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Mail::Box(3pm)        User Contributed Perl Documentation       Mail::Box(3pm)

       Mail::Box - manage a mailbox, a folder with messages

          is a Mail::Reporter

        Mail::Box is extended by

        use Mail::Box::Manager;
        my $mgr    = Mail::Box::Manager->new;
        my $folder = $mgr->open(folder => $ENV{MAIL}, ...);
        print $folder->name;

        # Get the first message.
        print $folder->message(0);

        # Delete the third message

        # Get the number of messages in scalar context.
        my $emails = $folder->messages;

        # Iterate over the messages.
        foreach ($folder->messages) {...} # all messages
        foreach (@$folder) {...}          # all messages



        tie my(@inbox), 'Mail::Box::Tie::ARRAY', $inbox;

        # Four times the same:
        $inbox[3]->print;                 # tied
        $folder->[3]->print;              # overloaded folder
        $folder->message(3)->print;       # usual
        print $folder->[3];               # overloaded message

        tie my(%inbox), 'Mail::Box::Tie::HASH', $inbox;

        # Twice times the same
        $inbox{$msgid}->print;            # tied
        $folder->messageId($msgid)->print;# usual

       A Mail::Box::Manager creates "Mail::Box" objects.  But you already
       knew, because you started with the Mail::Box-Overview manual page.
       That page is obligatory reading, sorry!

       "Mail::Box" is the base class for accessing various types of mailboxes
       (folders) in a uniform manner.  The various folder types vary on how
       they store their messages, but when some effort those differences could
       be hidden behind a general API. For example, some folders store many
       messages in one single file, where other store each message in a
       separate file withing the same directory.

       No object in your program will be of type "Mail::Box": it is only used
       as base class for the real folder types.  "Mail::Box" is extended by

       overload: ""

           (stringification) The folder objects stringify to their name.  This
           simplifies especially print statements and sorting a lot.

           example: use overloaded folder as string

            # Three lines with overloading: resp. cmp, @{}, and ""
            foreach my $folder (sort @folders)
            {   my $msgcount = @$folder;
                print "$folder contains $msgcount messages\n";

       overload: @{}

           When the folder is used as if it is a reference to an array, it
           will show the messages, like messages() and message() would do.

           example: use overloaded folder as array

            my $msg = $folder->[3];
            my $msg = $folder->message(3);          # same

            foreach my $msg (@$folder) ...
            foreach my $msg ($folder->messages) ... # same

       overload: cmp

           (string comparison) folders are compared based on their name.  The
           sort rules are those of the build-in "cmp".



           Open a new folder. A list of labeled OPTIONS for the mailbox can be
           supplied. Some options pertain to Mail::Box, and others are added
           by sub-classes.

           To control delay-loading of messages, as well the headers as the
           bodies, a set of *_type options are available. "extract" determines
           whether we want delay-loading.

            Option           --Defined in     --Default
            access                              'r'
            body_delayed_type                   Mail::Message::Body::Delayed
            body_type                           <folder specific>
            coerce_options                      []
            create                              <false>
            extract                             10240
            field_type                          undef
            fix_headers                         <false>
            folder                              $ENV{MAIL}
            folderdir                           undef
            head_delayed_type                   Mail::Message::Head::Delayed
            head_type                           Mail::Message::Head::Complete
            keep_dups                           <false>
            lock_file                           undef
            lock_timeout                        1 hour
            lock_type                           Mail::Box::Locker::DotLock
            lock_wait                           10 seconds
            locker                              undef
            log                Mail::Reporter   'WARNINGS'
            manager                             undef
            message_type                        Mail::Box::Message
            multipart_type                      Mail::Message::Body::Multipart
            remove_when_empty                   <true>
            save_on_exit                        <true>
            trace              Mail::Reporter   'WARNINGS'
            trusted                             <depends on folder location>

           . access => MODE

               Access-rights to the folder.  Folders are opened for read-only
               (which means write-protected) by default! MODE can be

               'r': read-only (default)
               'a': append
               'rw': read-write
               'd': delete

               These MODE has no relation to the modes actually used to open
               the folder files within this module.  For instance, if you
               specify "rw", and open the folder, only read permission on the
               folder-file is required.

               Be warned: writing a MBOX folder may create a new file to
               replace the old folder.  The permissions and owner of the file
               may get changed by this.

           . body_delayed_type => CLASS

               The bodies which are delayed: which will be read from file when
               it is needed, but not before.

           . body_type => CLASS|CODE

               When messages are read from a folder-file, the headers will be
               stored in a "head_type" object.  For the body, however, there
               is a range of choices about type, which are all described in

               Specify a CODE-reference which produces the body-type to be
               created, or a CLASS of the body which is used when the body is
               not a multipart or nested.  In case of a code reference, the
               header structure is passed as first argument to the routine.

               Do not return a delayed body-type (like "::Delayed"), because
               that is determined by the "extract" option while the folder is
               opened.  Even delayed message will require some real body type
               when they get parsed eventually.  Multiparts and nested
               messages are also outside your control.

