imap kewords (custom flags)

Jochen Schröder cycomanic at
Sun Mar 2 10:45:17 GMT 2014

On 02/03/14 00:40, Neckbeard wrote:
> christocoleman at writes:
>> Agreed! It's essential for this type of feature- the user's own custom
>> flags implemented as imap keywords- to respect the privacy of the
>> user- none of the user's labels should ever be visible to others
>> involved in email conversations.
>> On Friday, February 28, 2014 10:23 PM, Jochen Schröder <cycomanic at> wrote:
>>> As a side note, I think the approach of storing keywords in xattr of the
>>> files is much better than the approach of adjusting the mail headers
>>> (like proposed somewhere else). The problem of adding the keywords to
>>> the mail is that they can leak, i.e. if I label all my bosses emails as
>>> "idiot" but reply or forward one of the emails, that label is contained
>>> in the mail and can be seen by my boss.
> Seeing as a message might have some labels anyway, I think it would make
> sense to have a hook that strips the message of any labels on
> send/forwarding.
> I find that having the labels in the message headers is extremely useful
> because it means the labels sync across all of my machines.
> --
> Jonas

But that's the point, if you sync across machines using offlineimap (and 
use the xattrMaildir storate) or simply use imap all labels will be 
there as well. No need to create an extra script to deal with removing 
labels. Keywords are already part of the imap standard, and it doesn't 
put keywords in the email header (for a reason). Now what's missing is a 
way to store custom keywords (flags) in the maildir format. Why put them 
suddenly into the mail, because then as soon as you sync back to the 
server you now have a duplicate labels both in the message header and 
the imap keyword with all the problems of keeping them consistent, what 
to do if they are not ...
Why not use extended filesystem attributes for what they were meant for, 


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