Open Bug 1781792 Opened 2 months ago Updated 6 days ago

When a filter copies multiple messages into local subfolders, the copied messages are empty!!

Categories

(Thunderbird :: Filters, defect, P2)

Thunderbird 102

Tracking

(Not tracked)

People

(Reporter: aetfor, Unassigned)

References

(Blocks 1 open bug)

Details

(Keywords: dataloss)

Attachments

(3 files)

Attached image thunderbird.png

Steps to reproduce:

I have filters on the inbox folder to automatically copy some kinds of messages into local subfolders on the computer.

Actual results:

When I open Thunderbird and the emails are downloaded from the server, some filters automatically run to copy the messages into local folders and subfolders. The messages copied in the subfolders are correctly listed (see top-right panel in the image attached), but actually they are empty (see bottom-right panel in the image)!! The "copied" messages have all the same empty size of only 0.2 kB, no text, no headers (sender, addressees, date, attachments, etc.).
Please note that this bug happens only when downloading messages at the opening of thunderbird. On the contrary, if thunderbird is already open and a new message is received, then the filter correctly copy the whole message into the local subfolders.

What kind of account are they moved from? IMAP?
If you didn't already, enable the filter log. Does it mention any problem?

Component: Folder and Message Lists → Filters
Summary: SEVERE BUG: Messages moved to local subfolders by filters are empty!! → SEVERE BUG: Messages moved to local subfolders by filters are empty!! - only when downloading messages at the opening of thunderbird

Yes, emails are downloaded from an IMAP account. Filter log is enabled and it does not report any problem.
Please note that the problem happens only when copying emails into subfolders. On the contrary, when emails are copied into the local main inbox (i.e. from IMAP inbox into local main inbox folder), the messages are copied correctly.

aetfor,
What happens if you do "Repair" of the target local subfolder?

Severity: -- → S2
Flags: needinfo?(aetfor)
Keywords: dataloss

Using "repair" on the target local subfolder does not correct the wrongly copied messages while, actually, it even worsens the situation. Indeed, the corrupted messages still remain empty and, additionally, their date/time in the message list panel (that at least was correct befere the repair action) get corrupted as well, displaying the date/time of the repair instead of the original date/time.

Further notice: I see that the malfunctioning only happens when the filters copy multiple message at the same time in the subfolder. If only one message is filtered, then it is copied correctly. If more than one message is copied in the subfolder, the first message (i.e. the oldest one) is copied correctly, while all the others are copied as corrupted.

I'm really puzzled with this issue...

Flags: needinfo?(aetfor)

Any better with 102.1.2 ?

Flags: needinfo?(aetfor)

This works for me with self-built daily updated recently:
Appended (copied) 6 messages to be filtered to imap inbox with imap access "disabled" (no checks for new messages enabled).
Created a subfolder of an existing folder in Local Folders called sf as the filter destination.
Create filter to move messages from imap Inbox to sf.
Shutdown TB and restarted.
Selected imap account Inbox which triggered fetch of the 6 new messages that get moved to sf.
6 messages are now in sf, all are readable.

Careful with the wording. Reporter consistently says "copy" (and variants), whereas the test filter does a MOVE. Copying should clone the message -- but supposedly doesn't -- whereas MOVE in effect does a copy from the inbox, then deletes the original. The two copy processes might not be exactly the same. MOVE typically destroys the original (gets deleted after copy) whereas COPY leaves the original intact when creating the copy.

Also, I've seen and/or documented elsewhere a couple of bugs which appear only at the start of TB, so this doesn't surprise me. Proper initialization of flags & variables can be tricky business when converting to a new language.

Flags: needinfo?(aetfor)

@Wayne Mery:
I'm using the latest stable version of TB, that is 102.0.3.

@gene smith and @Dan Pernokis:
Dan is right. My problem is with "copy". I didn't try with "move" because I don't want to delete messages from the IMAP account. Apart from the difference with copy/move, I'm not sure that Gene's simulation is the same as in my case, because he has firstly made a copy of 6 messages already existing, while I'm working with real new messages received on the IMAP account (I don't know if this can make a difference...).

