Another Inbox Bites the Dust

I read Ben Goodger’s note about losing an inbox with vague interest a few days ago. Then it happened to me, almost exactly the same way it happened to him:

I routinely get upwards of twenty thousand virus mails, junk mails, undeliverable-return-to-sender return envelopes for messages I did not send, and other crap mail per week. A large portion of these should be caught by my ISP virus filter, but oops! Covad doesn’t have an email virus filter. I have six manual filters that catch about 80% of the mail and delete it automatically, and about another 15% is caught by the Mozilla mailnews junk mail filter. That leaves about one thousand junk mails per week that I have to delete manually. What I didn’t notice is that the junk mail and auto-deletion filters don’t cause compaction of the inbox mbox file. Over Thanksgiving weekend, I left my mailnews client running in a VNC server, but I didn’t shut it down or tend it at all. During this time period the mbox file for my Inbox, Junk Mail, and Trash folders all went above 2G. Apparently this causes mailnews to go crazy and die. It tried automatically rebuilding the MSF file for my Inbox several times, and then keeled over and deleted the entire Inbox.

So, I have a couple questions for mailnews cognoscenti:

  1. Can manual filters really delete mail so that they’re not even in my Trash?
  2. Can the junk mail filter delete mail, instead of moving it to Junk Mail?
  3. Can mailnews automatically detect that a folder is really large and compact it before it hits 2G?
  4. Or at least stop retrieving new mail when it gets close to 2G?
  5. Are there other “workaround” automated ways to avoid dying when I’m away from my email for a few days?

Atom Feed for Comments 2 Responses to “Another Inbox Bites the Dust”

  1. Steve Chapel Says:

    2. In the Suite, there’s a Junk Mail Control to Automatically delete junk messages after X days.
    3. In the Suite, there’s an Offline & Disk Space Preference to Compact folders when it will save over X MB.

    Maybe a better solution is to allow the mailbox to grow over 4 GB by using 64-bit arithemtic.

  2. Prognathous Says:

    Is this a new regression? This problem is supposed to be fixed for quite a while:


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