               For instance:

                $mgr->open('InBox', body_type => \&which_body);

                sub which_body($) {
                    my $head = shift;
                    my $size = $head->guessBodySize || 0;
                    my $type = $size > 100000 ? 'File' : 'Lines';

               The default depends on the mail-folder type, although the
               general default is Mail::Message::Body::Lines.  Please check
               the applicable manual pages.

           . coerce_options => ARRAY

               Keep configuration information for messages which are coerced
               into the specified folder type, starting with a different
               folder type (or even no folder at all).  Messages which are
               coerced are always fully read, so this kind of information does
               not need to be kept here.

           . create => BOOLEAN

               Automatically create the folder when it does not exist yet.
               This will only work when access is granted for writing or
               appending to the folder.

               Be careful: you may create a different folder type than you
               expect unless you explicitly specify

           . extract => INTEGER | CODE | METHOD | 'LAZY'|'ALWAYS'

               Defines when to parse (process) the content of the message.
               When the header of a message is read, you may want to postpone
               the reading of the body: header information is more often
               needed than the body data, so why parse it always together?
               The cost of delaying is not too high, and with some luck you
               may never need parsing the body.

               If you supply an INTEGER to this option, bodies of those
               messages with a total size less than that number will be
               extracted from the folder only when necessary.  Messages where
               the size (in the "Content-Length" field) is not included in the
               header, like often the case for multiparts and nested messages,
               will not be extracted by default.

               If you supply a CODE reference, that subroutine is called every
               time that the extraction mechanism wants to determine whether
               to parse the body or not. The subroutine is called with the
               following arguments:

                CODE->(FOLDER, HEAD)

               where FOLDER is a reference to the folder we are reading.  HEAD
               refers to the Mail::Message::Head::Complete head of the message
               at hand.  The routine must return a "true" value (extract now)
               or a "false" value (be lazy, do not parse yet).  Think about
               using the Mail::Message::Head::guessBodySize() and
               Mail::Message::guessTimestamp() on the header to determine your

               The third possibility is to specify the NAME of a method.  In
               that case, for each message is called:


               Where each component has the same meaning as described above.

               The fourth way to use this option involves constants: with
               "LAZY" all messages will be delayed. With "ALWAYS" you enforce
               unconditional parsing, no delaying will take place.  The latter
               is usuful when you are sure you always need all the messages in
               the folder.

                $folder->new(extract => 'LAZY');  # Very lazy
                $folder->new(extract => 10000);   # Less than 10kB

                # same, but implemented yourself
                $folder->new(extract => &large);
                sub large($) {
                   my ($f, $head) = @_;
                   my $size = $head->guessBodySize;
                   defined $size ? $size < 10000 : 1

                # method call by name, useful for Mail::Box
                # extensions. The example selects all messages
                # sent by you to be loaded without delay.
                # Other messages will be delayed.
                $folder->new(extract => 'sent_by_me');
                sub Mail::Box::send_by_me($) {
                    my ($self, $header) = @_;
                    $header->get('from') =~ m/\bmy\@example.com\b/i;

           . field_type => CLASS

               The type of the fields to be used in a header. Must extend

           . fix_headers => BOOLEAN

               Broken MIME headers usually stop the parser: all lines not
               parsed are added to the body of the message.  With this flag
               set, the erroneous line is added to the previous header field
               and parsing is continued.  See

           . folder => FOLDERNAME

               Which folder to open (for reading or writing). When used for
               reading (the "access" option set to "r" or "a") the mailbox
               should already exist and must be readable. The file or
               directory of the mailbox need not exist if it is opened for
               reading and writing ("rw").  Write-permission is checked when
               opening an existing mailbox.

               The folder name can be preceded by a "=", to indicate that it
               is named relative to the directory specified in new(folderdir).
               Otherwise, it is taken as relative or absolute path.

           . folderdir => DIRECTORY

               Where are folders to be found by default?  A folder-name may be
               preceded by a equals-sign ("=", a "mutt" convension) to
               explicitly state that the folder is located below the default
               directory.  For example: in case "folderdir => '/tmp'" and
               "folder => '=abc'", the name of the folder-file is '/tmp/abc'.
               Each folder type has already some default set.

           . head_delayed_type => CLASS

               The headers which are delayed: which will be read from file
               when it is needed, but not before.

           . head_type => CLASS

               The type of header which contains all header information.  Must
               extend Mail::Message::Head::Complete.

           . keep_dups => BOOLEAN

               Indicates whether or not duplicate messages within the folder
               should be retained.  A message is considered to be a duplicate
               if its message-id is the same as a previously parsed message
               within the same folder. If this option is false (the default)
               such messages are automatically deleted, because it is
               considered useless to store the same message twice.

           . lock_file => FILENAME

               The name of the file which is used to lock.  This must be
               specified when locking is to be used.

           . lock_timeout => SECONDS

               When the lock file is older than the specified number of
               SECONDS, it is considered a mistake.  The original lock is
               released, and accepted for this folder.

           . lock_type => CLASS|STRING|ARRAY

               The type of the locker object.  This may be the full name of a
               CLASS which extends Mail::Box::Locker, or one of the known
               locker types "DotLock", "Flock", "Mutt", "NFS", "POSIX", or
               "NONE".  If an ARRAY is specified, then a Multi locker is built
               which uses the specified list.

