Offlineimap is dead, long live offlineimap?

Dominic LoBue dominic.lobue at
Tue May 18 15:00:11 BST 2010

2010/5/17 Christoph Höger <choeger at>:
> Hi guys,
> since John finally retired from the project I was wondering how things
> should go on from here.
> One point for certain is the ongoing maintenance of offlineimap on
> github. Since I maintain the fedora package, I will propably send some
> patches up there when bug reports come in. But what shall happen with
> the tool in the next two years or so? I'd like to discuss some
> questions:
> 1. What exactly (formally) does offlineimap do? How is 'sync my IMAP'
> defined properly? Where are the theoretical limitations and usecases?
> 2. Should we move on to another (compiled) language to make maintenance
> easier?
> 3. Is there anybody who has some interest in answering 1. and 2. for the
> long term?
> regards
> Christoph
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> OfflineIMAP-project mailing list
> OfflineIMAP-project at
> OfflineIMAP homepage:


To answer your questions:

1. OfflineIMAP allows you to download a copy of your IMAP account to
your harddrive, make changes to your downloaded copy as well as your
online copy, and when you run OfflineIMAP the next time all those
changes are resolved and mirrored to both sides.

Personally I see OfflineIMAP as a part of a bigger mail setup. It does
one thing, and does it really well. Two new mail clients that are
taking this view as well are Sup and Notmuch; neither one is bothering
with including IMAP or POP support so they can devote more time on the
features they care about.

2. I'm going to have to agree with Jim's response. Python has a large
library and community to work with.

To combine an answer to your number 3 with the Jim's note about John's
comment on the sad state of imaplib: I have been working on a new
high-level IMAP library for python, and a rewrite of OfflineIMAP. I'm
prepared to support it by fixing bugs, answering questions, and adding
much-desired features; but progress is slow, and frankly I could use

Dominic LoBue

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