Investigating lost POP mails

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Investigating lost POP mails

Viktor Horvath
Hello,

I'm running Evolution (currently 3.22.6) from Debian stable, since many
many years, and I'm generally very happy with it. Except for today,
when I noted that some messages from the last week-end seem to have
been lost.

A less important account of mine is a POP gmx.net account. On Saturday,
I expected mails on this account and was surprised that they didn't
show up on Evolution. Re-clicking on Send/Receive for this account did
not have any effect, not even a small message "Fetching mail..." in the
status line. But when I logged on the web-mail, I saw two day's worth
of e-mail (about a dozen messages) in the account.

OK, I thought, at some point Evolution will download this, maybe after
a fresh program start. But in the end, the e-mails never ended up
anywhere in Evolution (I grepped through ~/.local/share/evolution/mail)
but they did get deleted from the server, as usual with POP without any
particular settings.

While these e-mails were not very important, this is worrying me a bit.
Particularly if this was not a one-off but might have happened before
and might happen again. My proofs are too thin to open a bug, that's
why I'm writing here. Of course, the problem might be purely on the
provider side. But I would love to have some kind of fat logfile for
the last days that would tell me details about what happened!

My current idea is to regularly send some kind of automated mail (or
digests of mailing lists) to the account, so I'd notice when anything
is missing, and keep Evolution running in debug mode, logging into a
file. Does anybody have a better idea how to investigate such a case?

Thank you for reading,
best regards
Viktor.
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Re: Investigating lost POP mails

Gnome Evolution - General mailing list
On Tue, 21 May 2019 00:24:58 +0200, Viktor Horvath wrote:
>Re-clicking on Send/Receive for this account did
>not have any effect, not even a small message

Is the account still enabled in

  Edit > Preferences > Mail Accounts

?

>My current idea is to regularly send some kind of automated mail (or
>digests of mailing lists) to the account

It unlikely does, but in some seldom happening corner cases it could
cause problems for the whole mailing list. Mailing lists aren't for
testing purpose. Simply sent test emails from your other accounts to
this specific account.

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Re: Investigating lost POP mails

Gnome Evolution - General mailing list
In reply to this post by Viktor Horvath
On Tue, 2019-05-21 at 00:24 +0200, Viktor Horvath wrote:
> I'm running Evolution (currently 3.22.6) from Debian stable, since
> many many years, and I'm generally very happy with it. Except for
> today, when I noted that some messages from the last week-end seem to
> have been lost.

        Hi,
the 3.22.6 had been released on 2017-03-13, thus it's more than two
years old. Doing any investigation in that version is basically waste
of time. The code base moved far from it and that version is
unsupported by upstream, thus the only place you can file a bug is your
distribution.

What is the evolution-data-server version? I suppose it's 3.22.7
( https://download.gnome.org/sources/evolution-data-server/3.22/ ).

Anyway, some messages can be stored in
~/.local/share/evolution/mail/<pop-account-uid>/
There's a file named 'uid-cache', where a list of known UIDs on the
server is stored. When it's empty, the POP code will download all known
from there. The 'cache' subfolder contains copies of the downloaded
messages. There was a bug that it could grow ad infinity, thus, maybe,
the messages are still there.

Also, I do not know for what you grepped in the folders, but you might
pick something unique and plain ASCII, because non-ASCII letters can be
encoded in the message headers, the same as the headers can be folded
(wrapped), thus it can be tricky to search for the message using grep.

By the way, you can enable POP debugging with:
https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Evolution/Debugging#POP3

But do not file upstream bugs, your version in ancient. You should
rather update to the latest stable, which is 3.32.2 at the moment.
        Bye,
        Milan


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Re: Investigating lost POP mails

Viktor Horvath
Hello Milan,

On Tue, 2019-05-21 at 10:17 +0200, Milan Crha via evolution-list wrote:
> What is the evolution-data-server version? I suppose it's 3.22.7
> ( https://download.gnome.org/sources/evolution-data-server/3.22/ ).

yes, it is 3.22.7.

> Anyway, some messages can be stored in
> ~/.local/share/evolution/mail/<pop-account-uid>/
> There's a file named 'uid-cache', where a list of known UIDs on the
> server is stored. When it's empty, the POP code will download all known
> from there. The 'cache' subfolder contains copies of the downloaded
> messages. There was a bug that it could grow ad infinity, thus, maybe,
> the messages are still there.

That's good to know, thank you!

> Also, I do not know for what you grepped in the folders, but you might
> pick something unique and plain ASCII, because non-ASCII letters can be
> encoded in the message headers, the same as the headers can be folded
> (wrapped), thus it can be tricky to search for the message using grep.

Yes, it was plain ASCII.

> By the way, you can enable POP debugging with:
> https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Evolution/Debugging#POP3
>
> But do not file upstream bugs, your version in ancient. You should
> rather update to the latest stable, which is 3.32.2 at the moment.

As a software developer I understand your point, but as a user, I have
been running Evolution on Debian stable since about 2001 (at the time
happily syncing with a Palm Pilot), and have been generally quite
pleased with the quality of their packages. The next Debian stable will
be out soon ;-)

Best regards,
Viktor.
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