[asterisk-dev] GMail Support

John Todd jtodd at digium.com
Thu Jul 17 17:03:50 CDT 2008

At 2:32 PM -0500 2008/7/17, Mark Michelson wrote:
>Marc Smith wrote:
>Thanks for the detailed e-mail. My responses are in-line below
>>  Using imap.gmail.com (GMail / Google Apps) for the IMAP server has a
>>  few problems (app_voicemail w/ IMAP storage). I'm pretty sure these
>>  issues are more likely with Google's IMAP implementation, not c-client
>>  or asterisk; when I change the IMAP server setting to a dovecot IMAP
>  > server, it works perfectly.
>The idea of having to explicitly state the IMAP server in use (and furthermore
>have to code for each specific one's quirks) seems like a really bad 
>idea to me.
>   It will make what is already ugly code much worse. If at all possible, it
>would be better to place in extra statements which should work for any IMAP
>server implementation, even though they may not be absolutely 
>necessary on all.
>The search problem with GMail seems like a flat-out bug to me in GMail's
>implementation, and I have no idea how to get around that.

This is a perennial decision with Asterisk - does the project flex 
around broken implementations by either auto-sensing "broken" 
responses or employing user-generated configuration file options on a 
per-service basis?  Or does Asterisk remain rigid to the standards?

The answer is that both have been applied.  There are certainly 
circumstances for SIP that I've seen that have gone both ways, as an 
example - flexibility on some SIP UA clients, but rigidity on broken 
ITSPs who don't follow the standards.  However, the preference has 
certainly been towards not making exceptions for individual broken 
implementations if at all possible.

Have there been questions on this behavior raised on the Gmail 
technical forums?  Not by others, but I'm talking about specifically 
for this Asterisk-related issue.  Has anyone tried reaching someone 
at Google to either ask about this behavior as a bug or intended 
response?  If the answer is 'Yes' to both questions, and there is 
still no reply then perhaps it may be worth examining one of the two 
"ugly" ways to solve it within Asterisk.  If all else leads to no 
response, I may be able to follow a trail inside of Google to the 
right engineer, but that would be a very long road - the "normal 
channels" would be preferred.

Using Gmail as a storage mechanism for Asterisk is a great concept, 
and I'd be very interested in making sure that is viable as part of 
Asterisk's standard distribution.

Interesting concept of the day: EC2 Asterisk instances plus Gmail for 
VM storage (avoiding S3 VM rewrites.)


John Todd
jtodd at digium.com        +1-256-428-6083
Asterisk Open Source Community Director

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