[Techtalk] What I did over the Christmas Holidays!

Mary Gardiner linuxchix at puzzling.org
Tue Jan 1 23:03:10 EST 2002

On Mon, Dec 31, 2001 at 02:34:00PM -0500, Caitlyn Martin wrote:
> Hi, David.
> > Mutt is all about mail handling and customization for people with serious
> > mail to work through. Intelligent handling of mailing lists is a biggie if
> > you're on a lot of them. I have mine put mail To: my mom into their own
> > folder, along with her messages to me.
> A number of mail clients do an excellent job of this.  I am on many
> lists and they all go into folders, sub folders, and sub-sub folders. 
> (This message went top Inbox->Computing->LinuxChix->Techtalk.  I also
> filter out known SPAM sites.  I can do all of this with kmail,
> Evolution, Sylpheed, Mozilla/Netscape 6.2, and others.  I don't need to
> sacrifice a nice interface.

I understand one of my flatmates refused to use KMail because it uses
its own custom mailbox format, which meant that he couldn't use Pine,
which he uses when he logs in remotely. It also *silently* converts mbox
format mailboxes to that format. Others are nicer in this respect and
will not convert mailboxes, thus allowing you to use other MUAs

> Again, their are GUI clients that support multiple sigs and customized
> commands.

Mutt tends to be rather UNIX-way about it - you farm a lot of stuff out
to external programs (procmail, fortune, find and vim all feature in my

> > Possibly the gui muas have gotten this kind of functionality in by
> > now. I haven't looked at them in over a year.
> Do look again.

I'm not a mutt evangelist in the sense that I think it is superior to
GUI clients except in two details - I can check my mail remotely
(without having to install X-Win on Windows machines and try to forward
X through three ssh connections), and it doesn't mean I have to install
a GUI system that is pushing the limits of my machine specs (hello
Evolution, or so I hear, I can't afford the bandwidth to download it and
the Gnome libraries it depends on).

Remote email reading is still a really good reason to use a text based
mail client (webmail I found frustrating as soon as I started receiving
more than 5 mails a day), and in my experience, for people who prefer
text based clients and want functionality to handle a large-ish amount
of mail, mutt is a really good choice.


Mary Gardiner
<mary at puzzling.org>

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