thunderbird and deleted messages

B. Johannessen bob at
Thu May 25 23:23:39 CEST 2006

Charles McNulty wrote:
> It's a Thunderbird bug/feature that's going to look like a Roundcube bug 
> to a lot of people.  If you feel inclined vote for it as a bug and leave 
> a comment that it exhibits itself as buggy behavior in webmail clients.

This is not a bug, what Thunderbird is doing is the only right ting to 
do! Let me explain: IMAP doesn't have a move command, so that when you 
"move" a message in an IMAP client, the client has to tell the server 
to; 1) copy the message to the target mailbox, and; 2) mark the message 
as deleted. Now to have the message permanently deleted, the client 
would have to expunge the mailbox the message was "moved" out of. The 
problem is that doing so will permanently remove *all* messages (in this 
mailbox) marked as deleted[1]. Doing this on a mailbox accessed (maybe 
simultaneously) by multiple clients, and for shared folders maybe even 
multiple users, clearly violates the principal-of-least-astonishment.


[1]: Unless the server supports the UIDPLUS extension, see RFC 2359.

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