Friday, September 28, 2007

Outlook and Cyrus (or any other IMAP server)

We've recently had the "pleasure" of investigating Outlook to make it work better with Cyrus when using IMAP, but as it's most about Outlook, this might help for all you dovecot and other users as well.
  • There's no escape from PST hell! Your PST files need to be undamaged and preferably local for Outlook to work good. We haven't investigated any of the non-MS repair tools, but scanpst.exe is a good start.
  • The default configuration for Outlook is "not so good" - it will traverse the entire folder structure regularly. That wouldn't be so bad except that it uses a rather short (fixed) timeout for the entire operation, and complains loudly and behaves badly if doesn't complete in time. Under Tools > Send/Receive > Send/Receive Settings > Define Send/Receive Groups -> All Accounts you should deselect anything but the Inbox.
    You'll also need to deselect "Get folder unread count" or it will still traverse your entire folder structure.
  • Though the need seems to vary, I'd still recommend running with some hack to wake up Outlook from IDLE in order for the connection not to time out and be disconnected. Dovecot seems to contain such a hack natively. We're on Cyrus and I've whipped out a hack that does the same thing. (Lie to the client saying we have new mail, immediately followed by an expunge and new information where that faked mail has disappeared).
The second bullet is particularly exciting to me - for starters, I've strongly preferred if the timeout was per sub action (actual IMAP command) as that wouldn't break things for those who use a large amount of folders.

I was also rather thrilled to discover that "Get folder unread count" automatically recurses and queries all subfolder of the selected folder, without giving the user any hint about what's happening.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


After having successfully migrated Himmelmora mo to blogger, I quickly decied to migrate Sky heath as well. As you'll probably have noticed some way if you're reading this.