Flutterby™! : Pine & email solutions

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Pine & email solutions

2006-04-13 03:30:16.189204+00 by Dan Lyke 14 comments

I ran across deflexion.com, a weblog by the proprietor of infinite ink. There's a bunch of interesting stuff up there about managing email, including the Power Pine page, all about making Pine do interesting things.

I'm realizing that as cool as aspects of Opera's email client are, it's just not up to the task of dealing with the quantity of email that I'd like to deal with. It's slow in ways that I don't notice consciously until I start thinking about why certain tasks take me too long, its workflow assumes "clean out your spam filter first", I haven't found a good way to do absolute killfile filtering, and as cute as the "delete from filter" concept is I end up using straight delete most of the time, or not enough. I love the concept, and the execution is a decent start, but it's just not up to what I want to put it through.

So I'm looking about for alternatives. I'm kind of thinking that using Gnus (because my fingers like Emacs now, although I'd also consider switching to XEmacs if it were faster handling attachments) with Dovecot as a local IMAP server is a start, but I guess if I start by building a chain that feeds into an IMAP server I can pick my clients. And I can use rss2email or MyBlogAlerts for the few sites I'm grabbing from those sorts of feeds.

What are y'all using?

[ related topics: Weblogs Spam Software Engineering Net Culture ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: [Entry #8846] Pine & email solutions made: 2006-04-13 03:41:02.976038+00 by: Unknown, from NNTP

Dan Lyke <danlyke@flutterby.com> writes:

> What are y'all using?

I'm using Gnus off a fetchmail->procmail->SpamAssassin stack, but I'm considering putting an IMAP server back in. Have you used Dovecot? The last time I did this I think I used Cyrus, and it sucked fairly mightily.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-04-13 03:49:05.051538+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

I'm using (server-side)

and, on my laptop,

I'm slightly disatisfied with this setup (but everything else seems no better: http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2004/08/msg05146.html)

For instance, I haven't got spam.el figured out so that I can do a baysean filterning on my laptop properly.

What I like about this setup is that I'm not tied to the network to read my email. And it feels faster than talking to a remote server. And, if I need to, I can still use the webmail interface in a pinch.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-04-13 04:18:40.781319+00 by: meuon

For most of my email, meuon@, mikeh@.. I use Pine, with Joe as the editor. At 'work', to coexist with people who send me .jpg screen captures of spreadsheets via e-mail so I can import the data (seriously, happened twice last week), I use Thunderbird/Imap.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-04-13 04:26:47.549542+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oooh: offlineimap looks cool. I ran screaming from maildir last time I looked at using Gnus, so the ability to sync two IMAP servers looks awesome. I'm guessing I'll have to do something to take Procmail (or whatever, I'm not tied to Procmail) rules and move them up to the server, then?

I forget where I saw the endorsement of Dovecot, but it was pretty darned emphatic, and I'm unsure on Exim vs Courier (in which case I'd probably use Courier's IMAP facility), but I've configured Exim to run over an SSH tunnel in a way that I was pretty comfortable with, so I may resurrect that.

I use Spam-Assassin server side for spam filtering, and it R0xx0rz, although it takes CPU.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-04-13 05:27:02.015907+00 by: ebradway

I've become more of a power user... No longer run my own Unix server on the web... So email has boiled down to Thunderbird - IMAP into UTC's Novell NetMail server with Barracuda Spam "Shredder" and IMAP into NWMSU's Exchange server. I get very little Spam because they restrict incoming highly. For personal, I'm segueing into Gmail - if I can get used to Google's "Everything is flat - just search for it" model when I'm used to nested folders...

#Comment Re: made: 2006-04-13 05:30:46.235419+00 by: spl [edit history]

I have not yet found a desktop mail client that I like. I generally like to be able to access email from any computer. I used Pine for about six years. I didn't like any of the web-based email services. Then, I tried out Gmail when it came along and I've been using it since. Spam? Nope. And due to the continuously increasing storage limit (currently 2,713MB), I stay at a constant percentage of usage.

