Tobin Industries

Brian Tobin’s Tech Blog

Inspect IMAP Traffic Using a Node.js Proxy

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At Handle we talk to a lot of email servers, mostly via IMAP. Something most engineers don’t realize is how crazy IMAP has become, in large part due to fragmentation and providers who add functionality on top of the protocol. Talking to Yahoo? No IMAP IDLE. Talking to Gmail? You may or may not be blessed with an “All Mail” folder. It might also be localized to the user’s language (e.g. “Alle Nachrichten” for German users). There’s also COMPRESS, MODESEQ, Gmail MSGID & THRID – the list goes on. How does a programmer begin to learn the nuances?

Using GMail as a Cheap, Multi-User Relational Database

- - posted in databases, francisco,, gmail,, san

After many years of calling 849 Fell Street their home, my roommates Tom and Ted are moving out at the end of the month. Jeremy and I have been relying principally on Craigslist to find new roommates. Rather than direct incoming applications to either (or both) of our personal inboxes, we opted to create a new, special-use Gmail account (appropriately named That much isn’t novel, but we’ve also developed a quick and easy system for categorizing and responding to applicants that I want to share.