Re: [As-users] Newbie Question - Help!!!

Albert 'Tigr' Dorofeev (
Sun, 21 Aug 2005 22:41:22 +0200


On Sun, Aug 21, 2005 at 02:06:08AM -0700, Mahtab Hossain wrote:
> I found the whole lots of applet source of Afterstep
> today and from there, I have installed the recent one

I am glad you found them.

> (Asmail version 1.7). But it still can't differentiate
> between read and new messages though (only now, it
> shows the number of new message as 23 and also the
> total number of messages as 23). During the running of
> "asmail -v" program, I deleted an email from my POP3
> account and after that, it showed 22 messages and no
> new email but when I started the program again

THis is a feature of asmail. It assumes that when
the number of e-mails decreases it means you read
and deleted some e-mails. So it reports them all
as read.

> (another instance of "asmail -v"), same thing as
> previous, showed 22 new messages. Here are the two

Now, for the grand question. You are using POP3
for your e-mail. POP3 does not have the support
for storing e-mails. POP3 is a server that allows
you to retrieve and delete e-mail. Normally, the
storage is done on your client. (BTW, this is what
IMAP fixes). POP3 servers normally never report
any e-mails read or unread, they simply do not
have that sort of thing in the protocol. So, what
you see is perfectly normal.

Why other mail clients can determine if e-mail
was read or not? They store the list of e-mail
IDs for the e-mails that were already read by you.
Every time the client will retrieve a list of
messages and compare the IDs with the list of
stored (i.e. read) IDs. Then, the client can tell
you if anything is new on the server. Since asmail
does not ever store anything on disk (keep it
simple principle) it cannot do the same. Therefore,
all mails on the POP3 server are new by definition.

The only thing you can do is either retrieve all
messages to your client every time you read the
e-mail (do not keep the old messages on the
server), which is the way POP3 should be used.
Or keep asmail running. It will then assume that
every time the number of messages decreases
you have read your e-mail and every time the number
increases that new mail arrived.

Or, better, tell your provider that you want to
use IMAP instead of POP3.


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