#1697 new
Robert Brenstein

Glitches with smart mailboxes

Reported by Robert Brenstein | February 23rd, 2017 @ 11:50 AM

MM Version 1.9.6 (5347)

I have a smart mailbox which is meant to show the newest unread messages from another smart mailbox. The screenshots of settings are attached. Further attached are screenshots of list views for submailboxes.

a. The list of messages shown when I click the smart mailbox itself is what I expect.
b. The first submailbox shows additionally read messages from trash.
c. The second submailbox shows no messages. This submailbox should not be shown at all.

These glitches are not specific to this smart mailbox and they come and go. I have been seeing them ever since I use MM on daily basis (but I do not see them every day). A relaunch will often fix these issues but not always. The last attachment shows the same smart mailbox after a relaunch -- I just quit and launched the program again and issues b and c were gone.

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • benny

    benny February 24th, 2017 @ 10:09 AM

    Could you send me the following file:

    ~/Library/Application Support/MailMate/Mailboxes.plist

    (I might have asked for it before, but I'd like to be sure I see what corresponds to your screenshots.)

    I have a somewhat randomly reproducible case similar to this, but I still cannot reproduce it reliably and therefore I've been postponing trying to fix it. For some reason you seem to see this (or a similar issue) much more frequent.

    Is it correct, that it always clears up on restart or do you some times also see an issue immediately after restarting (and before any new messages arrive)?

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein February 24th, 2017 @ 01:04 PM

    I am sending you the requested file thru direct email, so it is not attached to the ticket.

    I think that a restart usually clears the issue. I think it might have also cleared itself without a restart a few times. I get new emails instantly after restarting, so I don’t think that arrival of new messages has anything to do with it. On the other hand, my seeing more of these artifacts might have something to do with my using the unofficial two-pane mode, which apparently relatively few users use.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein February 24th, 2017 @ 01:12 PM

    What a coincidence:

    I just read a thread in one of the automatic submailboxes, selecting a group of messages by shift-double-click, then selecting all messages by command-a and opening all at once by shift-command-o, then reading one by one and deleting each after reading. When I was done, the list for the submailbox still showed those messages just not bold anymore. That smart mailbox is supposed to show only unread messages -- it is the same smart mailbox as in the original ticket entry just a different mailing list -- so it is a double fault: it shows messages that are read and deleted.

    Well, that reminds me of ticket 1677.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein February 24th, 2017 @ 01:22 PM

    I just read one further thread from that same mailbox following the same procedure and those messages disappeared from the mailbox list as expected. However, messages after reading the next thread were left in the mailbox. I am attaching a screen shot showing two different threads, all messages being read and in the trash.

    I suspect that my getting new messages after reading the first thread might have reset something.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein February 24th, 2017 @ 01:32 PM

    I should add that the other issue, having a submailbox listed under a smart mailbox but empty, is actually what I see more often. That is, when I read all messages from an automatic submailbox and I trash them, they disappear from the list view but MM does not make the mailbox go away from the submailbox list. Normally, when I click another submailbox, the empty submailbox vanishes.

    A factor or an additional factor here might be the setting "unless only one mailbox will be created" -- I have it unchecked for quite a few such smart mailboxes.

  • benny

    benny March 1st, 2017 @ 01:08 PM

    I went through your Mailboxes.plist and it's a bit complicated, but I agree that trashed messages should not be in the mailbox of your last screenshot. With respect to read messages in a mailbox unread messages, this some times happens intentionally, because it's actually a nuisance to many users if they disappear immediately. I'm thinking this feature is maybe broken in the sense that it can also some times show the emails even if they are now in a different mailbox. To test this theory you can try disabling the behavior like this:

    defaults write com.freron.MailMate MmStickyMessagesEnabled -bool NO

    Thanks in advance!

    (The best way to debug issues like this is to make the problem case as simple as possible and then I can hopefully more easily reproduce it, but I know this can be hard in some cases.)

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein March 1st, 2017 @ 06:21 PM

    I can test this setting, possibly tomorrow. One mailbox still shows messages in the trash that I deleted yesterday, whereas the messages that I was reading today disappeared right away.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein March 2nd, 2017 @ 04:37 PM

    I added the preference as you asked me, but I need to wait until the problem recurs. After reload, all issues cleared.

    My comment from yesterday might seem unclear. I meant that as I was deleting new messages that I was reading, they were disappearing from the list view right away, whereas the old messages that I read and deleted a day before were still showing (as read, and their mailbox was trash). In other words, the problem is not persistent.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein March 6th, 2017 @ 08:15 PM

    A few days passed since disabling the sticky messages and I have not seen a single instance of any of these problems...

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein March 7th, 2017 @ 02:04 PM

    Spoken too early. Today the problems are back. Attached are 2 screen shots.

