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Re: [VM] Info node "External Messages"

From: Alan Wehmann
Subject: Re: [VM] Info node "External Messages"
Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2012 14:54:11 -0500

I reduced the number of messages in my IMAP server inbox to six, using
the server's web interface.  I then started up Thunderbird and checked
the Options setting that synchronizes such messages to a file on my
computer.  The result is a file on my local computer that looks as
follows (from a Dired buffer):

  c:/Documents and Settings/Alan/Application 
  -rw-rw-rw-  1 Alan None  43765 04-07 13:43 INBOX

That INBOX file starts out as follows:

> From 
> Received: from ( by
>  ( with Microsoft SMTP Server id 14.1.355.2; Wed, 7 Mar 2012
>  10:04:17 -0600
> Received: from localhost (localhost.localdomain [])  by
> (Postfix) with ESMTP id 5BAE5D80F06;      Wed,  7 Mar 2012
>  10:04:17 -0600 (CST)
> X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at
> Received: from ([])       by localhost
>  ( []) (amavisd-new, port 10024)   with LMTP id
>  8NhI+x9lwUmj; Wed,  7 Mar 2012 10:04:17 -0600 (CST)
> X-Mailgw-Auth: no
> Received: from [] ( [])    
> by
> (Postfix) with ESMTP id 786C6D80C93;      Wed,  7 Mar 2012
>  10:04:16 -0600 (CST)
> Message-ID: <address@hidden>
> Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 10:04:14 -0600

One reason to show how it starts off is to illustrate that the first
line is not recognized by the value of
"vm-leading-message-separator-regexp-From_" inside the function
"vm-skip-past-folder-header", so this file cannot be parsed by
function "vm-build-message-list" (I had hoped to show a Summary buffer
for this file).

I suppose that such files are also built when Thunderbird is made to
go "offline", but that is somewhat off-topic.

In the place of a Summary buffer, I can show the following (from the
use of function "occur"):

> 5 matches for "^Subject:" in buffer: INBOX
>      57:Subject: Next quarterly lunch Wednesday, April 11 [retired scientist 
> list]
>     127:Subject: LIBRARY - You borrowed this book
>     208:Subject: Next quarterly lunch Wednesday, April 11 [retired scientist 
> list]
>     365:Subject: Fwd: LBNE Reconfiguration: webpage and workshop (April 25-26)
>     551:Subject: Type 3X Faster with Your Voice - 50% Off Dragon

(for a later comparison with the Summary buffer from

I had a size limit of 50K imposed & one of the six messages in my IMAP
inbox was not therefore not displayed when I went "offline" in Thunderbird.

In VM I made/have the settings illustrated below (copied from the *scratch*
buffer, using function "eval-print-last-sexp"):

> (format "%s\n%s\n %s\n%s\n%s\n"
>   vm-primary-inbox
>   vm-imap-account-alist
>   vm-enable-external-messages
>   vm-imap-max-message-size
>   vm-imap-sync-on-get)
> "imap:localhost:143:inbox:login:wehmann:*
> ((imap:localhost:143:*:login:wehmann:* fermi_email))
>  (imap)
> 50000
> nil
> "

so that I can use VM to access the IMAP server in the manner that you

I used the command "vm-visit-imap-folder" and answered
"fermi_email:inbox".  I also used "vm-get-new-mail", as needed
(e.g. to get asked the password).  The Summary buffer that resulted I
show below:

> ->  1  U    Dick Carrigan     Mar  7   37/5605   "Next quarterly lunch 
> Wednesday, April 11 [retired scientist list]"
>     2       address@hidden  Mar 16   16/2025   "LIBRARY - You borrowed this 
> book"
>     3       Dick Carrigan     Apr  6   91/7806   "Next quarterly lunch 
> Wednesday, April 11 [retired scientist list]"
>     4       Mark Messier      Apr  7  137/10825  "Fwd: LBNE Reconfiguration: 
> webpage and workshop (April 25-26)"
>     5  U    WinZip Computing  Apr  5  293/17469  "Type 3X Faster with Your 
> Voice - 50% Off Dragon"
>     6       Fermilab Today    Apr  6    0/113632  "Fermilab Today - Friday, 
> April 6"

Message #6 is the one that is greater than 50K (the summary buffer
indicates that its size is 113632 bytes).

For message #6 there is no indication that it was left on the server
because of being over-sized.  The buffer "*Messages*" said for it:

> Retrieving message 1 (of 1) from fermi_email:inbox, 69%...
> inbox: Decoding MIME message...
> inbox: Inlining text/html by emacs-w3m...
> WARNING: Could not load feature w3m.
> WARNING: Related functions may not work correctly!
> inbox: Inline text/html by emacs-w3m display failed: Symbol's value as 
> variable is void: w3m-cid-retrieve-function-alist
> inbox: Recreating summary... done
> inbox: Decoding MIME message... done

(Clearly something is wrong with my setup of w3m.)

I was not asked any question about whether or not I wished to download
message #6, nor was I asked any question about whether or not I wished
to delete it from the "maildrop".


Uday Reddy writes:
 > To: address@hidden
 > Subject: Re: [VM] Info node "External Messages"
 > Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2012 23:52:55 +0100
 > From: Uday Reddy <address@hidden>
 > Alan Wehmann writes:
 > > For me there is a mode of operation where I like to download selected
 > > IMAP messages into Local Folders & have a local copy.  As I indicated
 > > in one of my messages, I need to use the web interface to the IMAP
 > > server to clean out the IMAP server inbox.  I would use the web
 > > interface for this, since then the limited DSL upload speed is not a
 > > factor when moving messages from one folder to another on the server.
 > If you are really sure that you wan to use Local Folders (I still don't see
 > why), then please be aware that you are using functionality that Thunderbird
 > doesn't provide.  So, you can't expect VM to behave like Thunderbird.  As I
 > said previously, I would prefer to get rid of Local Folders for IMAP because
 > they are confusing and don't work well.
 > Uday Reddy writes:
 > > On the other hand, the vm-get-new-mail was invoked automatically.  So, VM
 > > should not have asked you yes/no questions.  I will check why that is
 > > happening. 
 > It looks like this is happening because we have changed the automatic
 > `vm-get-new-mail' to be regarded as an "interactive" use so that people can
 > type in passwords when they do `M-x vm'.  So, it now asks yes/no questions
 > during `M-x vm' as well.
 > I guess I will need to add another flag to say that it is ok to ask for
 > password, but not ok to ask yes/no questions.
 > Cheers,
 > Uday

Alan Wehmann

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