[Dovecot] dovecot 1.2.3: TB fails to unsubscribe folder after deletion

Bruno Tréguier Bruno.Treguier at shom.fr
Mon Mar 7 18:07:37 EET 2011

Timo Sirainen wrote:
> On Mon, 2011-03-07 at 16:07 +0100, Bruno Tréguier wrote:
>> Sorry to "unbury" such an old patch, but it seems to be related to a bug 
>> I'm seeing right now, that I described in a mail sent on Thursday. In 
>> short, TB *and* OE, when talking to a Dovecot server using an mbox 
>> backend, complain with messages stating that "the mailbox isn't 
>> selectable", for "folders of folders" mailbox types.
> That is intentional. It works the same way with UW-IMAP. With mbox you
> can't select a folder that has subfolders, it has nothing to do with
> trailing slashes or anything. (Or if you really want to, you can work
> around it: http://wiki2.dovecot.org/MboxChildFolders)

Thanks for your answer, Timo, but I think my explanation wasn't really 

I do agree with you regarding the limitations of the mbox system, and my 
intention was not to find a workaround.

I'm just questionning the choice of not putting the slash at the end of 
the mailbox name in the .subscriptions file (for "folders of folders"), 
as it seems Dovecot solely relies on this to determine which type of 
mailbox it is dealing with.

In response to a 'LSUB "" "*"' command from the client, the server sends 
all the names of the mailboxes. This is the only way the client (be it 
TB or OE or anything else) can be made aware the mailboxes it is 
subscribed to. So in the absence of trailing /, there is no way for that 
client to know if a mailbox is a folder of folders, or a folder of 
messages (except if it maintains a kind of internal state, independent 
of the server itself, but this should not be mandatory, the "spirit" of 
IMAP being that eveything important is kept on the server side and you 
can start a new connection with a new client anytime).

On the contrary, if the trailing / is present in the names returned by 
the LSUB command, the client (at least TB) is able to take that into 
account, and the "folder of folders" type of mailbox is greyed out (and 
is unselectable, so), and when you right-click on it, the menu allows 
you to create further subfolders in them. With no way to distinguish 
between both types of mailboxes, this behaviour is broken...

Do you see what I mean ?

Thanks a lot & best regards,


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