           . lock_wait => SECONDS

               SECONDS to wait before failing on opening this folder.

           . locker => OBJECT

               An OBJECT which extends Mail::Box::Locker, and will handle
               folder locking replacing the default lock behavior.

           . log => LEVEL

           . manager => MANAGER

               A reference to the object which manages this folder --
               typically an Mail::Box::Manager instance.

           . message_type => CLASS

               What kind of message objects are stored in this type of folder.
               The default is Mail::Box::Message (which is a sub-class of
               Mail::Message).  The class you offer must be an extension of

           . multipart_type => CLASS

               The default type of objects which are to be created for
               multipart message bodies.

           . remove_when_empty => BOOLEAN

               Determines whether to remove the folder file or directory
               automatically when the write would result in a folder without
               messages nor sub-folders.

           . save_on_exit => BOOLEAN

               Sets the policy for saving the folder when it is closed.  A
               folder can be closed manually (see close()) or in a number of
               implicit ways, including on the moment the program is

           . trace => LEVEL

           . trusted => BOOLEAN

               Flags whether to trust the data in the folder or not.  Folders
               which reside in your "folderdir" will be trusted by default
               (even when the names if not specified staring with "=").
               Folders which are outside the folderdir or read from STDIN
               (Mail::Message::Construct::read()) are not trused by default,
               and require some extra checking.

               If you do not check encodings of received messages, you may
               print binary data to the screen, which is a security risk.

       The folder

       $obj->addMessage(MESSAGE, OPTIONS)

           Add a message to the folder.  A message is usually a
           Mail::Box::Message object or a sub-class thereof.  The message
           shall not be in an other folder, when you use this method.  In case
           it is, use Mail::Box::Manager::moveMessage() or
           Mail::Box::Manager::copyMessage() via the manager.

           Messages with id's which already exist in this folder are not

            share   <not used>

           . share => BOOLEAN

               Try to share the physical resource of the current message with
               the indicated message.  It is sometimes possible to share
               messages between different folder types.  When the sharing is
               not possible, than this option is simply ignored.

               Sharing the resource is quite dangerous, and only available for
               a limited number of folder types, at the moment only some
               Mail::Box::Dir folders; these file-based messages can be
               hardlinked (on platforms that support it).  The link may get
               broken when one message is modified in one of the folders....
               but maybe not, depending on the folder types involved.


            $folder->addMessages($msg1, $msg2, ...);

       $obj->addMessages(MESSAGE [, MESSAGE, ...])

           Adds a set of MESSAGE objects to the open folder at once.  For some
           folder types this may be faster than adding them one at a time.


            $folder->addMessages($msg1, $msg2, ...);


           Append one or more messages to an unopened folder.  Usually, this
           method is called by the Mail::Box::Manager::appendMessage(), in
           which case the correctness of the folder type is checked.

           For some folder types it is required to open the folder before it
           can be used for appending.  This can be fast, but this can also be
           very slow (depends on the implementation).  All OPTIONS passed will
           also be used to open the folder, if needed.

            Option  --Default
            folder    <required>
            message   undef
            messages  undef
            share     <false>

           . folder => FOLDERNAME

               The name of the folder to which the messages are to be
               appended.  The folder implementation will avoid opening the
               folder when possible, because this is resource consuming.

           . message => MESSAGE

           . messages => ARRAY-OF-MESSAGES

               One reference to a MESSAGE or a reference to an ARRAY of
               MESSAGEs, which may be of any type.  The messages will be first
               coerced into the correct message type to fit in the folder, and
               then will be added to it.

           . share => BOOLEAN

               Try to share physical storage of the message.  Only available
               for a limited number of folder types, otherwise no-op.


            my $message = Mail::Message->new(...);
             ( folder    => '=xyz'
             , message   => $message
             , folderdir => $ENV{FOLDERS}


            my Mail::Box::Manager $mgr;
            $mgr->appendMessages($message, folder => '=xyz');


           Close the folder, which usually implies writing the changes.  This
           will return "false" when writing is required but fails.  Please do
           check this result.

           WARNING: When moving messages from one folder to another, be sure
           to write the destination folder before writing and closing the
           source folder.  Otherwise you may lose data if the system crashes
           or if there are software problems.

            Option      --Default
            force         <false>
            save_deleted  false
            write         MODIFIED

           . force => BOOLEAN

               Override the new(access) setting which was specified when the
               folder was opened. This option only has an effect if its value
               is TRUE. NOTE: Writing to the folder may not be permitted by
               the operating system, in which case even "force" will not help.

           . save_deleted => BOOLEAN

               Do also write messages which where flagged to be deleted to
               their folder.  The flag for deletion is conserved (when
               possible), which means that a re-open of the folder may remove
               the messages for real.  See write(save_deleted).

