Re: [Geary] inbox zero on non-gmail account

So, first of all, what I'm missing most is the archive action:

Yes, this is one of the more glaring features missing in Geary for non-Gmail services.

Not supported yet, but I think that I can achieve something like that with SPECIAL-USE?

SPECIAL-USE is a key component to offering Archive for non-Gmail services.  To understand how it works, you do need to at least acquaint yourself with the IMAP specification:

The key things to understand about Geary today is that (a) its IMAP stack supports SPECIAL-USE parameters and flags, and (b) Geary can recognize special-use folders and display them as such (i.e. the folder marked \Drafts by SPECIAL-USE is shown as the Drafts folder in Geary).  That's where we stand.

The first two tickets you link to are tasks to do the following:

#713986: Display the \Archive SPECIAL-USE folder as an Archive folder in Geary, i.e. at the top-level, approximately where the All Mail folder is displayed.

#712972: When working with an account that has an Archive folder, display the Archive button exactly as Geary does for Gmail.

The two tickets are quite closely related and probably should have been merged some time back.  The work between the two is sizable, which is why I've left them separated.

On top of what I've described, the following work needs to be done:

* When an \Archive folder is detected, offer it to the client as a Geary.ImapEngine folder object that implements the Geary.FolderSupport.Archive interface.  The implementation of that interface should be to move the supplied emails from the folder to the Archive folder (using Geary.ImapEngine.MinimalFolder.move_email_async).

* I suspect many of the people who desire this feature will want Geary to manage their Archive by creating sub-folders named according to email date, i.e. Archive.2015.03.  See Robert Park's comment in #712972.  Because Thunderbird supports this, many people will want Geary to pick up where it left off.  In other words, if we don't do this, many people will still be unsatisfied with Geary's archive support.

This gets even more complicated because, if we support this, we'll need to ensure all the archive subfolders are displayed under the Archive top-level in the sidebar.  And people will want to be able to specify how the archive subfolders are named, i.e. with a strftime string or multiple options.  See Thunderbird's Account Settings for what I'm talking about.

Frankly, I feel like Geary's search capability makes up for such a strict organizational practice, but that's just me I guess.

At the end of the day, this feature is not required to land the other Archive features into Geary, but something that people will ask for at some point.  I'm not terribly excited about going down this path; Geary was not designed to be an end-all mail client that satisfies all people and all workflows.

* And for services without SPECIAL-USE or XLIST, there is the open ticket of allowing the user to specify their special folders (  Not technically required to get basic Archive support into Geary, but an important piece of the overall puzzle.

Secondly, if I could make archiving work, would I be able to set the label filtering on the server and still have the archive action working? In other words, can a thread be marked with a label and be archived?

Adding a label to an email is making a copy of it in the other folder.  So, if you label an email and then archive it, you're copying it to the label's folder, copying it to the Archive folder, and then deleting the original.  That will work, but unlike Gmail, you'll consume twice as much server space for that email.  (Newer servers might avoid this, I'm not totally up-to-speed on all storage strategies.)

Finally, another concern for my final switch is the possible lost of all my emails. As local backup is still an open issue: is it possible to recover the emails from geary database and send them back to the server?

There are no plans for that right now.  Again, if someone wants to tackle it, we'd be happy to consider such a feature, although I highly recommend discussing the design/plans here before jumping in.

-- Jim

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