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Author: Rick Moen
To: dng
Subject: Re: [DNG] email clients: was Where to reply for Steve Litt
Quoting Adam Borowski (kilobyte@???):

> And why are you using past tense?

Because, at that point, I was talking about the 1980s?

> Such setup works just as well today as it did in the past.

[/me thumps server.] Yes, I can confirm this.

> 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.

Yes, it was primarily a syndrome you encountered with POP3, and IMAP
defaults to leaving mail on the server, so you don't _need_ to pull down
anything, correct. But the larger point is, remote MDAs in the first
place, of either protocol, are a solution to a problem I perceive myself
as no having, therefore I keep everything simpler by never installing

> 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.

[/me thumps server, again. Gloriously.]

> That's indeed Neanderthal -- you should be using Maildir :p

Can't be bothered. Works great without.

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

You know what works even better? No need for any remote MDA at all,
because your mail client is local to the mail spool in the first place,
making remote MDAs a solution to a problem you _just don't have_. As a
bonus, having no remote MDA problems means never having toe worry about
remote-MDA security problems, remote-MDA performance problems, or any
other remote-MDA complications, RAM/CPU wasted on remote-MDA processes.
Everything is simple and easy to understand and all in one place (see

Checking my watch, I note that it's 2019, when _some_ IMAP4 MDAs (such
as Dovecot) are no longer dreadful piles of bugs. Originally, one
contemplated woeful choices like the UW IMAP daemon, and my choice was
'How about not, instead? Not works for me.' Although _that_ problem
(dreadful spaghetti code) has been alleviated, I still just don't need

It's rather like when a salesman offers me a way to get better
eyeglasses, and my reaction is 'I'm sure that's great, but I personally
prefer not needing eyeglasses at all for life, monovision LASIK being
actually a thing.' ;->

> 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.

I do '$' occasionally (when convenient). It's fast because everything's
local (in addition to being conceptually simple). Search is fast, for
lack of need to grovel through labyrinthine Maildir trees. And I really
have no idea what's supposed to be 'costly' about the rewrites. The
hardware was paid for long ago. ;->

(Every time I have to find something in someone's vast Maildir trees, I
think fond thoughts about how much easier it all is at home.)

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

Kernel sec holes, especially if you do not permit kernel featuritis
(as part of that 'am a sysadmin' thing) happen so extremely rarely as to
be hardly worth thinking about, in this regard. Very slightly less rare
are transient main power interruptions on acount of thunderstorms, but
fortunately Chez Moen is in Silicon Valley, not Florida or Maracaibo
Lake. (We're actually rather civilised, here. There are even rumours of
flush toilets arriving next year, and our state governor's a promising
lad who doesn't think attempting to win deliberate tradewars is an
intelligent idea, accepts that both anthropogenic climate change and
heliocentrism are established science, and doesn't walk onto airplanes
in front of the world's press corps with toilet paper trailing from his

> 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.

I can't fathom why clients and employers do incredibly dumb things,
either. Fortuately, the happy outcome of my getting paid still emerges
from it.

Except when the client/employer joins the Darwin Club in various ways,
of course. I remember the major client that decided to be acquired by
Enron Corporation, for example. Sad. Oh well: No omelets without
breaking of eggs. Cheap gear to be had at the liquidation sale, so
there's always a silver lining.

> 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.

Yeah, well, Works for Me.[tm]

> Mailbox [RM: doubtless typo for 'Maildir'] doesn't suffer from this
> problem, and doesn't care about that 100MB attachment mbox would have
> to rewrite over and over.

I prefer to not know _almost_ entirely people who use e-mail as a
delivery vehicle for their cat videos.

> > The Neaderthal lifestyle has its advantages, y'see.
> Yeah, but there's that fire and copper arrowhead goodness.

I might look into that in the fall, but am a bit busy doing the wooley
mammoth jerky. Might I get back to you? ;->