           . write => 'ALWAYS'|'NEVER'|'MODIFIED'

               Specifies whether the folder should be written.  As could be
               expected, "ALWAYS" means always (even if there are no changes),
               "NEVER" means that changes to the folder will be lost, and
               "MODIFIED" only saves the folder if there are any changes.


            my $f = $mgr->open('spam', access => 'rw')
                or die "Cannot open spam: $!\n";

                if $f->messages;

                or die "Couldn't write $f: $!\n";

       $obj->copyTo(FOLDER, OPTIONS)

           Copy the folder's messages to a new folder.  The new folder may be
           of a different type.

            Option       --Default
            delete_copied  <false>
            select         'ACTIVE'
            share          <not used>
            subfolders     <folder type dependent>

           . delete_copied => BOOLEAN

               Flag the messages from the source folder to be deleted, just
               after it was copied.  The deletion will only take effect when
               the originating folder is closed.

           . select => 'ACTIVE'|'DELETED'|'ALL'|LABEL|!LABEL|FILTER

               Which messages are to be copied. See the description of
               messages() about how this works.

           . share => BOOLEAN

               Try to share the message between the folders.  Some
               Mail::Box::Dir folder types do support it by creating a
               hardlink (on UNIX/Linux).

           . subfolders => BOOLEAN|'FLATTEN'|'RECURSE'

               How to handle sub-folders.  When false (0 or "undef"), sub-
               folders are simply ignored.  With "FLATTEN", messages from sub-
               folders are included in the main copy.  "RECURSE" recursively
               copies the sub-folders as well.  By default, when the
               destination folder supports sub-folders "RECURSE" is used,
               otherwise "FLATTEN".  A value of true will select the default.


            my $mgr  = Mail::Box::Manager->new;
            my $imap = $mgr->open(type => 'imap', host => ...);
            my $mh   = $mgr->open(type => 'mh', folder => '/tmp/mh',
                create => 1, access => 'w');

            $imap->copyTo($mh, delete_copied => 1);
            $mh->close; $imap->close;


           Remove the specified folder file or folder directory (depending on
           the type of folder) from disk.  Of course, THIS IS DANGEROUS: you
           "may" lose data.  Returns a "true" value on success.

           WARNING: When moving messages from one folder to another, be sure
           to write the destination folder before deleting the source folder.
           Otherwise you may lose data if the system crashes or if there are
           software problems.

            Option   --Default
            recursive  1

           . recursive => BOOLEAN

           example: removing an open folder

            my $folder = Mail::Box::Mbox->new(folder => 'InBox', access => 'rw');
            ... some other code ...

           example: removing an closed folder

            my $folder = Mail::Box::Mbox->new(folder => 'INBOX', access => 'd');


           Get or set the DIRECTORY which is used to store mail-folders by


            print $folder->folderdir;


           Returns the name of the folder.  What the name represents depends
           on the actual type of mailbox used.


            print $folder->name;
            print "$folder";       # overloaded stringification


           Returns how the folder is organized: as one "FILE" with many
           messages, a "DIRECTORY" with one message per file, or by a "REMOTE"


           Returns the size of the folder in bytes, not counting in the
           deleted messages.  The error in the presented result may be as
           large as 10%, because the in-memory representation of messages is
           not always the same as the size when they are written.


           Returns a name for the type of mail box.  This can be "mbox", "mh",
           "maildir", or "pop3".


           Read new messages from the folder, which where received after
           opening it.  This is quite dangerous and shouldn't be possible:
           folders which are open are locked.  However, some applications do
           not use locks or the wrong kind of locks.  This method reads the
           changes (not always failsafe) and incorporates them in the open
           folder administration.

           The OPTIONS are extra values which are passed to the
           updateMessages() method which is doing the actual work here.


           Represent the folder as a URL (Universal Resource Locator) string.
           You may pass such a URL as folder name to


            print $folder->url;
            # may result in
            #   mbox:/var/mail/markov   or
            #   pop3://user:passwordATpop.com:101

       Folder flags


           Returns the access mode of the folder, as set by new(access)


           Checks if the folder, as stored in memory, is modified.  A true
           value is returned when any of the messages is to be deleted, has
           changed, or messages were added after the folder was read from

           WARNING: this flag is not related to an external change to the
           folder structure on disk.  Have a look at update() for that.


           Sets whether the folder is modified or not.


           Checks whether the current folder is writable.


            $folder->addMessage($msg) if $folder->writable;

       The messages


           Some mail-readers keep the current message, which represents the
           last used message.  This method returns [after setting] the current
           message.  You may specify a NUMBER, to specify that that message
           number is to be selected as current, or a MESSAGE/MESSAGE-ID (as
           long as you are sure that the header is already loaded, otherwise
           they are not recognized).




           Like messageId(), this method searches for a message with the
           MESSAGE-ID, returning the corresponding message object.  However,
           "find" will cause unparsed message in the folder to be parsed until
           the message-id is found.  The folder will be scanned back to front.

