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Author: Adam Borowski
To: dng
Subject: Re: [DNG] email clients: was Where to reply for Steve Litt
On Thu, May 23, 2019 at 06:42:02PM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
> Um, dunno, sorry. I don't do emacs. (I'm a sysadmin, not a coder.
> C-x C-c is just about all the emacs I know -- the commands to get the
> hell out.)

Switch to another session, kill -9. This has the upside of working with
other monstrosities, such as vi[m]. Hope this helps. :þ

> 1. You run an SMTP smarthost, which sends/receives mail to/from other
> smarthosts, and hands off incoming mail to an LDA (local delivery
> agent), which was procmail.

> 2. Your MUA operated _there_, because that's where the mail was.

And why are you using past tense? Such setup works just as well today as it
did in the past. Trying to access mail remotely is a hassle, while ssh Just
Works™. Add IMAP for other users and that's it.

> That works and is dirt-simple. Your mail is always _right there_; none
> of this bullshit of 'Oh, I don't have access to that mail now because I
> pulled it down over IMAP at work and now I'm at home.

Uh? The whole point of IMAP is that the mail you did read at work is still
available for a MUA at home. And even for local mutt.

I for one use Thunderbird as a glorified biff and to view some html
monstrosities and/or images (although elinks and chafa from mutt are often
enough), this old-style setup works perfectly.

> in bog-standard Neanderthal mbox format. The rest is in
> ~/inboxes/[thing] in bog-standard Neanderthal mbox format -- except for
> archived old mail that's tucked away in bog-standard Neanderthal mbox
> format, gzipped.

That's indeed Neanderthal -- you should be using Maildir :p
(although mbox is still De??an default).

> Accordingly, mutt has absolutely no access problems getting to my
> mboxes, in as much as they are local to mutt. Best solution to IMAP
> problems ever invented: no IMAP!

No idea what your beef with IMAP is. It works well, without any of flaws
POP has.

> In case you're curious, I leave a couple of specialised-role instances
> of mutt running 24x7 under GNU screen.[1] Anywhere I am in the world, I
> just ssh to my server, reattach the screen sessions of interest, running
> their respective mutt copies, and I'm exactly where I was with mutt the
> last time I connected. Disconnect screen later, close ssh session, go
> to sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I found it better to exit mutt instead. Even if you use a superior format
like Maildir, mutt still thinks it's using that useless mbox crap, that
needs costly rewrites to save message state. And that means mails you have
deleted are still there, etc. This sucks if you open another instance of
mutt. There's '$' but I never got into the habit of syncing often.

Long-running screen sessions can also suffer if you reboot the machine due
to a kernel sec hole, etc.

> And yes, I've heard many times that mbox is terrible and that I should
> use Maildir instead because it's much better for NFS file locking and
> for IMAP access. But: no NFS here, no IMAP here. Thus, no NFS
> problems and no IMAP problems.

I can't fathom why anyone would use mail over NFS; IMAP does local caching
so any accesses are fast even on an abysmal link.

Individual mails from, ahem, certain users, have grown so much over the
years that stuffing it in a linear-access mbox just doesn't work sanely
anymore. Mailbox doesn't suffer from this problem, and doesn't care about
that 100MB attachment mbox would have to rewrite over and over.

> The Neaderthal lifestyle has its advantages, y'see.

Yeah, but there's that fire and copper arrowhead goodness.

⢀⣴⠾⠻⢶⣦⠀ Latin: meow 4 characters, 4 columns, 4 bytes
⣾⠁⢠⠒⠀⣿⡁ Greek: μεου 4 characters, 4 columns, 8 bytes
⢿⡄⠘⠷⠚⠋ Runes: ᛗᛖᛟᚹ 4 characters, 4 columns, 12 bytes
⠈⠳⣄⠀⠀⠀⠀ Chinese: 喵 1 character, 2 columns, 3 bytes <-- best!