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[imap] Messed up "Date" information when moving ma

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quadra
 
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Post Posted February 7th, 2006, 5:15 pm

When E-mails are moved to an IMAP folder, the "Received" date is overwritten.
Normally this problem is hidden, but it becomes visible when the same IMAP folder is accessed using Outlook / Outlook Express (they use different timestamp information): Move any mail from a local folder to an IMAP folder in Thunderbird. Open this IMAP folder with Outlook (Express); you will see the move date. In Thunderbird, you will see the original date.

Can anybody suggest a solution??

I believe this is a serious bug. Consider our scenario: We'd like to gradually switch from Outlook to Thunderbird in our small company. This problem makes it impossible. Since we use shared mailboxes for mail storage, the "Date" information of all mail folders would basically be completely messed up. The mess also happens when just deleting attachments in an IMAP folder.

Thunderbird 1.5 (20051201) on Windows XP with Exchange as IMAP server

Manuel

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 8th, 2006, 6:07 am

I'm missing something basic. Why do you need to move the messages to switch email clients if the messages are already stored in remote folders (shared mailboxes)?

I don't know if IMAPSize at http://www.broobles.com/imapsize/ could help.

quadra
 
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Post Posted February 8th, 2006, 7:46 am

The reason for moving messages is not switching the clients. We share IMAP folders as Public Folders for several team members.

Also in other situations, the behaviour of Thunderbird can be very disturbing.

There is a post by NewUser101 from Feb 2nd where apparently he states that this is a violation of IMAP conventions.

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Post Posted February 8th, 2006, 1:00 pm

newuser101 is not registered so I can't search for his posts by name. Whats the URL for that thread?

I'm not aware of Thunderbird violating any IMAP conventions. However, I don't consider what Outlook Express may due as establishing the convention.

>The reason for moving messages is not switching the clients. We share IMAP folders as Public Folders for several team members.

Okay, but not telling me why you're moving the messages and why you view it as a pre-requisite for switching email clients just makes it harder to help. I'm trying to help you but you're not giving me much to work with. You do know its not my job to help you? This web site is a user forum thats not officially associated with Mozilla and I'm just a volunteer.

Can you post a sample set of headers (replace the email addresses with dummy strings) and walk me through the differences between Outlook Express and Thunderbirds use of the Received: headers?

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Post Posted February 8th, 2006, 1:22 pm

>newuser101 is not registered so I can't search for his posts by name. Whats the URL for that thread?

http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic ... 60#2060260

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Post Posted February 8th, 2006, 2:31 pm

I just copied a yahoo webmail message stored on my hard disk to a remote folder on a Cyrus v2.3-alpha IMAP server ( www.fastmail.fm ) using Thunderbird 1.5 (20051201) under XP Pro SP2. I use Ypops! to support yahoo webmail. My user.js has user_pref("mailnews.display.original_date", true);. The original message had :

From - Wed Feb 08 10:58:17 2006
X-Account-Key: account4
X-UIDL: 8318_1320_2356_0_10089_5726_1468117660
X-Mozilla-Status: 0001
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
X-YPOPs-Folder: Inbox
X-RocketYMUMID: ANjJjkQAAMCsQ+oV8A4oaz3xmcs
X-Apparently-To: my_username@yahoo.com via 68.142.201.216; Wed, 08 Feb 2006 08:01:52 -0800
X-Originating-IP: [146.82.220.25]
Return-Path: <sd_events@updates.sdexpo.com>
Authentication-Results: mta251.mail.re2.yahoo.com
from=updates.sdexpo.com; domainkeys=fail (bad sig)
Received: from 146.82.220.25 (EHLO mta6.primary.ddc.dartmail.net) (146.82.220.25)
by mta251.mail.re2.yahoo.com with SMTP; Wed, 08 Feb 2006 08:01:52 -0800
DomainKey-Signature: s=dk; d=updates.sdexpo.com; c=nofws; q=dns; b=a long string I removed
Date: Wed, 08 Feb 2006 11:01:44 -0500 (EST)


Thunderbird shows it as 2/8/2006 8:01am in both the original folder and the remote folder I copied it to. I logged into my email providers webmail and looked at the message. It has a date of Wed, 8 Feb 8:01. Webmail shows its headers as:

X-Account-Key: account4
X-UIDL: 8318_1320_2356_0_10089_5726_1468117660
X-YPOPs-Folder: Inbox
X-RocketYMUMID: ANjJjkQAAMCsQ+oV8A4oaz3xmcs
X-Apparently-To: my_username@yahoo.com via 68.142.201.216; Wed, 08 Feb 2006 08:01:52 -0800
X-Originating-IP: [146.82.220.25]
Return-Path: <sd_events@updates.sdexpo.com>
Authentication-Results: mta251.mail.re2.yahoo.com
from=updates.sdexpo.com; domainkeys=fail (bad sig)
Received: from 146.82.220.25 (EHLO mta6.primary.ddc.dartmail.net) (146.82.220.25)
by mta251.mail.re2.yahoo.com with SMTP; Wed, 08 Feb 2006 08:01:52 -0800
DomainKey-Signature: s=dk; d=updates.sdexpo.com; c=nofws; q=dns; b=a long string I removed
Date: Wed, 08 Feb 2006 11:01:44 -0500 (EST)


I also installed IMAPSize and looked at the same message. It states the date is 2/8/2006 8:01:44 AM.