       $obj->findFirstLabeled(LABEL, [BOOLEAN, [ARRAY-OF-MSGS]])

           Find the first message which has this LABEL with the correct
           setting. The BOOLEAN indicates whether any true value or any false
           value is to be found.  By default, a true value is searched for.
           When a message does not have the requested label, it is taken as

           example: looking for a labeled message

            my $current = $folder->findFirstLabeled('current');

            my $first   = $folder->findFirstLabeled(seen => 0);

            my $last    = $folder->findFirstLabeled(seen => 0,
                            [ reverse $self->messages('ACTIVE') ] )

       $obj->message(INDEX [,MESSAGE])

           Get or set a message with on a certain index.  Messages which are
           flagged for deletion are counted.  Negative indexes start at the
           end of the folder.


            my $msg = $folder->message(3);
            $folder->message(3)->delete;   # status changes to `deleted'
            $folder->message(3, $msg);
            print $folder->message(-1);    # last message.

       $obj->messageId(MESSAGE-ID [,MESSAGE])

           With one argument, returns the message in the folder with the
           specified MESSAGE-ID. If a reference to a message object is passed
           as the optional second argument, the message is first stored in the
           folder, replacing any existing message whose message ID is MESSAGE-
           ID. (The message ID of MESSAGE need not match MESSAGE-ID.)

           !!WARNING!!: when the message headers are delay-parsed, the message
           might be in the folder but not yet parsed into memory. In this
           case, use find() instead of "messageId()" if you really need a
           thorough search.  This is especially the case for directory
           organized folders without special indexi, like Mail::Box::MH.

           The MESSAGE-ID may still be in angles, which will be stripped.  In
           that case blanks (which origin from header line folding) are
           removed too.  Other info around the angles will be removed too.


            my $msg = $folder->messageId('<complex-message.id>');
            $folder->messageId("<complex-message\n.id>", $msg);
            my $msg = $folder->messageId('complex-message.id');
            my $msg = $folder->messageId('garbage <complex-message.id> trash');


           Returns a list of all message-ids in the folder, including those of
           messages which are to be deleted.

           For some folder-types (like MH), this method may cause all message-
           files to be read.  See their respective manual pages.


            foreach my $id ($folder->messageIds) {


           Returns multiple messages from the folder.  The default is "ALL"
           which will return (as expected maybe) all the messages in the
           folder.  The "ACTIVE" flag will return the messages not flagged for
           deletion.  This is the opposite of "DELETED", which returns all
           messages from the folder which will be deleted when the folder is

           You may also specify a RANGE: two numbers specifying begin and end
           index in the array of messages.  Negative indexes count from the
           end of the folder.  When an index is out-of-range, the returned
           list will be shorter without complaints.

           Everything else than the predefined names is seen as labels.  The
           messages which have that label set will be returned.  When the
           sequence starts with an exclamation mark (!), the search result is

           For more complex searches, you can specify a FILTER, which is
           simply a code reference.  The message is passed as only argument.


            foreach my $message ($folder->messages) {...}
            foreach my $message (@$folder) {...}

            # twice the same
            my @messages   = $folder->messages;
            my @messages   = $folder->messages('ALL');

            # Selection based on a range (begin, end)
            my $subset     = $folder->messages(10,-8);

            # twice the same:
            my @not_deleted= grep {not $_->isDeleted}
            my @not_deleted= $folder->messages('ACTIVE');

            # scalar context the number of messages
            my $nr_of_msgs = $folder->messages;

            # third message, via overloading

            # Selection based on labels
            $mgr->moveMessages($spam, $inbox->message('spam'));
            $mgr->moveMessages($archive, $inbox->message('seen'));


           Simply calls messages() in scalar context to return a count instead
           of the messages itself.  Some people seem to understand this

       $obj->scanForMessages(MESSAGE, MESSAGE-IDS, TIMESPAN, WINDOW)

           You start with a MESSAGE, and are looking for a set of messages
           which are related to it.  For instance, messages which appear in
           the 'In-Reply-To' and 'Reference' header fields of that message.
           These messages are known by their MESSAGE-IDS and you want to find
           them in the folder.

           When all message-ids are known, then looking-up messages is simple:
           they are found in a plain hash using messageId().  But Mail::Box is
           lazy where it can, so many messages may not have been read from
           file yet, and that's the prefered situation, because that saves
           time and memory.

           It is not smart to search for the messages from front to back in
           the folder: the chances are much higher that related message reside
           closely to each other.  Therefore, this method starts scanning the
           folder from the specified MESSAGE, back to the front of the folder.

           The TIMESPAN can be used to terminate the search based on the time
           enclosed in the message.  When the constant string "EVER" is used
           as TIMESPAN, then the search is not limited by that.  When an
           integer is specified, it will be used as absolute time in time-
           ticks as provided by your platform dependent "time" function.  In
           other cases, it is passed to timespan2seconds() to determine the
           threshold as time relative to the message's time.

           The WINDOW is used to limit the search in number of messages to be
           scanned as integer or constant string "ALL".

           Returned are the message-ids which were not found during the scan.
           Be warned that a message-id could already be known and therefore
           not found: check that first.

           example: scanning through a folder for a message

            my $refs   = $msg->get('References') or return;
            my @msgids = $ref =~ m/\<([^>]+\>/g;
            my @failed = $folder->scanForMessages($msg, \@msgids, '3 days', 50);




           List the names of all sub-folders to this folder, not recursively
           decending.  Use these names as argument to openSubFolder(), to get
           access to that folder.

