for you. If you wrote it in three hours it is obviously not a mail client, or a mail manager.
Are you sure you were not looking a mail spool. Sounds a lot like what you have.
Are you sure you were not looking a mail spool.
Also, it's a snapshot, so a LOT easier than a mail client.
Whatever it is, it's It's on my github. Maybe I'll tidy it up and make it public.
Modified by sub_