Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

The case of a wide open restriction

7th November 2007

The addition of IMAP capability to Gmail attracted a lot of attention in the blogosphere last week and I managed to flick the switch for the beast courtesy of the various instructions that were out there. However, when I pottered back to the settings, the IMAP settings had disappeared.

A brief look at the Official Gmail Blog confirmed why: the feature wasn’t to be available to those who hadn’t set their language as US English. My setting of UK English explained why I wasn’t seeing it again, a strange observation given that they are merely variants of the same language; I have no idea why I saw it the first time around.

My initial impression was that the language setting used was an operating system or browser one, but this is not how it is. In fact, it is the language that you set for Gmail itself in its settings; choosing US English was sufficient to make the IMAP settings reappear while choosing UK English made them disappear again.

Personally, I am not certain why the distinction was made in the first place but I have Evolution merrily working away with Gmail’s IMAP interface without a bother. To get it going, I needed that needed an SSL connection while needed a TLS one. After that, I was away and no port numbers needed to be supplied, unlike Outlook.

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