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Gmail... IMAP... filters... sigh

Vincent Danen

January 22, 2009

Well, due to some changing circumstances, I decided I'd try to get a better handle on my email and maybe move to using IMAP instead of downloading all my mail. There are some really irritating reasons why this is a bad idea (in my case).

Google's use of labels is neat, and it makes IMAP folders. Very cool. That works well. But those filter rules are absolutely infuriating! I like to get some of my mail sent to my blackberry... stuff that is meant, directly, to me. So it has to have my email address as the To: field, but I also want this to come absolutely last, after all the other filters. It doesn't look like there's any kind of ordering, and no support for anything moderately advanced. I found a few tutorials that allow you to use advanced boolean style arguments for searching mail, but they don't seem to work the same for filters.

So I spent about an hour fiddling with this and realized that no matter how much technology advances, nothing will ever replace fetchmail+procmail+mutt for me. It just can't. I don't think I'm abnormal in how I deal with my email, but for crying out loud, can they possibly dumb it down any further? Or make finding the information to do anything with it more difficult? How hard would it be to do a search and then have a "make this search a filter" type option? And I'd really like to know about filter ordering, because if there is a particular order, then I might be able to live with it (i.e. filter out all mailing lists into their separate labels and then forward what's left to my blackberry).

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