{January 24, 2008}   no mail for me.

ugh. so gmail’s pop3 randomly stopped working earlier today, and wordpress deleted instead of saving the post I made about it. and I have to fill out forms for the school tomorrow apparently, and today’s generally being a stressful day.

gmail randomly stops sending messages over pop sometimes, telling the client there are 0 (so you don’t notice any problems at first), and there are only two ways to fix it: reset it to send you mails after the reset time (meaning any mail between the failure and then is only stored on their server, never sent to you) or reset it to send you *all* your mail ever.

I ended up choosing the second option, because I need my local archive, so I’m going to be unable to use mail for a while. last time I had to do this it took at least a day, iirc. since gmail limits how many messages you can download (it seems the more you check mail the less you get) and I’m not on a very fast connection, this could take a long, long time.

I can’t read my mail while it’s doing this – webmail can mess up gmail’s pop sometimes too – so I won’t be responding to mail until this is all done. I can still read panel-devel via the web archive, though.

does anyone know of a reliable pop3 server that’s willing to respond to (and maybe even fix) server problems? I guess it’d have to be one that does *not* have a bajillion users already.

liquidat says:

I must admit that I never ever had problems using pop3 via gmail. Maybe it is a problem just with your account? You could ask the Google guys to have a look at. Do they have a bugzilla?

Francesco says:

Chani, what are your reasons for using GMail’s POP3-access instead of IMAP anyway? I have recently switched it and it works fine for me –

Greetings, Francesco

Chani says:

no, they do not have bugzilla. they have a faq and a user forum. I was reading a thread about pop problems… and then realised it was from may 07. :P
I’m really, really unimpressed with gmail’s near-complete lack of support. I don’t remember ever having gotten a helpful reply even back when it was possible to send a message directly to them. I understand that they have a huge number of users… but… wtf. is it really that hard to make it possible to recover from server issues?
I’ve had the same kind of experience trying to report things to youtube, too (I’m still not 100% sure whether I was emailing a human or a bot).

it really makes me appreciate the responsiveness of open source projects. being able to talk to a real human, and get a reply (even if the reply is a no :( ) makes a heck of a difference to me. when I’m using google’s services I just feel so helpless if anything goes wrong, because I know I’m one tiny speck and unlikely to ever get a response, let alone a solution – and I can’t make my own solution because it’s not Free.

as for imap: one, gmail’s imap feature is newer and therefore likely to be more buggy. two, imap is generally not used when you want a local archive, afaik. three, kmail sucks at imap, and I really like kmail.

that link you posted seems quite enthusiastic about imap, and suggests that maybe I’m wrong about #2, but I don’t entirely trust it because one time I made a mistake with kmail and wiped out half the mail on my imap server. at least with gmail’s pop I know I can redownload everything as a last resort.

so… I think I’ll look into imap again someday. but not right now.

Chani says:

oh, and just to make hte day even more interesting: filesystem damage ensued. but I recovred and my evening ended up turning out fairly well. and once again I’m avoiding sleep because there’s just so little time in te day… which is counterproductive. doh.

Francesco says:

Well, you could still open a new folder for IMAP-access to GMail in KMail, I suppose, and try it out. I use IMAP to download all messages to hard disk, too, and as far as local archives go, it works really well. I must admit I am not using KMail right now anymore, but IMAP did work the way I wanted when I was still using it a few months ago. Perhaps I’ve been just lucky, for I have heard terrible things about disconnected IMAP in KMail, too (otoh, hasn’t there been a massive IMAP-KMail-bug-fixing going on a few months ago? I think I remember reading that in some commit digest) :)
If you have got a backup of your mails, I still suggest to at least try it out, it *could* be the solution to your mail woes, after all.
Hope you get some well-deserved sleep soon.

(P.S.: If KMail sucks at IMAP, perhaps you could do it the free-software-style and fix some bugs ;) Just kidding, wish I were a KDE developer myself to do that…)

Chani says:

Francesco: the pop redownload is almost done now, I think, so I’m gonna just not touch it. however, I’ll keep this in mind for next time :) thanks.

as for kmail, it seems it sucked badly enough for mailody to be created. so perhaps I’ll try out mailody at some point. or perhaps I might poke my head into kdepim and see if I can be of any use there… but I’d prefer to focus on plasma code right now. it takes me a long time to get my head around a project.

Marius says:

Heh , I never was a fan of email programs. Webmail works just fine for me but then again I’m not a big receiver/sender of emails.
I’m not fan of web based apps but webmail I like. Not so fond of products like google documents and stuff , I like my office suite running on my machine not some web page.

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