In order to give you further details, I've attached a new screenshot in this bug report, exactly showing one of the concerned filters (I have two similar filters causing exactly the same issues) with actions in the same order as they should be applied by TB. As you can see, the filter firstly copies the messages into the local subfolder and then moves them to an IMAP subfolder. The messages copied in local subfolder are corrupted (except for the oldest one in the cue that is copied correctly) while those copied in the IMAP subfolder are ok.

Dan is right. My problem is with "copy"

Yes, I missed that you said "copy" to local folders. I'll retry it with copy. Also, I'll add a "move" to an imap folder to my test. I don't know if it matters but are you moving to an imap folder on the same account as the source folder for the filter? It might since if the move is to another account a imap APPEND is used and the source message is marked \deleted, if to the same account, just an imap MOVE is probably done (if your imap server supports MOVE).

I'm working with real new messages received on the IMAP account (I don't know if this can make a difference...).

It shouldn't matter since the filter triggers the copy/move when new messages are fetched from the server and this won't happen until I click on Inbox even though I imap APPENDed the 6 messages to the server earlier.

I'll try again and report my results.

Confirmed! The messages appear OK in the imap folder (same account as filter source folder) but are blank, just as you describe, in Local Folders.

Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Ever confirmed: true

aetfor, By any chance are your Local Folders using maildir storeage format and not the default mbox? I have my Local Folders set to maildir for some reason I don't remember. Also, I can see one of the 6 messages copied and the other 5 are empty/blank. Looking at the maildir storage files, they are all mostly empty except for the one I can see.
I also see this each time I cause the filter to run using multiple messages. So it's not just a startup problem.

Summary: SEVERE BUG: Messages moved to local subfolders by filters are empty!! - only when downloading messages at the opening of thunderbird → SEVERE BUG: When a filter copies multiple messages into local subfolders, the copied messages are empty!!

Gene, thank you very much for your efforts.

I don't know if it matters but are you moving to an imap folder on the same account as the source folder for the filter?

Sorry for my late reply. I deduce that you have already found the answer, anyway yes, the main folder and its subfolders are on the same IMAP account.

are your Local Folders using maildir storeage format and not the default mbox?

I don't know how to check it. If this may help, looking to the local folders properties I see that their address is of the form "mailbox:///C:/Users/....".

I also see this each time I cause the filter to run using multiple messages. So it's not just a startup problem.

Sorry, my mistake. Since when TB is already connected to the IMAP account (after startup), I usually receive one message at a time and the filter does not show any issue, I supposed that it was only a startup issue. Thanks for checking that it's not only at startup. For this reason, I've modified the bug title.

Finally, I could image a possible hypotesis for the problem happening:
When a batch of multiple messages fitting the filter conditions is downloaded from the IMAP account, TB starts the first filter action (copy into local subfolders). As soon as the first (i.e. the oldest) message is copied in the local folder, TB probably immediately triggers the second action (move into IMAP subfolder) even before the completion of the copy of all the other messages into the local folder. As a consequence, the subsequent messages of the batch cannot be copied correctly because they have been already moved away from the main folder...

Could it be reasonable??

Sorry for the late reply, busy with other stuff today... I wrote most of this yesterday but never posted it:

The same thing happens with 91.11 so it's not a recent regression. Also, I tested 91.11 with all accounts using mbox (including Local Folders) so maildir is not causing it.

