[MlMt] How do changes to tag setup in MailMate affect messages in Gmail?

Jody Foo jody.foo at gmail.com
Mon Jan 25 06:39:15 EST 2016

On 22 Jan 2016, at 21:57, Benny Kjær Nielsen wrote:

> If you assign a tag mapped to a Gmail label to an email then it'll 
> trigger the creation of the label in Gmail.

Ok, thanks for the confirmation.

>> 1. Am I correct that the above is the same thing as specifying a 
>> label path without the path existing in gmail? This would mean that I 
>> _do not_ have to create the label in (at least one of) the gmail 
>> accounts I have configured in MailMate before adding it as a Tag in 
>> the MailMate Preferences?
> I believe that is correct.

Ok, makes using new Tags with Gmail label mappings easier! Am I correct 
however to understand that the *creation only happens when trying to 
apply the label for the first time*? *Not* when the text is entered in 
the *Tag preferences* right?

>> 2. If I change the mapping of an existing tag in MailMate, what 
>> happens on the gmail side?
>> 	3. only future tag assignments are affected and the old tagged 
>> messages are no longer considered to be tagged with the previous 
>> gmail label is again shown as a mailbox in Mailmate, or
> I'm pretty sure it's number 3.

Ok, I'll have to keep that in mind. So one should think of the *Tag 
panel* in the preferences as "*Tag configuration*" rather than "*Tag 

>> 3. With regard to the previous question, what steps should I perform 
>> to
>> 	1. Change the mapping of a previously used tag to a new one? E.g. 
>> the tag "#todo" has been mapped to messages with the gmail label 
>> "todo" and now I want to use the label !todo in gmail?
> In order to remap existing messages then you have to create a new tag 
> to apply the new label. Then untag with the old label. Delete the old 
> tag. Rename the display name of the new tag.
>> 	2. Change the IMAP flag used for a tag? E.g. if the flag `todo` has 
>> been used but now I want to use the flag `#todo` and therefore 
>> replace all occurrences of the flag `todo` with `#todo`?
> Ah, now I can see my previous answer did not take the IMAP keyword 
> into consideration. It might be tricky to change an IMAP flag 
> (keyword) without also changing the Gmail label. I cannot give you a 
> clear answer on that one.

Ok, so again, the best way is to *approach the tag preferences like a 
config file*? I.e. that I'm never "renaming" a tag, or even "changing" 
any properties of anything, I'm simply editing the config file?

In that case, since it's a config file, I would be doing the following 
to edit something?

1. Config the new Tag+label you want to use
2. Add that Tag+label to all messages you want to have it
3. Remove the old Tag+label from the messages that have the new 
4. Remove the old Tag+label from the Tag preferences

>> 	3. Change the displayed string used by MailMate for a tag
> This should always be safe since it really is just a display name. It 
> doesn't affect anything on the server.


>> 4. Finally, what would happen if I did two or more of the above 
>> operations? E.g. if I changed the display string to `TODO`, the flag 
>> used to `#todo` and the gmail mapping to `tags/todo`? Is it _always_ 
>> "sort of" safe (I did this and no data was lost but there were some 
>> glitches)?
> I think the safe approach is to create a new tag and then apply that 
> to existing messages with the old tag. Then get rid of the old tag.

Ok, I'll see this as a confirmation of the steps I wrote above as well. 
(I think it should be included in the documentation in that case).

> Well, I have learned that “mailbox” is often mis-interpreted as 
> being an account. I think this is because with POP3 there is no 
> difference between account and mailbox. In other words, even though 
> MailMate uses the word “mailbox” then it's often safer to use the 
> word “folder”. To me there is no difference between mailbox and 
> folder (in the context of an email account).

Sounds reasonable, thanks for the explanation.

> As a general comment: It may seem that MailMate should be better at 
> automatically re-labeling/tagging emails when making changes, but it's 
> not straightforward when and how to do it. (I think, at least, that 
> MailMate should ask before doing anything.)

I don't think this should be done automatically because of the many 
steps involved. An updated screen for Tag management would be better I 
think. E.g. I do not think it should be possible to edit the list 
directly (inline) because of the complex sequence of changes that one 
might expect or MailMate might have to perform. An 'Edit' action beside 
the '+' and '-' buttons with a separate dialog would be better I think. 
Perhaps having one action called "Modify tag configuration" and one 
called "Manage Tag" would be even better.

Creating a tag I guess should also pop up a dialog box.

I know that having one that is "attached" to its parent is a 
possibility, but I prefer those that are free floating since they allow 
me to view the contents of the parent window.

The title of the dialog would reflect the chosen action: "Change tag 
configuration" or "Manage Tag" depending on the actions it provides? 
Perhaps the "Manage Tag" dialog could have a button called "Apply to all 
messages" which would then lock the interface and show a progress bar 
until the changes have been made?

> MailMate does a few things automatically, e.g., if something is 
> labelled without the corresponding IMAP keyword or vice versa then 
> MailMate tries to “clean it up” by adding the missing keyword or 
> label. It's not unlikely that this was involved in the observed 
> glitches/issues.

Ah, ok. What if that too was made into a manual action from a "Tool" 
menu or something? "Validate & Repair Message Tags" that would first 
identify the number of messages that would need fixing and then if the 
user says "Go ahead and fix them", it would again, lock the interface 
and show a progress bar until it was done?

> Based on crash reports I've observed an issue with the handling of 
> Gmail labels. If you are able to reproduce such a crash then please 
> let me know.

Ok, I'll do that!

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