At work, I use Thunderbird, because (as usual) the hosted web-based client sucks. I don't really like Thunderbird that much, either. But is there a better alternative for Windows?

Eric: I can't do without the search capability of Gmail anymore. Plus, I can't live without "conversations."

#Comment Re: made: 2006-04-13 19:34:19.795179+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

sa-exim only makes sense if you're exim is the mta. I'm not sure what you exim-over-ssh would give you, but I don't think that's what you want.

and procmail rules would go on the server, right.

cpu usage seems to be drastically reduced by using SA-Exim. Or maybe that's just because I've set exim to not accept mail if load is above a certain level.

spam & gmail: I was suprised that google let the same nigerian scam through multiple times to my gmail account. Gmail is forwarded to my local box and SA caught it.

gmail conversations: I get the same effect by saving a copy of my reply in the INBOX. I could do even better by checking which folder I'm in when replying and saving in that folder.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-04-13 19:43:45.80335+00 by: ebradway

spl: I like "conversations" or threads in Gmail but I sure wish I could organize stuff into folders... Maybe the key is to use tags to combine emails into "conversations" that I can treat like a folder...

But then, it would be nice if Flutterby allowed thread-trees...

As in this conversation which devolved into "client-only" users and "server-client" and "quasi-sever-client" users.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-04-13 19:49:21.63083+00 by: spc476

At home I still use elm (started using it in 1988). No filtering of spam whatsoever (I'm still afraid of false positives) and it reads directly from the spool file. I've tried pine but don't care for it at all (actually, I do use pine for the occastional attachment I get, but that's it).

At work, I started out with SquirrelMail, which as webmail clients go, isn't that bad, but there were some messages it just couldn't handle (as the administrator, I get a ton of automated mail, and the log summary messages average about 18,000 lines. SquirrelMail appears to choke on anything longer than 20,000 lines). It was also sluggish. I switched to Thunderbird (using IMAP), but it was sluggish out of the box, never mind the 20,000+ line log file summaries. I then switched to mutt, and found the reason for the sluggishness---IMAP. I switch to have my work email sent directly to my workstation, where I have procmail to filtering and it's blisteringly fast now. I may even switch to using mutt at home.

I've tried gmail, and I think the tagging/search feature is much better than the traditional folders, but I personally don't care to have my email out of my control.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-04-13 20:09:45.306281+00 by: Dan Lyke

Mark, the Exim over SSH is two-fold: It encrypts all outbound mail from my laptop (I set that up when I was regularly on potentially hostile networks), but it also lets me use an SSH connection for those networks which trap port 25 (like wifi at coffee shops).

I used to use Sendmail (and still do on my colo box), but Exim was the default Debian install at one point, so I used that for the laptop. Right now I ask almost nothing of the SMTP server on my laptop and client machines save that they relay from local connections to a smart host, so my criteria there center around "lightweight".

#Comment Re: made: 2006-04-14 15:14:27.996165+00 by: baylink

Can't imagine no one's mentioned Mutt over ssh.

Been using it for almost 10 years now; see no reason to change.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-04-14 17:00:00.480526+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

Mutt over ssh has the disadvantage of webmail: you have to be online to use it.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-04-14 21:40:11.82855+00 by: spc476

I've been doing elm over ssh since 1988 (well, back then it was telnet) and the whole "being online" thing has never really been an issue. I remember in the early 90s on vacation in Detoit (I'm so bad, I vacation in Detroit) dialing into Tymnet, then connecting to a way point in Florida and finally to FAU (college I attended) to check email.

Today it's even easier---I routinely log into my mail machine (at home) from elsewhere to check my email. If I'm "offline" I don't get mail, and I have bigger issues to attend to.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-04-23 04:13:39.302301+00 by: baylink

Actually, I believe there's a Windows port of Mutt, and in addition, it speaks POP now, so regardless which OS you're stuck with, I'm pretty sure you can still use Mutt offline.

And having your entire mail environment on a single machine -- which is *not* the one that you carry around (and can lose) has compensating advantages.