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Old 13 Aug 2021, 12:00 PM   #1
markwolk
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Email service allowing to COPY messages between folders

I am looking for an email hosting service that allows to

1) COPY (not move) message(s) from one folder to another

2) filter and file messages in two folders simultaneously

... just as Tuffmail.

Any suggestions?
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Old 13 Aug 2021, 02:23 PM   #2
TenFour
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Probably not what you want, but labels accomplish this far more efficiently. You can tag individual emails with multiple labels. Fastmail and Gmail are two services that offer labels.
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Old 13 Aug 2021, 05:29 PM   #3
JeremyNicoll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markwolk View Post
I am looking for an email hosting service that allows to

1) COPY (not move) message(s) from one folder to another

2) filter and file messages in two folders simultaneously

... just as Tuffmail.

Any suggestions?
Anywhere that has RoundCube installed (provided it's an uptodate instance not ancient) allows that, I think. The provider I use which has RoundCube has its "managesieve" plugin installed; I don't know whether that provides the on-server filtering or (probably judging by its name) the web-based configuration of the Sieve filters. One can edit the filter script via the RC GUI but it's not clear how or if one can keep one's own changes separate from the bits that RC will (re-)generate if one changes something via the GUI later on.


I also use Fastmail. Its basic filters are aimed at people with limited needs, but one can set a different mode and access many more types of condition. The GUI-driven configuration doesn't seem to allow one to direct copies of mails to several places though there is a "copy-to" action (which I think sends one to a specified email address, as well as a "redirect-to" action). However you can also edit the Sieve script which their GUI creates and place your own rules in marked areas of the script (so they persist even if the auto-generated part changes) and Sieve itself allows you to direct copies of mails to multiple folders (via its "fileinto" verb).

Both systems let you define rules with single or multiple conditions, single or multiple actions, and you can choose (for each rule) for a matching rule to be the last rule considered or let filtering go on to consider other rules as well.

Both systems have a wide variety of pre-defined conditions, but you can also use regexes so they support arbitrary complexity.

In both cases you can download the scripts ... which I do every so often in case I need to recreate them elsewhere. It's also a lot easier to search a text file containing a script than to find the right rule in some circumstances since the GUI dialogs letting you pick an existing rule to edit it don't show the entire rule. In RC there's just a rule name (so you need to have some sort of naming scheme that makes sense to you) and in FM there's an optional name, the start of the condition(s) and the action.

I have hundreds of rules in each system, and neither is particularly good at managing big lists of rules, but it is possible. With the RC ones, the rules are stored in name order so the rule names not only have to mean something to you but also the order they'll be considered in.

In FM you can drag and drop rules into any order you want, and you can also filter the display of rules - although that does help you find particular rules it doesn't help much in managing them because a filtered display might eg show both the rules you have that contain "sausage" but does not show you the intervening rules which might also affect mails filtered by the two rules you can see.

In the FM system I divide my rules into named sections eg all the rules that filter just on Subject are in one group, all those that filter on List-ID are in another, and so on. I delimit those groups by dummy rules that are easy to spot in the list of all rules. Eg before the Subject ones I have a dummy rule that actually tests if the List-Id is

"------------------------------------------------------ SUBJECT"

(which it will never be) but that

Mail list id is "------------------------------------------------------ SUBJECT"

line is easy to see in the overall list because of all those dashes.


Oh - as TenFour says - one can choose (in Settings -> Preferences) to use gmail-style labels in Fastmail, or folders, or to swap back and forth as needed. For me, folders works fine.
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Old 13 Aug 2021, 07:36 PM   #4
markwolk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyNicoll View Post
Anywhere that has RoundCube installed(...)
That's an interesting clue; thanks. It seems that not many major email hosting providers have RoundCube. I have tentatively signed up for a test account at 25mail.st and will experiment with their RoundCube.
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Old 13 Aug 2021, 08:05 PM   #5
FredOnline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markwolk View Post
It seems that not many major email hosting providers have RoundCube.
Purelymail, recommended to you in another thread, uses Roundcube and has the "managesieve" plugin installed.
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Old 14 Aug 2021, 05:30 AM   #6
markwolk
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Yes; thanks; good point. But Purelymail is in Beta and about 1 year old; whereas 25mail.st is 10 years old. That excludes the first, but does not necessarily mean that the second will be the right one.
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Old 14 Aug 2021, 07:28 AM   #7
ReuvenNY
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Any service that offers IMAP will do it. Install Mozilla Thunderbird and you can copy, move, and more with no hustle.
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Old 14 Aug 2021, 07:33 AM   #8
markwolk
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For my needs, IMAP is impractical. I use POP. Maybe that's part of the problem. But a solution will come...
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Old 14 Aug 2021, 11:13 AM   #9
jarland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markwolk View Post
For my needs, IMAP is impractical. I use POP. Maybe that's part of the problem. But a solution will come...
I found that reply interesting. If you're using POP, then the email doesn't exist on the server and it doesn't matter what your email service allows or enables in any of their webmail clients. As the default behavior of POP is to download email from the server and then delete it on the server, keeping only a local copy. If you're setting it to not delete, I can't think of a reason you'd choose POP over IMAP. It would seem to be the inferior protocol all around for any other use case.
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Old 14 Aug 2021, 01:46 PM   #10
markwolk
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Old habits die hard.
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Old 14 Aug 2021, 06:37 PM   #11
chrisretusn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarland View Post
As the default behavior of POP is to download email from the server and then delete it on the server, keeping only a local copy. If you're setting it to not delete, I can't think of a reason you'd choose POP over IMAP. It would seem to be the inferior protocol all around for any other use case.
Some clients default to leave on server. Mine (Claws Mail) defaults to the standard, delete. I choose POP3 over IMAP because I want this behavior. I do most of my email from one device. This computer. The last time I was away for a while (3 months) I had a laptop setup same as this desktop, set all POP3 accounts on the laptop to not delete on server. When I got home I did a Get Mail on all accounts to square things up.

