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email not being 'available'

From: prad
Subject: email not being 'available'
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2011 15:12:02 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.2 (gnu/linux)

i've been fine with gnus and dovecot for several months now on

yesterday i switched to debian and transferred my config files as well
as my emails. the news works fine, however the emails didn't.

i did not transfer the dovecot files:
dovecot.index        dovecot-keywords     dovecot-uidvalidity
dovecot.index.cache  dovecot.mailbox.log  dovecot-uidvalidity.4d24da34
dovecot.index.log    dovecot-uidlist      dovecot-uidvalidity.4db888fb

instead, i saw they were being formed when i accessed my inbox.

the number of emails was shown to be 0.
when i did /O to get the old ones, i saw the correct 57000 number, but
though i could see the headers, i couldn't see any content because it
told me the items had expired (even though the files were all there in

so after much fiddling (none of which worked), i transferred the old
dovecot files into Maildir and now everything seems to work fine.

what this suggests is that the dovecot files are the only way i can
access the content - i guess because it's all indexed by dovecot. what i
don't understand is why dovecot didn't seem to update the files to
reflect what was contained in the folders even after i made the
appropriate changes in the dovecot.conf file ... or is there some way to
manually get dovecot to do this.

is there an alternative to dovecot ie courier which will provide me with
a suitable imap program for the imap-shell-program?

in friendship,

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