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Server side vs. client side rules/message filters with IMAP

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Thunderbird
Lost User 263559
 
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Post Posted August 29th, 2007, 1:12 am

A couple of questions:

1) I set up a filter in TB on an IMAP mail account to move all mail to or from a particular address to its own folder. When I received some mail which should have triggered the filter, nothing happened: The mail remained in the original folder on the server.

Is this a bug or are TB message filters not intended to work on IMAP accounts?

A possible complication is that the mail was placed in a subfolder called "gray" by my ISP's spam filtering software. Do TB's message filters only trigger if the mail arrives in the default INBOX?

2) Can TB upload mail rules/filters to the IMAP server to be executed on the server?

old SKopischke
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Post Posted August 29th, 2007, 3:27 am

1) Filters only work on incoming messages as they hit the Inbox.
2) Thunderbird rules run on the client. The IMAP server may have its own rule engine, but Thunderbird's rules cannot run there.

rsx11m
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Post Posted August 29th, 2007, 5:39 am

You can check with your ISP whether they provide some interface (usually through their web-mail service) where you can control the SPAM settings and also "whitelist" or "blacklist" certain addresses.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 29th, 2007, 12:50 pm

1. Thunderbird runs the messages filters when you check for new mail only in one folder per account. By default thats the inbox. You can change it (using a list box in message filters), but there is no way to have it apply to multiple folders.

2. Nope. Typically if your IMAP server supports server side filtering its more powerful than what Thunderbird supports, and its configured using webmail. I use www.fastmail.fm as my main email provider and it supports Sieve commands for server side filtering.

There is a Sieve extension at http://sieve.mozdev.org/ to let you modify the server side filters from within Thunderbird but it didn't seem mature enough to use to me.

http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc3028.html

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Post Posted August 29th, 2007, 2:11 pm

Thanks to everyone for the replies.

> Thunderbird runs the messages filters when you check for new mail only in one folder per account.
> By default thats the inbox. You can change it (using a list box in message filters)

If you mean the 'Run selected filter(s) on' list box, it doesn't seem to change any settings. As far as I can see, it is only relevant if you wish to *manually* run filters on a folder other than the Inbox.

Is it possible to make a *permanent* alternative folder selection for filter actions?

> There is a Sieve extension at http://sieve.mozdev.org/ to let you modify the server side
> filters from within Thunderbird but it didn't seem mature enough to use to me.

Thanks for the pointer.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted September 2nd, 2007, 2:19 pm

tools -> run filters on folder by definition doesn't have a setting to change the folder since its meant to be run manually in the current folder. tools -> message filters does have a option to permanently specify what folder it should automatically run the filters on.

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Post Posted September 2nd, 2007, 4:17 pm

tanstaafl wrote:tools -> run filters on folder by definition doesn't have a setting to change the folder since its meant to be run manually in the current folder.


Yup, got that.

tanstaafl wrote:tools -> message filters does have a option to permanently specify what folder it should automatically run the filters on.


Can you specify where this setting is?

The only potentially relevant settings that I can see on the 'Message Filters' dialog are the 'Filters for' list box and the 'Run selected filter(s) on' list box.

It's not the latter list box because, as I said in my previous message, this does not change any permanent settings. As far as I can see, it is only used to manually run selected filters on a folder of the user's choice in conjunction with the 'Run Now' button. This is a manual, one off procedure with no permanence that I can see from my tests.

This just leaves the 'Filters for' list box, which only shows POP3, IMAP and Usenet accounts, and Usenet newsgroups. It does not appear to show any *folders* for POP3 or IMAP accounts.

Thus, as far as I can see, there is no opportunity to permanently specify what folder it should automatically run the filters on in the case of POP3 or IMAP. You can obviously choose what account(s) filters are to be run on, as well as what newsgroups, but I can't see how to choose what POP3 or IMAP folders it is that filters are run on.

(All this is on 2.0.0.4)

tanstaafl
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Post Posted September 2nd, 2007, 8:34 pm

My mistake. The "Run selected filter(s) on' list box" used to be sticky. I tried 2.0.0.6 and 1.5.0.13 so I'm not sure when they removed it. I haven't used it for years so I didn't pay attention.

I downloaded 1.5 (the oldest they still make available) from http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla ... /releases/ and it doesn't have that feature either. I thought if it did I could figure out what preference it used to store it.

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Post Posted September 6th, 2007, 7:32 pm

Thanks for the follow-up.

I was worried I was missing something. :-)

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