I do have three IMAP accounts, all are organizational accounts that will be passed on to the next person who fills my position. I also check a couple of POP3 accounts from my phone to check the Spam or Junk folders.
I have 8 POP3 and 3 IMAP accounts.
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Old 14 Aug 2021, 08:38 PM   #12
JeremyNicoll
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Originally Posted by JeremyNicoll View Post
I have hundreds of rules in each system, and neither is particularly good at managing big lists of rules, but it is possible. With the RC ones, the rules are stored in name order so the rule names not only have to mean something to you but also the order they'll be considered in.
Considering how often I define rules under RoundCube it's truly amazing that what I wrote there was wrong! RC does not store its rules in alphabetical order by name - one has to drag them into a desired order.

My mind-fart was because I choose to keep my rules in alphabetic order by name. The rule name is a required part of any rule (unlike FM where rule names are optional).

What /is/ perhaps annoying about RC is that child folders of a parent folder are automatically placed in alphabetical order (and you can't change that so far as I can see), so eg you cannot have

Various animals
|
+- Snakes
+- Quadrapeds
+- Bipeds

but instead will be forced to have

Various animals
|
+- Bipeds
+- Quadrapeds
+- Snakes

(though of course you can drag child folders to make them children of different parents. You can also just click on a folder and in its properties display change its parent from a drop-down list).

On my system I have a naming convention for both the child folders and their parents that fits in with the naming convention I have for my hundreds of mail aliases. When I define filters I name them according to the folder they place mails into ... and they are processed in folder order so appear in alphabetic order in the list of filters.

The version of RC I get access to now - v1.3.16 - has an annoying bug, and also a feature I don't like, which make dragging rules around a pain. It's the fact that I'm all too aware of this pain that makes me wonder today why I wrote the rubbish above...

The feature I don't like is that after one has dragged a rule to a new place (only within the current displayed screenful of rules - it won't autoscroll to show you more places where you could end the drag) the whole list of rules is redrawn and it's shown again from the top. (Compare that to FM's rule dragger where the display updates as you drag and never resets to the top.) As new rules get added at the foot of the list that means if one is trying to position a rule near the top one has repeatedly to do a drag part of the way up, find oneself at the top of a new display, scroll down to find the rule one was dragging (fortunately it is usually shown in bold), position the screen view optimally, then drag it a bit more ... and repeat.

The bug is that in my recent experience just clicking and holding on the highlighted rule when one has scrolled-down looking for it after a prior drag doesn't always register properly. Sometimes RC then somehow loses it; in particular it loses its highlight and you have to go looking for it in a redrawn list of rules again. And this time, you need to have remembered approximately where you had dragged it to because it will no longer be highlighted. To get around this I have found that when I scroll down to a highlighted rule, I deliberately click on an adjacent (unhighlighted rule) then when that registers I click on the one I want to drag, then drag it. That (currently) seems more reliable.

As I have hundreds of rules and my wide but not high laptop screen only shows about 18 of them at a time, I normally reduce the screen zoom quite a lot before dragging a rule around. That of course makes each one a lot smaller and is perhaps part of the unregistering-click problem, but when it works it means I can drag a rule 40 or so places at a time, which halfs the number of drags required.

A couple of times in recent weeks I have the impression that the dragging logic has got completely confused and have had to exit from the rules display and go back into it.

You might find that your mail provider does not run a particularly recent version of RC and (maybe worse?) might not update it very often.
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