           For MBOX folders, sub-folders are simulated.

            Option    --Default
            check       <false>
            folder      <from calling object>
            folderdir   <from folder>
            skip_empty  <false>

           . check => BOOLEAN

               Should all returned foldernames be checked to be sure that they
               are of the right type?  Each sub-folder may need to be opened
               to check this, with a folder type dependent penalty (in some
               cases very expensive).

           . folder => FOLDERNAME

               The folder whose sub-folders should be listed.

           . folderdir => DIRECTORY

           . skip_empty => BOOL

               Shall empty folders (folders which currently do not contain any
               messages) be included?  Empty folders are not useful to open,
               but may be useful to save to.


            my $folder = $mgr->open('=in/new');
            my @subs = $folder->listSubFolders;

            my @subs = Mail::Box::Mbox->listSubFolders(folder => '=in/new');
            my @subs = Mail::Box::Mbox->listSubFolders; # toplevel folders.

       $obj->nameOfSubFolder(SUBNAME, [PARENTNAME])

       Mail::Box->nameOfSubFolder(SUBNAME, [PARENTNAME])

           Returns the constructed name of the folder with NAME, which is a
           sub-folder of this current one.  You have either to call this
           method as instance method, or specify a PARENTNAME.

           example: how to get the name of a subfolder

            my $sub = Mail::Box::Mbox->nameOfSubfolder('xyz', 'abc');
            print $sub;                        # abc/xyz

            my $f = Mail::Box::Mbox->new(folder => 'abc');
            print $f->nameOfSubfolder('xyz');  # abc/xyz

            my $sub = Mail::Box::Mbox->nameOfSubfolder('xyz', undef);
            print $sub;                        # xyz


           Open a folder (usually a sub-folder) with the same options as this
           one.  If there is a folder manager in use, it will be informed
           about this new folder.  OPTIONS overrule the options which where
           used for the folder this method is called upon.

       $obj->openSubFolder(SUBNAME, OPTIONS)

           Open (or create, if it does not exist yet) a new subfolder in an
           existing folder.


            my $folder = Mail::Box::Mbox->new(folder => '=Inbox');
            my $sub    = $folder->openSubFolder('read');



           Some folder types can have messages in the top-level folder, some
           other can't.


       $obj->coerce(MESSAGE, OPTIONS)

           Coerce the MESSAGE to be of the correct type to be placed in the
           folder.  You can specify Mail::Internet and MIME::Entity objects
           here: they will be translated into Mail::Message messages first.

       $obj->create(FOLDERNAME, OPTIONS)

       Mail::Box->create(FOLDERNAME, OPTIONS)

           Create a folder.  If the folder already exists, it will be left
           unchanged.  The folder is created, but not opened!  If you want to
           open a file which may need to be created, then use
           Mail::Box::Manager::open() with the create flag, or

            Option   --Default
            folderdir  undef

           . folderdir => DIRECTORY

               When the foldername is preceded by a "=", the "folderdir"
               directory will be searched for the named folder.

       $obj->determineBodyType(MESSAGE, HEAD)

           Determine which kind of body will be created for this message when
           reading the folder initially.

       Mail::Box->foundIn([FOLDERNAME], OPTIONS)

           Determine if the specified folder is of the type handled by the
           folder class. This method is extended by each folder sub-type.

           The FOLDERNAME specifies the name of the folder, as is specified by
           the application.  You need to specified the "folder" option when
           you skip this first argument.

           OPTIONS is a list of extra information for the request.  Read the
           documentation for each type of folder for type specific options,
           but each folder class will at least support the "folderdir" option:

            Option   --Default
            folderdir  undef

           . folderdir => DIRECTORY

               The location where the folders of this class are stored by
               default.  If the user specifies a name starting with a "=",
               that indicates that the folder is to be found in this default


                folderdir => "$ENV{HOME}/Mail");
            Mail::Box::MH->foundIn(folder => '=markov');


           Returns the character or characters used to separate lines in the
           folder file, optionally after setting it to STRING, or one of the
           constants.  The first line of the folder sets the default.

           UNIX uses a LF character, Mac a CR, and Windows both a CR and a LF.
           Each separator will be represented by a "\n" within your program.
           However, when processing platform foreign folders, complications
           appear.  Think about the "Size" field in the header.

           When the separator is changed, the whole folder me be rewritten.
           Although, that may not be required.


           Returns the locking object.


           Read messages from the folder into memory.  The OPTIONS are folder
           specific.  Do not call "read()" yourself: it will be called for you
           when you open the folder via the manager or instantiate a folder
           object directly.

           NOTE: if you are copying messages from one folder to another, use
           addMessages() instead of "read()".


            my $mgr = Mail::Box::Manager->new;
            my $folder = $mgr->open('InBox');             # implies read
            my $folder = Mail::Box::Mbox->new(folder => 'Inbox'); # same


           Called by read() to actually read the messages from one specific
           folder type.  The read() organizes the general activities.

