Open Bug 29782 Opened 22 years ago Updated 10 years ago

"Get Mail" doesn't work for UW-IMAP, if other MUA runs


(MailNews Core :: Networking: IMAP, enhancement, P3)



(Not tracked)


(Reporter: BenB, Unassigned)


1. Open the INBOX of an account on an UW-IMAP-server.
2. Send yourself (to the account you just opened) a mail.
3. Click on the "Get Mail" icon.

Actual Result:
The new msg isn't displayed. After a restart of Mozilla, it is.

Expected Result:
The new msg is immediately displayed after the click.

Additional Comments:
The periodical check (Get new mail every x mins) works somemtimes.
If that helps, my root mail folder != home.
This works for me on Linux build 2000.03.01.08.  Is it possible that you're not
waiting long enough for the message making it to the server?  Can you tail -f
your IMAP log in a console window to see if the IMAP server is contacted at all?
CC self
the msg is there, the non-Moz biff notifies me.

I'll do some further testing, if it's a multiple-connection problem with the
Yes, it is. If Messenger 4.x doesn't run, it works. Changing SUMMARY.

Is there a way to query the mailbox read-only? Of course, this depends in part
on the server.
Summary: "Get Mail" doesn't work for UW-IMAP → "Get Mail" doesn't work for UW-IMAP, if other MUA runs
QA Contact: lchiang → huang
SEVERITY Enhancement.

What makes the problem worse, is, that 4.x doesn't seem to always quit the

connection to the server, if it is closed, but the browser still runs.

Severity: normal → enhancement
Do we have this problem only if Mozilla and the other MUA run on the same
machine?  I think the bug is worse than "enhancement" if it means you can't have
Mozilla up and running from two locations at the same time.
Target Milestone: --- → M20
Add CC
I think I have a similar problem, if I have Mozilla 1.1 running on any machine
and then read my IMAP mail with "mutt" on a different machine I find that Get
Mail no longer retrieves new messages that are reported by other mail tools,
such as gbuffy/xbuffy or Outlook. Eventually Mozilla will recognise the new
messages, seems like something times out (???),  but it takes a while, > 1 hour
? If I switch my server settings to use a different/aliased name for the mail
server, int-mail and newmail are the server names, the messages show up after
the switch but I have to reauthenticate each time so its a bit of a pain.

Our mail server is Microsoft Exchange running in W2K ( I think )
QA Contact: huang → gchan
Same problem on Thunderbird 0.1 running on w2k.

However I have found an easier "workaround" you just have to switch to another
folder on the IMAP server ... and then switch back ... annoying ... but much
better than restarting
Wow, nobody has really brought up the real problem here, which is that UW-IMAP
doesn't really support multiple clients looking at the same mailbox, when using
mbox format files.

While mozilla/mail could possibly work around these issues better, many other
mail clients behave much more poorly in the face of this.

So, here's some clues for people finding this bug, using UW-IMAP:

1) If you use a different mailbox format, you can get concurrent mailbox access.
 "mbx", the UW "proprietary" format, will perform much better than mbox, and
also permit concurrent access from multiple clients.  This is what I'm currently
using now, and it works pretty well.  In addition to gaining concurrent access,
it also performs much better.  This is well-documented in the UW-IMAP docs.

2) Many (most) other IMAP daemons will also give you concurrent access.  Good
choices might be courier, cyrus, or dovecot  

That doesn't really help people who can't change any of these things, but it
might help some.  Anything that mozilla does here to work around this issue will
really just be a poor patch to the underlying single-access issue in UW-IMAPd is probably good to relnote.
Keywords: relnote
Hmm, read and weep..

This message is from 1997 (!)

"It's been hashed out multiples what's wrong; but briefly, Messenger wants to
do multiple operations on the same mailbox simultaneously.  There *is* a
mechanism defined in IMAP to do this.  If Messenger had used that mechanism,
there would not have been a problem.  They observed that this mechanism wasn't
commonly implemented; as a kludge, they open multiple connectioned under the
assumption that all IMAP mailbox stores support shared access.

It was a gamble, and it lost big time: the standard UNIX mail store does not
support shared access.  The upshot is that Netscape Messenger does not work
well with any system that IMAP-exports ordinary UNIX mailboxes."

Using IMAP has one big advantage for me: It enables me to keep my mailbox open
on multiple computers (Desktop, laptop and PDA). At the moment I'm not at home
but my desktop is still on and checking mail. Every time it checks mail I get
disconnected which leaves me with weird behaviour in Mozilla (mail downloads
broken off, empty messages that require a restart of mozilla before they are
visible, 'the remote server disconnected' messages, etc).

Seems like the only way to solve this is to either switch to te mbx format on
the server (brrr, not fun with thousands and thousands of mails) or
Mozilla/Thunderbird could support the 'official' IMAP way to open a mailbox
multiple times...

/me is going to find other bugs about this problem..
--> IMAP.
Assignee: mscott → bienvenu
Component: Networking: MailNews General → Networking: IMAP
"It's been hashed out multiples what's wrong; but briefly, Messenger wants to
do multiple operations on the same mailbox simultaneously."

this was true in 1997. It has been false since 1998. There were problems
detecting that the connection had been killed, but I believe those are fixed as
well. Is anyone seeing this problem in Moz 1.7?
> Is anyone seeing this problem in Moz 1.7?

It's still "hard" to have 2 Mozillas access the same Mailnews, it seems that
only one of them can access it (even readonly) at any given time and I have to
click around on folders to make the second one "take over" the connection, but
it works eventually most of the time. I haven't pinpointed the problem. I
usually only run one client at a time these days. Comment 11 suggests that it's
UW-IMAPs fault (but shouldn't readonly access work?), and I'm thinking of
switching to Cyrus.
we don't use read-only access, it's true, but readonly access doesn't help you
when you want to read a message, for example, which requires write access to
store the read flag. I'd like to use read only access in some situations, but it
doesn't fix the underlying problem, which is that you can't have two different
clients with write accesss to the same folder with the UW server...we need to
make it so we handle getting kicked off connections (the famous UW kiss of
death) gracefully, because we can't control what other clients do.
Add CC
Product: MailNews → Core
is bug 68126 a duplicate?  or should it be marked dependent?
OS: Linux → All
Hardware: PC → All
Related, but different functions, i.e. at least different symptoms.
Product: Core → MailNews Core
QA Contact: grylchan → networking.imap
As for Gmail IMAP, proposition of bug summary is already false. I can use same Gmail IMAP account with Sm 2, Tb 2.0, Tb 3.0, Tb 3.1pre, Tb 3.2pre, Tb trunk simulteneously, unless total connection count dosn't exceed limitaion by MAXPERIP like one.
Do you still see this bug?
To bug opener, do you still see problem you state in bug summary?
WADA, this bug is specifically about UW-IMAP, not Gmail.
Removing relnote keyword from bugs that are no longer significant or not needing to be mentioned in the release notes.
Keywords: relnote
Assignee: dbienvenu → nobody
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