It looks like all but the first source message gets deleted in storage (mbox/maildir) before the file copy occurs since I see the "From " delimiters and the "X-Mozilla-*" headers for the two empty messages following the 1st and only visible message in destination mbox file in Local Folders:

:
Delivery options: https://thunderbird.topicbox.com/groups/addons/subscripti=
on  <end of only non-empty and visible message>

From - Wed Aug 10 23:27:50 2022
X-Mozilla-Status: 0000
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
X-Mozilla-Keys:                                                                                 


From - Wed Aug 10 23:27:50 2022
X-Mozilla-Status: 0010
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
X-Mozilla-Keys:                                                                                 

<end of mbox file>

I did see one new thing with my daily: I selected 3 messages and copied them to Inbox from another folder in the same imap account. Only 1 message got copied to Inbox. I could see this in the IMAP log that only one UID was copied. This is a separate bug that needs to be reported. I don't see this with 91.11.

When a batch of multiple messages fitting the filter conditions is downloaded ...
Could it be reasonable??

Yes, it does seem to be something like you propose, not sure. Need to look at it closer.
I did find a possible workaround and with it all the messages are visible in both the imap and Local Folders destinations:
Modify the filter so that the actions are reversed:

  1. Copy the matching message to imap folder
  2. Move the matching message to the Local Folder.

Don't know why this works but the opposite order of actions doesn't.

Gene, my gut says you're right -- that if the MOVE happens, then there is no source file remaining to be copied from -- in essence, what Aetfor proposed.

There are plenty of examples where order is important, and if you follow the steps logically, you discover that TB is actually doing what you tell it to do. I'd say then that this is not so much a bug as "undefined behaviour". In this case, we may think -- but nothing actually says -- that, after a MOVE, the original source is still available.

(And as a separate warning, one should use the STOP EXECUTION step if subsequent filters are not to be applied -- such as moving here, then moving there, when really only one MOVE is desired. But I digress... )

Blocks: tb102found

This is present in 102 but definitely not something new. Turns out that this is a very old bug reported 9 years ago here, Bug 892424, and was never fixed. Even earlier there was a partial fix for this but it only applied when the filter is run manually, not on receipt of new messages, bug 448337 I think it is.
So this could be closed and "resolved" as a duplicate of Bug 892424, but I hate to do that.

FWIW, another workaround suggested is to keep the reporter's rule order and just run the filter manually (or maybe on the built-in 10 minute interval). I tested running manually (had to disable run on new mail) and the messages appear in both destinations correctly.

See Also: → 892424, 448337
Attached image filter order

Thanks Gene and Dan. Here are some replies to your comments:

I did find a possible workaround and with it all the messages are visible in both the imap and Local Folders destinations:
Modify the filter so that the actions are reversed:

  1. Copy the matching message to imap folder
  2. Move the matching message to the Local Folder.

Don't know why this works but the opposite order of actions doesn't.

There are plenty of examples where order is important, and if you follow the steps logically, you discover that TB is actually doing what you tell it to do. I'd say then that this is not so much a bug as "undefined behaviour". In this case, we may think -- but nothing actually says -- that, after a MOVE, the original source is still available.

I'm afraid that reversing the order does not work. Indeed, originally my filter was exactly in the opposite order (1. move + 2. copy) because indeed it is the most logical behavior, but unfortunately TB forces the actions to be run in a different order (I don't know why!!): see third screenshot added in the bug now.

(And as a separate warning, one should use the STOP EXECUTION step if subsequent filters are not to be applied -- such as moving here, then moving there, when really only one MOVE is desired. But I digress... )

Yes, but in this case I need both actions to be executed.

This is present in 102 but definitely not something new. Turns out that this is a very old bug reported 9 years ago here, Bug 892424, and was never fixed. Even earlier there was a partial fix for this but it only applied when the filter is run manually, not on receipt of new messages, bug 448337 I think it is.
So this could be closed and "resolved" as a duplicate of Bug 892424, but I hate to do that.

Why should the bug be set as "resolved" even if it is not? :-)

FWIW, another workaround suggested is to keep the reporter's rule order and just run the filter manually (or maybe on the built-in 10 minute interval). I tested running manually (had to disable run on new mail) and the messages appear in both destinations correctly.

It could be a workaround maybe, but this will nullify the usefulness of automatic actions. The idea is that, as soon as TB is connected to the IMAP account and downloads all new messages, I automatically get all the copies that I need in my local folders... I don't like (and for sure I will not remember) to manually run the filter every time that I receive a batch of new messages :-)

@aetfor...