    • smart mailbox that shows correct list of only new messages
    • its submailbox (automatically generated) which includes a message from the trash and a read message

    I made sure to process messages from other submailboxes, so both lists should be identical but they are not.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein March 24th, 2017 @ 04:42 PM

    Okay, this problem is definitely time related. I mean that after a relaunch, all works fine for some time. That "some" varies. Invariably, the more time passes since relaunch the chances of the issues to show are increasing. However, they are not reliable. I have deleted messages showing where there should not but I might be deleting new messages and they disappear as expected. An empty submailbox may suddenly disappear, but a second might also appear.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein March 30th, 2017 @ 12:47 AM

    A new aspect just showed up. See the attached screen shot and note that aside from submailbox showing messages in the trash (a known problem), the mailbox counts do not match. The submailbox has count inherited, so they should be the same. The second submailbox with no count shows no messages in the list (a known problem). The automatic submailbox has a higher count than its parent, so the issue is quite obvious.

    What I also noticed is that the all the smart mailboxes that exhibit the problems described in this ticket are for mailing lists. I wonder if there is something in those messages that trigger the issues.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein September 11th, 2017 @ 09:25 AM

    It seems to me that this problem got worse in the recent releases of MM. I get it very shortly after relaunch. It happens regularly, however, but only in certain same smartmailboxes -- and this must be more than just coincidence -- only the smartmailboxes that handle newly arrived posts from mailing lists are affected.

  • benny

    benny September 26th, 2017 @ 01:44 PM

    At some point I was actually able to get wrong counts myself (I inserted a check and crash for it on my own install), but I'm not currently getting them (and I didn't find a way to explicitly reproduce the issue). Could I get your Mailboxes.plist file again and a few of the mailbox names for which you most often see this issue. I'll try setting up something similar (again) and hopefully I'll get closer to an answer this time.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein September 26th, 2017 @ 11:19 PM

    I haven't seen count mismatch for quite a while, so maybe that got fixed or it is a separate issue. Attached is a set of screen shots that I just took. They show a config of one of the mailboxes that regularly shows wrong items. You can see that the first submailbox includes messages that has been trashed and the second submailbox is empty so it should not be shown at all. I send you the mailboxes.plist directly.

  • benny

    benny September 27th, 2017 @ 07:46 AM

    Thanks for the example. Is this issue reproducible, that is, is it correct after relaunching and then triggered, e.g., when you delete a message?

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein September 27th, 2017 @ 08:50 AM

    Well, yes and no. I have never seen this immediately after a launch. Some time lapse is needed. It feels, however, that it starts happening a lot sooner in the newer releases than before. It seems to be mailbox specific, and once it starts, it keeps going on, although it is not consistent. I may have trashed messages showing, then delete more and those disappear, then delete again and those are shown. In other words, it is a tad erratic. It also seems to be restricted to only certain smart mailboxes, probably not by coincidence all of them being dedicated to show mail coming from mailing lists, although not all such mailboxes are affected. It might be related to my usage pattern. I mean how often I look at the messages in those mailboxes and how many I delete, but I can't say anything concrete.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein September 27th, 2017 @ 09:03 AM

    The mailbox in the example is one that regularly shows these issues. Most frequently, I'd say.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein September 27th, 2017 @ 01:42 PM

    Compare defs of mailboxes "Mailinglists new!" and "Mailinglists recent" -- they are almost the same but I just realized that I do not recall seeing those glitches with the "recent" mailbox, only with "new". The latter is used by me all the time, but may be it is not the usage but the tag condition that the glitches are related to.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein September 27th, 2017 @ 01:45 PM

    Also, just to be crystal clear, clicking on the mailbox itself never shows the issues, only the automatically-generated submailboxes.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein January 18th, 2018 @ 02:28 PM

    I am now at version 1.10 (5443) and this problem is still there. Sometimes I see more old messages (which should not be shown at all) than new ones, which is annoying as it makes processing lists more work than it should. Attached is a screencast with the current example.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein February 22nd, 2018 @ 03:05 PM

    Just attaching a screencast showing the issue.

  • benny

    benny March 1st, 2018 @ 11:11 AM

    Thanks for the example. I've downloaded to my local machine because it takes up a lot of space in the ticket system.

    Have you tried one of the latest test releases in which I fixed a lot of issues in the query system? (I have better code to test it now.) Do you still see the issue?

    There's also an issue with Tagged submailboxes when the user enables showing a mailbox for each account (two levels of automatically generated mailboxes). Similar to the problems with the query system I think the best way forward is for me to refactor the code to be more easily tested. In other words, when I fix the issue with the “Tagged” mailbox then I expect/hope that this one is going to be fixed too.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein March 13th, 2018 @ 02:47 PM

    I just upgraded to 1.11 (5462). The problem is still there. Actually, I just noticed a new variation of it -- the main view shows more unread messages than the subview. See the highlighted message in the attached 2 screenshots.

  • benny

    benny March 14th, 2018 @ 12:29 PM

    • State changed from “new” to “accepted”

    As you have seen elsewhere then other parts of the query system are now more reliable after I did a rewrite of the related code (including adding more test code to the build system). I'm hoping to do a similar rewrite of the code related to the automatic creation of submailboxes (in all its variants). I would prefer postponing looking into this (and other) specific issues with submailboxes until after I've done that. There's a relatively good chance that the rewrite (and its corresponding test code) would also fix this issue.