           The OPTIONS are "trusted", "head_type", "field_type",
           "message_type", "body_delayed_type", and "head_delayed_type" as
           defined by the folder at hand.  The defaults are the constructor
           defaults (see new()).


           Store the message in the folder without the checks as performed by


           The specified message is ready to be removed from a thread.  This
           will be passed on to the mail-manager, which keeps an overview on
           which thread-detection objects are floating around.


           The specified message is ready to be included in a thread.  This
           will be passed on to the mail-manager, which keeps an overview on
           which thread-detection objects are floating around.


           Called by update() to read messages which arrived in the folder
           after it was opened.  Sometimes, external applications dump
           messages in a folder without locking (or using a different lock
           than your application does).

           Although this is quite a dangerous, it only fails when a folder is
           updated (reordered or message removed) at exactly the same time as
           new messages arrive.  These collisions are sparse.

           The options are the same as for readMessages().


           Write the data to disk.  The folder (a "true" value) is returned if
           successful.  Deleted messages are transformed into destroyed
           messages: their memory is freed.

           WARNING: When moving messages from one folder to another, be sure
           to write (or close()) the destination folder before writing (or
           closing) the source folder: otherwise you may lose data if the
           system crashes or if there are software problems.

           To write a folder to a different file, you must first create a new
           folder, then move all the messages, and then write or close() that
           new folder.

            Option      --Default
            force         <false>
            save_deleted  <false>

           . force => BOOLEAN

               Override write-protection with new(access) while opening the
               folder (whenever possible, it may still be blocked by the
               operating system).

           . save_deleted => BOOLEAN

               Do also write messages which where flagged to be deleted to
               their folder.  The flag for deletion is conserved (when
               possible), which means that a re-open of the folder may remove
               the messages for real.  See close(save_deleted).


           Called by write() to actually write the messages from one specific
           folder type.  The "write" organizes the general activities.  All
           options to write() are passed to "writeMessages" as well.  Besides,
           a few extra are added by "write" itself.

            Option  --Default
            messages  <required>

           . messages => ARRAY

               The messages to be written, which is a sub-set of all messages
               in the current folder.

       Other methods



           TIME is a string, which starts with a float, and then one of the
           words 'hour', 'hours', 'day', 'days', 'week', or 'weeks'.  For
           instance: '1 hour' or '4 weeks'.

       Error handling


           See "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


           See "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter

       $obj->defaultTrace([LEVEL]|[LOGLEVEL, TRACELEVEL]|[LEVEL, CALLBACK])

       Mail::Box->defaultTrace([LEVEL]|[LOGLEVEL, TRACELEVEL]|[LEVEL,

           See "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


           See "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter

       $obj->log([LEVEL [,STRINGS]])

       Mail::Box->log([LEVEL [,STRINGS]])

           See "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter



           See "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


           See "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


           See "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


           See "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


           See "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


           See "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter


           See "Error handling" in Mail::Reporter



           This method is called by Perl when an folder-object is no longer
           accessible by the rest of the program.


           See "Cleanup" in Mail::Reporter

       Different kinds of folders

       In general, there are three classes of folders: those who group
       messages per file, those who group messages in a directory, and those
       do not provide direct access to the message data.  These folder types
       are each based on a different base class.

       o   File based folders Mail::Box::File

           File based folders maintain a folder (a set of messages) in one
           single file.  The advantage is that your folder has only one single
           file to access, which speeds-up things when all messages must be
           accessed at once.

           One of the main disadvantages over directory based folders is that
           you have to construct some means to keep all message apart.  For
           instance MBOX adds a message separator line between the messages in
           the file, and this line can cause confusion with the message's

           Where access to all messages at once is faster in file based
           folders, access to a single message is (much) slower, because the
           whole folder must be read.  However, in directory based folders you
           have to figure-out which message you need, which may be a hassle as

           Examples of file based folders are MBOX, DBX, and NetScape.

       o   Directory based folders Mail::Box::Dir

           In stead of collecting multiple messages in one file, you can also
           put each message in a separate file and collect those files in a
           directory to represent a folder.

           The main disadvantages of these folders are the enormous amount of
           tiny files you usually get in your file-system.  It is extremely
           slow to search through your whole folder, because many files have
           to be opened to do so.

           The best feature of this organization is that each message is kept
           exactly as it was received, and can be processed with external
           scripts as well: you do not need any mail user agent (MUA).

           Examples of directoy organized folders are MH, Maildir, EMH, and

       o   Network (external) folders Mail::Box::Net

           Where both types described before provide direct access to the
           message data, maintain these folder types the message data for you:
           you have to request for messages or parts of them.  These folders
           do not have a filename, file-system privileges and system locking
           to worry about, but typically require a hostname, folder and
           message IDs, and authorization.

           Examples of these folder types are the popular POP and IMAP, and
           database oriented message storage.

       Available folder types

       o   Mail::Box::Dbx (read only)

           Dbx files are created by Outlook Express. Using the external
           (optional) Mail::Transport::Dbx module, you can read these folders,
           even when you are running MailBox on a UNIX/Linux platform.