I'm afraid that reversing the order does not work. Indeed, originally my filter was exactly in the opposite order (1. move + 2. copy) because indeed it is the most logical behavior, but unfortunately TB forces the actions to be run in a different order (I don't know why!!): see third screenshot added in the bug now.

But that's exactly what I'm saying: LOGICALLY you want to do that (move it AND copy it). But TB does just what you say: Moves it, then tries to copy it. There's nothing that actually says the message is tracked when it is moved elsewhere, so copying it copies nothing. I agree it shouldn't work that way, but it does (and so do several other order-dependent examples). The rules need to be clarified & defined so we know one way or the other and can program accordingly.

Regarding STOP EXECUTION: Yes, but in this case I need both actions to be executed.

Sorry, this didn't pertain to your example where both actions occur in one filter. I meant it as a related warning to cases in general where the action of subsequent (additional) FILTERS is unexpected but nonetheless executes and causes problems. The STOP EX prevents run-on into the next filter if & when the current filter satisfies all.

I did find a possible workaround and with it all the messages are visible in both the imap and Local Folders destinations:
Modify the filter so that the actions are reversed:

  1. Copy the matching message to imap folder
  2. Move the matching message to the Local Folder.

I didn't just mean reverse the rules. The rules that are failing are like this:

  1. Copy the matching message to Local Folder
  2. Move the matching message to imap Folder

The workaround, as quoted above, is to just to reverse the destination for each action. Sorry for the poor explanation. I should have said "...so the destinations are reversed". Edit: maybe better: "...so the destinations are swapped."
Yes, if you try to do the move first, you get a warning that copy occurs first.
When I change it to copy to imap and then move to local, as quoted above, all the messages appear in imap and in local.

Why should the bug be set as "resolved" even if it is not? :-)

That's often done when a bug is written up in multiple reports so it can be resolved in a single bug report. Anyhow, not sure what can be done about this bug since previous "experts" were stumped by it too.

We have Severity field and keyword: dataloss for severity.

Priority: -- → P2
Summary: SEVERE BUG: When a filter copies multiple messages into local subfolders, the copied messages are empty!! → When a filter copies multiple messages into local subfolders, the copied messages are empty!!

The workaround, as quoted above, is to just to reverse the destination for each action.

Gene, sorry for my misunderstanding and thanks for your further clarification. Yes, your suggestion is a possible workaround, even if, of course, the optimal solution should be to correct TB behaviour in order to execute the filter actions in the proper order. I'll try to use this workaround (or to set the filter to periodically run every 10 minutes, as you have also suggested), hoping that the issue will be definitely solved soon in the TB functioning :-)

Tests were done on a soft-fork of Thunderbird called Betterbird; Version 102.3.0-bb17 (64-bit) connecting via IMAP and by moving/copying 5 messages that fulfill filter conditions at the same time from local folder to Imap Inbox. Mailbox is stored in file per folder (mbox)

Summary of results:

Filter (A) fails with

1. Copy the matching message to Imap Sub-Folder
2. Move the matching message to Local Folder

--> All mails are moved to Local Folder and the body is fine, but only ONE (the first) mail was copied to imap Sub-Folder

Filter (B) fails with

1. Copy the matching message to Local Folder
2. Move the matching message to imap Sub-Folder

--> All mails are copied to Local Folder, but all mails lack body, except first mail. All mails are moved correctly to imap Sub-Folder.

Filter (C) fails with

1. Move the matching message to Local Folder
2. Copy the matching message to imap Sub-Folder

--> All mails are moved to Local Folder and the body is fine, but only ONE (the first) mail was copied to imap Sub-Folder

I will check, if same happens on Thunderbird daily.

Same failing behavior with Thunderbird Daily 107.0a1 (2022-09-28) (64-Bit) Linux Mint (Cinnamon) as described in comment 23

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