Configuration boilerplate

Dave Abrahams dave at
Wed Aug 24 16:57:33 BST 2011

on Wed Aug 24 2011, Sebastian Spaeth <> wrote:

> On Tue, 23 Aug 2011 23:16:32 -0800, Dave Abrahams <dave at> wrote:
>> My configuration (shown below, slightly edited to protect the innocent)
>> has a disturbing amount of boilerplate in it.  Is there a way to limit
>> this repetition perhaps by doing something in python with "pythonfile =
> Amazing setup :)

Compliment accepted... I think ;-)

>> [Why all these things are in separate accounts:
>>   * I don't want to copy any of Spam from the remote server: it should
>>     only sync up, not down.
>>   * I don't want sync'ing my "All Mail" folder to hold up sync'ing my
>>     INBOX
> For this you could simply specify a foldersort argument so that "INBOX" comes
> before "All Mail" :). This way you don't need 2 accounts for that issue,
> so that can be solved.

>From what I can tell, it won't help if there's a lot to sync in "All
Mail".  Maybe now that I have my initial sync done it's not an issue
anymore, but when I was getting things set up it didn't seem to get back
around to sync'ing "INBOX" as long as there was lots left to sync in
"All Mail."

>>   * I have a second, Personal GMail account, which naturally has to have
>>     a separate remote repository
> I don't see any way around this. It *is* a different account and
> repository and you will therefore always have to specify it
> differently.

I didn't expect a way around this one.  Just wanted to be sure people

> Generally a word of caution mixing IMAP repositories on the same Maildir
> root. You have to be careful that you *never* use the same maildir
> folder for 2 IMAP servers. In the best case, the folder MD5 will be
> different, and you will get a loop where it will upload your mails to
> both servers in turn (infinitely!) as it thinks you have placed new
> mails in the local Maildir. In the worst case, the FMD5 is the same (in
> your case it would) and UIDs overlap (likely!) and it will fail to sync
> some mails as it thinks they are already existent.

Sure, I wouldn't think of doing that.  However if it's that dangerous,
offlineimap should check for it and prevent me from shooting myself in
the foot.

> For example, if you ever have 2 mailboxes with the same in your BoostPro
> Gmail and your Personal Gmail and you ever happen to loosen up your
> strict folderfilter rules to allow syncing of folders with the same
> name, you will currently be running in trouble.

Well, as you can see the INBOX from my Personal Gmail doesn't go into my
local INBOX; they are separate folders.

> I would create a new local Maildir Repository for the Personal Gmail and
> use a different root to be on the safe side here. You could e.g. use
> ~/Library/Data/LocalIMAP/BoostPro as Maildir root for the BoostGmail and
> ~/Library/Data/LocalIMAP/Personal as root for the personal one.
> If you then point your local mutt, or whatever MUA you use to
> ~/Library/Data/LocalIMAP/ as root, it should still recognize all
> folders.

Hm.  I'm using a local dovecot, but this arrangement might work.
> Yes, this issue deserves better documentation

My advice: start with prevention, then document.

>  but I only recognized this
> some while ago myself. Our docs deserve some love!

Sooooo.... you never got around to answering my original question.  How
do I eliminate some of the boilerplate repetition?

Dave Abrahams
BoostPro Computing

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