Problem with imaplib (weird result if mailbox contains a %)

Discussion in 'Python' started by Antoon Pardon, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. This little program gives IMO a strange result.

    import imaplib

    user = "cpapen"

    cyr = imaplib.IMAP4("")
    cyr.login("cyrus", "cOn-A1r")
    rc, lst = cyr.list('""', "user/%s/*" % user)
    for el in lst:
    print "%r" % (el,)

    And the result is:

    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/Out"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/Punten"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/Spam"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/agoog to be"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/artistiek &- kunst"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/copains et copinnes =x="'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/cp &- writing"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/examen"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/important info (pass)"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/lesmateriaal"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/love &- flesh for fantasy"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/media"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/music &- beats"'
    ('(\\HasNoChildren) "/" {25}', 'user/cpapen/newsletters %')
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/organisatie &- structuur"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/sociale wetenschappen"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/the closest ones to me [x]"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/vubrations"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/wm2addressbook"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/wm2prefs"'
    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/wm2signature"'

    What I have a problem with is the 14th and 15th line.
    All other entries are strings but the 14th is a tuple.
    and the 15th is an empty string. As far as I can tell
    every time a "%" is in the mailbox name I get this kind of

    I'm using python 2.3.3 and the imap sytem is Cyrus.

    Can someone explain what is going one?

    Is this a bug?

    If it is, is it fixed in later versions?

    Whether or not it is a bug, can I rely on the mailbox
    being the last item in the tuple in these cases?
    Antoon Pardon, Nov 28, 2006
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  2. Antoon Pardon

    Leo Kislov Guest

    Empty string seems to be a bug. But tuple is by design, read the docs
    and imap rfc. The protocol is convoluted in the first place, and so is
    python interface.
    Why don't you try to pull from later versions? I don't think
    it changed that much so it should be compatible with python 2.3
    Yes (at least for list command)

    -- Leo
    Leo Kislov, Nov 28, 2006
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  3. Are there more docs than at I don't find
    those very helpfull in explaining this.

    I also took a look at rfc 2060 and to be honest I don't find anything
    there to explain this difference. I only took a closer look at section
    7.2.2. So maybe I should look somewehere else but after reading section
    7.2.2. I don't understand why the list method returned a tuple for this
    mailbox instead of the following string:

    '(\\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/newsletters %"'
    I could take my hands on a 2.4 version and the result was the same.
    Well that is at least comforting.
    Antoon Pardon, Nov 29, 2006
  4. Antoon Pardon

    Leo Kislov Guest

    This is described in section 4.3. imaplib is too close to the protocol.
    It should interpret response for each command separately. For example
    list method could return list of tuples like:

    ("\\HasNoChildren", "/", "user/cpapen/newsletters %")

    Without this abstraction level in imaplib you have to build it
    I was talking only about empty string response. Is it still there?
    Anyway, this issue requires investigation. That could also be a bug in
    the server.

    -- Leo
    Leo Kislov, Nov 29, 2006
  5. Ah yes, I'm beginning to understand now, what is going on.

    I also did a imap session by hand using telnet. That helped.
    The empty line is still there using 2.4.
    This is part of the session I did by hand. It doesn't seem to be a
    server problem.

    $ telnet machine.domain imap
    Connected to machine.domain
    Escape character is '^]'.
    * OK maxi Cyrus IMAP4 v2.2.13 server ready
    0001 LOGIN ... ....
    0001 OK User logged in
    0002 LIST "" user/cpapen/*
    * LIST (\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/Out"
    * LIST (\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/music &- beats"
    * LIST (\HasNoChildren) "/" {25}
    user/cpapen/newsletters %
    * LIST (\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/organisatie &- structuur"
    * LIST (\HasNoChildren) "/" "user/cpapen/sociale wetenschappen"

    Many thanks for your contribution.
    Antoon Pardon, Nov 29, 2006
  6. Antoon Pardon

    Donn Cave Guest

    {5}\r\nhello\r\n is an IMAP "literal". It's unlucky that
    Cyrus uses this for some LIST responses and not others, since
    that will be a surprise to clients that use ad hoc parsing -
    like imaplib users.

    Donn Cave,
    Donn Cave, Nov 30, 2006
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