    Thanks for your patience :)

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein July 24th, 2018 @ 11:19 AM

    I have noticed sth. It seems that the probability of displaying deleted messages is much much higher if I open multiple messages than if I keep opening one message at the time. This jives with my reporting earlier that the issue seems to be affecting primarily the smart mailboxes with mailing lists. I normally shift-double-click a post title to pick the thread (normal threading does not work well on these lists), then shift-option-o to open all of them in individual windows. I then read each and delete (sometimes tag for reference and leave). I do these steps really seldom in non-list mailboxes. Remember to set 2-pane view should you decide to check this for yourself.

  • benny

    benny August 9th, 2018 @ 01:17 PM

    Thanks for the additional details! It might be helpful if the submailboxes rewrite doesn't help (I did start on this rewrite, but it's not finished yet).

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein October 3rd, 2018 @ 08:40 PM

    I have been watching this further and it seems that shift-double-click is the key factor to generate the problem. Deleting messages after selecting multiple messages by command-click and opening with shift-option-o works as expected. Something to watch/test for when doing rewrite :-)

  • benny

    benny October 4th, 2018 @ 12:45 PM

    @Robert: Thanks for the hint. I'm not sure how opening the emails would make a difference, but I'll keep it in mind.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein October 4th, 2018 @ 01:02 PM

    Well, as odd as it sounds... I shift-double-click an unread message which is single in the mailbox (I mean there is no thread). I open it by double-click then delete while the message is open (we are taking 2-pane mode) and its ghost stays in the mailbox. I mean the message in the trash shows among the unread messages. I open an unread message by double-clicking it in the same mailbox but without shift-double-click first and it disappears from the mailbox after deletion. This occurs quite reliably, albeit not always.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein October 16th, 2018 @ 11:51 AM

    I should add that this is quite reliable to reproduce in the current versions of MM. It is clear to me that shift-double-click on a message title sets something that causes this odd behavior after deletion. Those errand entries stay in the list until I quit. After relaunching, those errand entries are gone, so this is clearly some session-specific setting.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein October 26th, 2018 @ 10:19 PM

    Another tidbit that I noticed and verified:

    If I shift-double-click a subject to select a group of messages in my "recent" smart mailbox (mailbox that shows only last day of unread messages) but switch to my "list" smart mailbox (mailbox that contains all list messages), the deleted messages do not show in the recent mailbox. They show only if I read and delete them while staying in the recent mailbox. They disappear also from the list mailbox, so it is a sort of workaround. Unfortunately, a bit too cumbersome.

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein December 13th, 2018 @ 03:17 PM

    I trained myself to keep switching to the full list mailbox. Of course, I would forget to switch back once a while, which let me realize that if I repeat the steps in that mailbox, the ghost messages are never shown. That means that having the time condition is a factor in this behaviour. In other words, the reported behavior affects only mailboxes that show last x-days-old emails.

  • benny

    benny December 14th, 2018 @ 10:24 AM

    Thanks for the various data points.

    Does any of it help you to reliably trigger the issue somehow? Do you think it only happens when a message needs to be included/excluded because of the date condition?

  • Robert Brenstein

    Robert Brenstein December 14th, 2018 @ 11:13 AM

    The issue is fully reproducible as described in the most recent (4) posts from me. It seemed random and inconsistent at first, until I recognized the patterns. I can make you a movie showing it on demand. However, the effects are as documented with screen shots earlier. To recap:

    I shift-double-click the subject of an unread message in a list view. This may select one or more messages. I select all filtered messages and command-shift-o to open them as individual messages (I am using 2-pane mode). After reading each message, I delete it while the message is open. When I cancel the filter (normally clicking the minus button on top right), I see ghost messages in the mailbox. I mean the message/s in the trash show/s among the unread messages.

    If I open an unread message or messages by double-clicking them in the same mailbox but without shift-double-click first, then they disappear from the mailbox after deletion, as expected.

    This occurs in smart mailboxes which show messages that arrived only recently, that is they have a condition like "the date-received is within last 3 days" or similar. Mailboxes that have no such condition behave as expected and me switching to such a mailbox after shift-double-click prevents this from occurring.

    Background info: I have multiple smart mailboxes for more active mailing lists: one that shows all posts, another that shows only unread posts I got within last 3 days, yet another that shows all posts I got within last 7 days. The latter two mailboxes filter out messages from the first one and display submailboxes by list-id.

  • benny

    benny December 14th, 2018 @ 11:43 AM

    Thanks. If you also send me your Mailboxes.plist then I'll give reproducing it another go (when I have time). I promise to read your instructions carefully :)

  • benny

    benny December 11th, 2019 @ 11:45 AM

    I believe I've fixed an issue which could be related to this ticket. If you are still able to reproduce this issue, could you try the latest test release: Hold down ⌥ when clicking “Check Now” in the Software Update preferences pane (r5672).

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