Unicode in folder names

Konrad Hinsen konrad.hinsen at fastmail.net
Fri May 11 08:18:12 BST 2012

I have been running offlineimap for a while without any problems.
Now I am setting it up on a new machine, using the latest release,,
and I am running into problems with the IMAP folder names that contain
non-ASCII characters. Both machines run MacOS X 10.6.

IMAP uses utf-7 for encoding folder names. Offlineimap doesn't handle
this, but recipes for fixing this are easy to find,
e.g. http://piao-tech.blogspot.fr/2010/03/get-offlineimap-working-with-non-ascii.html.
That's what I was using with

For, I had to modify my setup because of the new requirement for
reverse name translation. Inverting the re-encoding is of course no more
difficult, so this looked easy. The problem is just that it doesn't work.

I verified that back-and-forth translation reproduces the original
folder name, so that is not the cause of my trouble. Further investigation
showed that the name of the local folder generated by offlineimap
is wrong; it does not match the utf-8 string that my nametrans function

Before digging deeper into this, I wonder if anyone else has already
looked into this? I also wonder what the long-term plans for offlineimap
are concerning international characters. The best solution would be to
have offlineimap handle UTF-7 foldernames automatically. Is this something
that just didn't get done yet, or is there a good reason for not doing it?


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