Storing Gmail labels

Rainer M Krug R.M.Krug at
Tue Oct 2 09:15:15 BST 2012

Hash: SHA1

On 02/10/12 10:06, Oon-Ee Ng wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 3:48 PM, Rainer M Krug <R.M.Krug at> wrote:
>> On 02/10/12 06:44, Zain Memon wrote:
>>> I'm using OfflineIMAP to sync with Gmail. To save on space and download time, I'm only
>>> syncing the "[Gmail]/All Mail" folder. This stops me from having multiple copies of the
>>> same message stored (one in each folder corresponding to each label on the message).
>>> However, the downside is that I no longer have label information attached to those
>>> messages.
>>> When dealing directly with Gmail's IMAP server, I can fetch X-GM-LABELS to get the labels
>>> with the message.
>>> Can I get OfflineIMAP to fetch and store my Gmail labels without having multiple copies of
>>> the same message?
>> I can't give you a solution, but I can say that the same topic came up on the notmuch
>> newsgroup, and no real solution was found.
>> I think the possibility to sync the gmail tags automatically and only having a single copy of
>> the email local (which could be automatically enabled when using type = Gmail), would be a
>> very useful (and as far as I know unique) feature, which could make offlineimap THE gmail
>> offline and backup tool.
>> Rainer
> Unfortunately, gmail isn't IMAP, and unless the tool is called offlinegmail (which I would not
> mind, being a gmail user myself, but its a serious reduction in scope) such hackery *might* be 
> counterproductive. The code would branch at various points and it'd be harder to test (have the
> unit tests been written yet?) as well.

As I see it (from a user perspective), offlineimap is already geared towards gmail, as it has
type=gmail. So adding the feature of synching the gmail tags (the op mentioned X-GM-LABELS) would
simply complement this type. From gmail it would mean reading the gmail tags, synching to gmail
could be a little more complex (but I do not know the gmail API for tags)?

I don't think branching to offlinegmail would be necessary, as the core access to gmail would
still be via the imap interface.


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