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[bug-mailutils] is Sergey Poznyakoff OK?

From: Gary Potwin
Subject: [bug-mailutils] is Sergey Poznyakoff OK?
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2009 13:13:04 -0400

Hello, my name is Gary Potwin.  As you can see from the emails copied below,
I have been trading emails with Sergey Poznyakoff for several months concerning
the GNU Mailutils IMAP server.  As can be seen below, he usually responds very
quickly, but I have not had any response from him since I sent him one email on
July 6, 2009, and another on July 20, 2009, which is why I am trying this other
email address that he informed me of in a previous email.  Has anything bad
happened to him?  If he is overwhelmed with other work, I can certainly
understand that.  If he is OK, would someone please forward this email to him?
I don't know whether my emails are getting through.  Either way, would someone
please let me know if he is OK or not?

Thank you,

Gary Potwin


To: Sergey Poznyakoff <address@hidden>
Subject: Re: using IMAP on MH emails 
In-reply-to: <address@hidden> 
References: <address@hidden> <address@hidden> <address@hidden> <address@hidden>
Comments: In-reply-to Sergey Poznyakoff <address@hidden>
   message dated "Tue, 12 May 2009 15:56:56 +0300."
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 11:24:58 -0400
From: Gary Potwin <address@hidden>

Hi, Sergey.  Below please find a copy of the email that I sent to you two
weeks ago.  Maybe the email just got lost somewhere, or maybe you were on
vacation.  Either way, I hope you are OK.  As I was getting ready to resend
the email, I realized that I had left out the following important information:
for each grayed-out directory that I refer to below, the IMAP server is
sending the "Noselect" switch along with it, which I suspect is why the mail
program displays them as grayed-out.

Looking forward to your reply,



To: Sergey Poznyakoff <address@hidden>
Subject: Re: using IMAP on MH emails 
In-reply-to: <address@hidden> 
References: <address@hidden> <address@hidden> <address@hidden> <address@hidden>
Comments: In-reply-to Sergey Poznyakoff <address@hidden>
   message dated "Tue, 12 May 2009 15:56:56 +0300."
Date: Mon, 06 Jul 2009 16:42:39 -0400
From: Gary Potwin <address@hidden>

Hi, Sergey.  Thank you for your reply.  I'm sorry it has been so long since I
emailed you, but I was buried in work by my job, so this had to wait.  Per
your instructions, I did download Mailutils 2.0, compiled it, and it does
"run" on my 75 MHz Pentium.  I am still having the same problems as before,
where the directories are grayed out.  Here's what I've discovered up to this

1. I needed to see what was being communicated between the IMAP server and
the mail program.  I couldn't figure out how to set "imap4d_transcript" from
the command line, so, in imap4d/util.c, I commented out four
"if (imap4d_transcript)" statements so that their respective "mu_diag_output"
statements would always run, and I set "transcript = 1".  Now I can see the

2. The problem I am having with the directories graying out may be due to my
inexperience at this, since I have never before attempted to set up an IMAP
server.  Would you kindly tell me what directory structure is normally
expected by an IMAP server, and what are normally expected settings in the
email program?  Here is the path I have been using with MH for years:


When the email program sends this path to the IMAP server, this forces the
scheme to be "file",

(in function "url_parse0" in "mailbox/url.c")

which doesn't match any of the formats

(mbox, mh, or maildir (from include/mailutils/registrar.h, called by
"mu_register_local_mbox_formats" from imap4d/imap4d.c))

checked by "mu_record_is_scheme" in "mailbox/registrar.c",

(I really don't yet understand how the following code works:

if (record->_is_scheme)
  return record->_is_scheme (record, url, flags);

(The only definition I could find for "_is_scheme" is in "struct _mu_record"
in "include/mailutils/registrar.h", and I don't know what "Stub functions to
override. The default is to return the fields." means.)

Using checking statements (mu_diag_output), I found that the if statement
following the above one is never accessed.)

called from "mu_registrar_lookup_url" in "mailbox/registrar.c",
called from "mu_registrar_lookup" in "mailbox/registrar.c",
called from "mu_folder_create_from_record" in "mailbox/folder.c",
called from "mu_folder_create" in "mailbox/folder.c",
called from "imap4d_list" in "imap4d/list.c".

I read all of the rfc documents in doc/rfc (thank you for including them in the
source code package), and some of them refer to a namespace that would start
with "mh:" or "#mh" in my case.  Should I put one of these in as a namespace
parameter in the mail program?

As you can see, I tried to solve this on my own, but so far I can't.  If any
of the above questions are answered somewhere on the web, I would appreciate
knowing the appropriate URL.  I spent many hours on Google, but failed to find
any information like this.

Thank you for any advice you can give,



Hi Gary,

> I am trying to learn Linux, so I presently have Debian 3.1 installed on a
> 75 MHz Pentium with 128M of ram.  All I have done so far is to use the
> packages that are provided with this distribution, and the 0.6.1 version
> of GNU Mailutils is what is provided as a package with that distribution.
> This machine does not meet the hardware requirements of any of the more
> recent Debian distributions, which is why I haven't upgraded.  Would this
> machine be able to run Mailutils 2.0?

Yes, I believe it will.  

>If so, I'll have to investigate how install it.

The usual procedure is: downoload the tarball, then do:

tar xf mailutils-2.0.tar.gz
cd mailutils-2.0
./configure [OPTIONS]
make install

where [OPTIONS] stands for a list of options you pass to configure to
customize the installation.  After unpacking, you'll find in the
directory mailutils-2.0 files INSTALL and README with the detailed

You will need the usual build tools for the above procedure
(i.e. cc, ld, make).

> I then created an IMAP account on the Mozilla Mail (version 1.7.8) that is
> also installed on the 75 MHz Pentium by means of the Debian 3.1 package.
> I am able to see the various directories of my mail, but they are all
> grayed out, and I can't subscribe to them, so I can't see any messages.
> Again, I don't know if this is due to needing to upgrade or not.  If you
> can advise me on this, I would be grateful.

I have never encountered such symptoms, but they may well be due to
obsolete version of imap4d.  Version 0.6.1 is an early alpha version,
that contained many bugs.  Try the latest one instead.  If installing
from sources does not suit you, I can try to make a binary package for
you, but that may take some time.


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