Storing Gmail labels

Zain Memon zain at
Tue Oct 2 21:44:26 BST 2012

On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM, chris coleman <christocoleman at> wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 2:33 AM, Eygene Ryabinkin <rea-fbsd at>
> wrote:
>> Tue, Oct 02, 2012 at 10:53:11AM +0200, Rainer M Krug wrote:
>>> Hash: SHA1
>>> On 02/10/12 10:34, Eygene Ryabinkin wrote:
>>> > Mon, Oct 01, 2012 at 09:44:46PM -0700, Zain Memon wrote:
>>> >> Can I get OfflineIMAP to fetch and store my Gmail labels without
>>> >> having multiple copies of
>>> >> the same message?
>>> >
>>> > If I am not terribly mistaken, current implementation of GMail
>>> > folder storage does not allow for this.
>>> Well - you could use the
>>> api
>>> (particularly
>>> to get the tags for downloaded messages, if I am not completely
>>> mistaken.
>> I meant the implementation of GMail support in OfflineIMAP.  Sorry
>> for not being clear.
>> --
>> Eygene Ryabinkin                                        ,,,^..^,,,
>> [ Life's unfair - but root password helps!          | ]
>> [ 82FE 06BC D497 C0DE 49EC  4FF0 16AF 9EAE 8152 ECFB | ]
> I'm considering creating a patch for storing Gmail labels for
> type=Gmail. For the Maildir format, where could I store the label data
> for each message? I'm not super familiar with the Maildir format but
> it seems to me that labels should be handled similarly to flags, but I
> don't think it's a good idea to store labels in the filename of each
> message. Does the Maildir format allow for mutable data to be stored
> in the file itself?
> Hi Zain,
> You should get the extra info from gmail, and then store it in headers
> inside the message.
> The headers are: X-GM-MSGID, X-GM-THRID, X-GM-LABELS, in addition to
> existing XLIST.
> The user will need to use a mailreader (Thunderbird is one) that has an
> extension available to support those gmail specific message headers IN THE
> MESSAGE not on the gmail server.
> There is some more detail / code here, but note, it's code that talks to
> gmail's servers to ask for the extra info "live", not code that reads to
> extra info from the message headers...:
> Chris

The reason I was hesitant to store X-GM-LABELS as a header in the
message is because it is mutable, similar to the flags. I could change
labels for a message on the server and I would expect OfflineIMAP to
sync that to my local copy; but it's my understanding that Maildir file
contents are supposed to be immutable.

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