I don't know what Outlook Express does but this looks fine to me. Both webmail and Thunderbird show the same date/time. Do you need to use user_pref("mailnews.display.original_date", true); ?

Guest
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Post Posted February 8th, 2006, 5:58 pm

Many thanks. I double-checked it and I fully agree. The headers stay identical. I think the problem is that Outlook & Outlook Express show some fake date information in their "Sent" / "Received" fields (Outlook 2002 / OE 6.00: their "received" date is rather the date of posting into the folder and their "sent" actually corresponds to the "received" header). So we better don't try to understand. Looks like a limitation of MS IMAP implementation and probably they don't fix it on purpose, so they can claim that Exchange server /MAPI works better than IMAP...
Seems to be independent of user_pref("mailnews.display.original_date", true);

PS Sorry for being unclear. My idea was to give our company's users a free choice between Outlook(+Exchange public folders over MAPI) or Thunderbird(+Exchange public folders over IMAP). Now, assume that a TB user files some mails (from last week) into a public folder or removes some attachments. (We frequently use public folders for sharing various information). But Outlook users will see a wrong date on these mails. -> Consequence: We cannot give the freedom of choice or move gradually to TB, as TB users would "disturb" the existing MS environment. Not Mozilla's fault, but Mozilla's problem...

quadra
 
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Post Posted February 8th, 2006, 6:00 pm

(This reply was by quadra, forgot to log in)

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Post Posted February 8th, 2006, 7:57 pm

I configured Outlook Express 6.0 for my fastmail account. I haven't used it for years - wow did it seem prehistoric. I checked the time/date for my test message and the received column shows 2/8/2006 1:01PM though the general tab in properties correctly shows it was sent/received 2/8/2006 8:01AM. The sent column shows 2/8/2006 8:01AM.

I looked at a second message in my remote test folder and Outlook Express showed sent 3/31/2005 6:00PM , received 3/31/2005 6:17 PM while Thunderbird shows 3/31/2005 6:00PM.

It appears the sent time is correct while the received time is wrong. I just started searching the newsgroups and found one which suggests unselecting the received column and only using the sent column as it appears the data in the Sent column is based on the actual date header. Could you do that as a workaround? The Date: field shown when you double click on a message and read it matches the Sent column so there is no inconsistency.

One reply speculated : "I can guess why. In IMAP, the received date is in per-message metadata which the client more or less gets for free, whereas the sent date has to be specifically fetched. It's not that much more work, but if the user doesn't care it's slightly faster to use the one and not the other."

quadra
 
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Post Posted February 9th, 2006, 2:29 am

Yes, using the Sent field is a possible workaround. Thanks again.
But there is again a drawback: The workaround does not work for Outlook/Exchange(MAPI) public folders - a frequent situation in companies. Situation: Some TB users file E-mails to Public Folders on Exchange/IMAP. Outlook users which view the same message over Exchange/MAPI will see Send and Received dates which are BOTH wrong (i.e. both will be the "Post" dates)...

Tested with Outlook 2002/XP and Exchange 6.0
Again, it's well understood that this is not a fault of Mozilla. But unfortunately the problem considerably narrows down TB's market potential... Companies cannot "softly" introduce TB - they need to abandon Exchange(MAPI) before doing so. (Would be good anyway, but a lot of work... I'll see if we can use Outlook with Exchange(IMAP) instead, and replace the additional Outlook/Exchange features such as Calendaring by something else)

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Post Posted February 9th, 2006, 2:46 am

How severe are the differences in the time/date and are the messages still in the right order (for public folders)? Do other non-Microsoft email clients such as Eudora or Mail.App suffer the same problem?

I don't think I can help, I'm just curious.

Guest
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Post Posted February 9th, 2006, 3:24 am

The time differences may be severe, and it's no longer possible to maintain the right order in Public Folders.
Example 1: If I keep a mail for 1 week in my Inbox before filing it to a Public Folder, the date (seen in Outlook) will be wrong by 1 week.
Example 2: If I move a message from last year from a Public Folder to another Public Folder, the date (seen in Outlook) will be wrong by several months. Same if I remove attachments from old mails (which results in posting a new message to replace the old one).

I tested it with The Bat and it can display the correct date information (it's called "Created" field there). I agree that the problem is that Outlook&OE use Meta information rather than header information for the Received date. The problem is aggravated by the fact that in Exchange/MAPI public folders, not only the Received date but also the Sent date displayed contains the date of moving the item to the folder (if mails are posted via IMAP).

quadra
 
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Post Posted February 9th, 2006, 3:27 am

NB I see 2 solutions:
A) All users must stop using Outlook with Exchange/MAPI (A lot of work!)
B) Find some way to display the correct date header information in Outlook (also for Exchange/MAPI public folders)

In environments which don't use Exchange public folders, using the "Sent" field is sufficient as a workaround.

Would be great if somebody had an idea for solution B)

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