           Writing and deleting messages is not supported by the library, and
           therefore not by MailBox. Read access is enough to do folder
           conversions, for instance.

       o   Mail::Box::IMAP4 (partially)

           The IMAP protocol is very complex.  Some parts are implemented to
           create (sub-optimal but usable) IMAP clients.  Besides, there are
           also some parts for IMAP servers present.  The most important
           lacking feature is support for encrypted connections.

       o   Mail::Box::Maildir

           Maildir folders have a directory for each folder.  A folder
           directory contains "tmp", "new", and "cur" sub-directories, each
           containting messages with a different purpose.  Files with new
           messages are created in "tmp", then moved to "new" (ready to be
           accepted).  Later, they are moved to the "cur" directory
           (accepted).  Each message is one file with a name starting with
           timestamp.  The name also contains flags about the status of the

           Maildir folders can not be used on Windows by reason of file-name
           limitations on that platform.

       o   Mail::Box::Mbox

           A folder type in which all related messages are stored in one file.
           This is a very common folder type for UNIX.

       o   Mail::Box::MH

           This folder creates a directory for each folder, and a message is
           one file inside that directory.  The message files are numbered
           sequentially on order of arrival.  A special ".mh_sequences" file
           maintains flags about the messages.

       o   Mail::Box::POP3 (read/delete only)

           POP3 is a protocol which can be used to retreive messages from a
           remote system.  After the connection to a POP server is made, the
           messages can be looked at and removed as if they are on the local

       o   Mail::Box::Netzwert

           The Netzwert folder type is optimized for mailbox handling on a
           cluster of systems with a shared NFS storage.  The code is not
           released under GPL (yet)

       Other folder types are on the (long) wishlist to get implemented.
       Please, help implementing more of them.

       Folder class implementation

       The class structure of folders is very close to that of messages.  For
       instance, a Mail::Box::File::Message relates to a Mail::Box::File
       folder.  The folder types are:

        Mail::Box::Mbox   | Mail::Box::Maildir Mail::Box::POP3
        |  Mail::Box::Dbx | | Mail::Box::MH    |  Mail::Box::IMAP4
        |  |               | | |                 |  |
        |  |               | | |                 |  |
        Mail::Box::File   Mail::Box::Dir       Mail::Box::Net
              |                  |                   |
              `--------------.   |   .---------------'
                             |   |   |
                           Mail::Reporter (general base class)

       By far most folder features are implemented in Mail::Box, so available
       to all folder types.  Sometimes, features which appear in only some of
       the folder types are simulated for folders that miss them, like sub-
       folder support for MBOX.

       Warning: Changes not written to read-only folder $self.

           You have opened the folder read-only --which is the default set by
           new(access)--, made modifications, and now want to close it.  Set
           close(force) if you want to overrule the access mode, or close the
           folder with close(write) set to "NEVER".

       Error: Copying failed for one message.

           For some reason, for instance disc full, removed by external
           process, or read-protection, it is impossible to copy one of the
           messages.  Copying will proceed for the other messages.

       Error: Destination folder $name is not writable.

           The folder where the messages are copied to is not opened with
           write access (see new(access)).  This has no relation with write
           permission to the folder which is controled by your operating

       Warning: Different messages with id $msgid

           The message id is discovered more than once within the same folder,
           but the content of the message seems to be different.  This should
           not be possible: each message must be unique.

       Error: Folder $name is opened read-only

           You can not write to this folder unless you have opened the folder
           to write or append with new(access), or the "force" option is set

       Error: Folder $name not deleted: not writable.

           The folder must be opened with write access via new(access),
           otherwise removing it will be refused.  So, you may have write-
           access according to the operating system, but that will not
           automatically mean that this "delete" method permits you to.  The
           reverse remark is valid as well.

       Error: Invalid timespan '$timespan' specified.

           The string does not follow the strict rules of the time span syntax
           which is permitted as parameter.

       Warning: Message-id '$msgid' does not contain a domain.

           According to the RFCs, message-ids need to contain a unique random
           part, then an "@", and then a domain name.  This is made to avoid
           the creation of two messages with the same id.  The warning emerges
           when the "@" is missing from the string.

       Error: No folder name specified.

           You did not specify the name of a folder to be opened.  Use the
           new(folder) option or set the "MAIL" environment variable.

       Error: Package $package does not implement $method.

           Fatal error: the specific package (or one of its superclasses) does
           not implement this method where it should. This message means that
           some other related classes do implement this method however the
           class at hand does not.  Probably you should investigate this and
           probably inform the author of the package.

       Error: Unable to create subfolder $name of $folder.

           The copy includes the subfolders, but for some reason it was not
           possible to copy one of these.  Copying will proceed for all other

       Error: Writing folder $name failed

           For some reason (you probably got more error messages about this
           problem) it is impossible to write the folder, although you should
           because there were changes made.

       This module is part of Mail-Box distribution version 2.082, built on
       April 28, 2008. Website: http://perl.overmeer.net/mailbox/

       Copyrights 2001-2008 by Mark Overmeer. For other contributors see

       This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
       under the same terms as Perl itself.  See

perl v5.10.0                      2008-04-28                    Mail::Box(3pm)