Gmail has IMAP!
Finally. Many thought this would never happen.
And just like Free software usually, it seems to be the handiwork of someone scratching an itch.
- IMAP folders are Gmail labels. Gmail labels show up as folders in your client, and moving a message to a folder in your client simply adds that label in Gmail.
- In particular, be careful creating folders, and avoid making a mess. Try reusing the default Gmail labels: Set your client’s drafts folder to “[Gmail]/Drafts”.
- Messages with multiple labels appear in each of those folders. So there is some duplication at the client end, of course, but this is unavoidable; the price you pay for forcing a tagging philosophy on software that has different beliefs.
- Conversely, if you want to apply multiple labels to a message through your client, you can use the “poor man’s tagging” that has always been possible — copy the message to each of those folders.
- If you delete a message from a “folder” (other than “[Gmail]/Trash” and “[Gmail]/Spam”), Gmail only removes that label. It is still present in “All Mail”. To actually delete, move to “[Gmail]/Trash”. What happens if you delete email from “All mail”?
- Recommended IMAP client settings: Don’t save sent messages on the server; any mail sent through gmail’s smtp is automatically copied to “[Gmail]/Sent Mail” folder.
- In general, actions sync neatly; see the full table.
- IMAP and POP work with messages, so if you move only one message from a thread to a folder, only that one will get that label, but the Gmail web interface will show the entire conversation with that label. Note that this is only a display thing — it’s not that opening Gmail will give all the messages the label, and when you reopen your client suddenly things are different. (I need to actually check this.)
- You still have Gmail’s amazing server-side spam filtering.
- Some things don’t work.
- Some other things are alleged not to work that I don’t even understand
They got everything in order, made all those pages, and turned on IMAP without making any advance announcement…