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Re: NetBSD mail client

At Sat, 11 Feb 2012 11:45:19 -0500, Greg Troxel <> 
Subject: Re: NetBSD mail client
> If you are already a fan of emacs, it's a good choice, with a bit of a
> learning curve, but then very rapid handling of mail.  It seems a little
> weak on html mail, but then no one should be sending you that anyway :-)

I never cottoned on to using GNUS for anything but NNTP.  It may be OK
for mailing list mail when used with IMAP, but for unless there's GNUS
magic I'm not aware of, it seemed like it would take a heck of a lot
more work to set it up for handling multiple IMAP accounts than I was
willing to invest in it (it also seems a lot more complex than I like,
and yet I don't usually get so bothered by complex Emacs apps).

Before IMAP I used ViewMail in Emacs.  It was awesome for mbox format.
(it is in pkgsrc/mail/vm)

Moving into the IMAP world I found Wanderlust, aka WL.  It is awesome
for IMAP.  (and MIME) (it is in pkgsrc/mail/wl, though I have important
local patches I could not use it well without)

One of the problems with VM was that it was getting slow, at least on
the older machines I was running it on at the time, because it slurped
in whole mailbox folders at a time.  WL (and GNUS) don't do that and so
are much better at handling very large mailboxes.  WL in particular is
very good at caching, working offline, and at integrating changes seen
on the server (i.e. from some other mail client).

As for ease of use, well it didn't take me long to learn VM after having
used Mail and Mush in years gone by, and it didn't take me long to learn
WL after that.  I've often used GNUS for reading Usenet, but it still
seems foreign to me, and I've long wanted to make WL-like bindings for
GNUS.  :-)

My ~/.wl file (at under 1500 lines) is about half the size of my old
~/.vm file, which I hope says something about how much less effort it
took to bend it to my will.  (I like bending Emacs apps to my needs.)

The most important thing though is that I never _ever_ store mail
locally on any machine any more.  IMAP is the one and only location for
all my e-mail (save for really old archives, though I would like to push
them up to IMAP too, but not until Cyrus allows > 4GB quotas!).  That
means never having to worry where I saved anything, and having all my
e-mail available to all clients on all systems.  I can use Pine if
nothing else is available, my iPod, Apple on my iMac, etc.  WL
is just where I feel most comfortable for handling any significant
amount of e-mail.  But then I'm a very-long-time Emacs user.  :-)

                                                Greg A. Woods
                                                Planix, Inc.

<>       +1 250 762-7675

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