GMail versus Google Mail - the pitfalls

Before reading further, please identify "[Google Mail]" and "[GMail]" in the screenshot on the right.

For a week or two now, I have noticed strange behaviour when using my GMail from my desktop client, Claws Mail, using IMAP. Two things bothered me especially:
  1. The Sent folder one of my accounts had apparently stopped being updated about 10 days ago. Nevertheless, on the GMail web interface, everything was fine and all the sent messages could be retrieved.
  2. On the other account, my client would no longer process the messages marked to be moved to the folder All Mail.
It should have bothered me that one of the accounts showed an exclamation mark next to the number of unread messages but actually it did not. I should add that I have at least three installations of Claws (more-or-less all copies of a single one) and I could not verify whether they all behaved the same but I suspected that Claws and GMail were simply either unable to communicate or that I had somehow destabilised the set-up by deleting some GMail labels.

Fortuitously I somehow recalled that when setting up the GMail originally, one had to change the language setting – in the GMail Settings – from English UK (in my case) to English US before being able to active IMAP access to the account. I set both accounts to English US again and then rescanned the folders in the account (right-click on the account name in Claws and choose "Rebuild folder tree"). That solved the problem and both folder trees are now known as "GMail".

This issue, I believe, appeared because of trademark conflicts in the UK and Germany about the name GMail – q.v. the ars technica article, below. I have not, and am not going to, test it with German but would be glad to hear whether this problem can be duplicated with German and with languages and countries not affected by trademark disputes. A few years ago, incidentally, when I started running my own IMAP server, I realised that it was a really bad idea to change the default folder names (e.g. Sent) .

Google can't use "Gmail" name in Europe - ars technica


Load shedding - the T-shirt

For those far from the fatal shores of - once sunny - South Africa: the state monopoly power utility uses "load shedding" as a euphemism for rolling blackouts.

Ek het nie woorde nie.