IMAP mail filters tool

Ken Seehart ken at
Fri Mar 5 06:33:26 CET 2010

I'm thinking of possibly making a simple client-agnostic tool for 
filtering and processing IMAP email.  I'm a Thunderbird user, but I'm 
interested in a tool that is not client software specific.

So I am is checking for prior art.  Does anyone know of a filter tool 
with most of these features?

    * Written and customizable with python
    * IMAP based
    * Runs on client (i.e. without installing anything on the server)
    * Runs completely independent of client software (though could be
      launched from any email client that can support it)
    * Automatically suggests new rules based on manual movement of
      emails into folders (based on comparison of all header data across
      all existing folders)
    * Take arbitrary actions in response to rules (e.g. universally
      denying access to spam senders to all online cheese shops)
    * Capable of serving as a prototyping framework for things like spam
    * General filtering functionality, not particularly focused on spam
    * Posts and updates rules to server via IMAP (i.e. by sending and
      automagically processing a special email message).

Typical work-flow would be aimed at users who like to automatically sort 
their email prior to reading it.  The goal is to have nearly all email 
sorted into folders so that most mail remaining in the Inbox is likely 
to be leftover spam missed by whatever spam filters are being used.  In 
other words, the filters tend to effectively serve as white lists.

Examples of unusual rules that don't seem to be supported by most email 

    * When you send an email, add the recipient to a filter such that
      email from that recipient goes to a "Unfiltered Replies" folder if
      it does not match any other filter.
    * Receiving email with certain fields matching certain regular
      expressions could automatically create a new folder and filter e.g.:
          o List-Id: "SF Bay Area Python group <>"
            yields a new folder "Lists/SF Bay Area Python group" with a
            corresponding rule
          o X-Launchpad-Bug: "product=phatch; milestone=..." yields a
            new folder "Bugs/Phatch" with a corresponding rule
          o X-Bugzilla-Product: "Shrubbery" yields a new folder
            "Bugs/Shrubbery" with a corresponding rule


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