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schwern (1528)

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Journal of schwern (1528)

Saturday May 06, 2006
07:26 PM

My ideal mail client.

[ #29543 ]

As mentioned in my previous post I need to get a handle on my email. Its too much like work and I avoid doing work so I avoid reading my email.

I like parts of mutt but even simple filtering and foldering rapidly gets complex and there's only so much information a non-GUI can display at once. I like parts of GMail but its too slow and has too many limitations. I like parts of Thunderbird but... well, let's review my wants.

1. Strong anti-spam/virus-backscatter filtering.
2. Easily filter streams of mail (be it a mailing list or mail from a certain source (, for example) into folders WITHOUT then my then simply ignoring that folder.
3. Highlight email which are directly interesting to me (CC'd to me, has my name in it, contains certain keywords) without also pulling them out of their normal folder. GMail's labels fit this nicely.
4. Efficient thread deletion. Mutt handles threads well. does a poor job. In particular it would be nice to have the ability to kill a thread for all time, not just the mail currently in my inbox. I know I'm not interested in a topic about HP/UX libc bugs, I don't want to have to keep re-deleting the thread as new mail comes in.
5. A fast, customizable interface.
6. Not have to learn a lot of archaic commands to get things done (procmail, I'm looking at you).
7. Reliability.
8. Searchability.
9. Archive, not delete.

GMail does some of this, particularly #2, #3, #7 and a decent job on #1, but I find it falls down on #5 (for one, its slow) and its filtering abilities are limited (for example, I can only filter on certain mail headers). Mutt does #4 and #5 well but #2 and #6 poorly (I can't easily see the state of my other folders like I can in a GUI) and #3 not at all so far as I can see.

I want the storage and reliability of GMail.

I want the labelling system (as opposed to folders) of GMail.

I want a better filtering system then GMail. A GUI for simple filters, such as Thunderbird provides, with a fall back to a more arbitrary, programmatic approach for complicated stuff.

I want the quick thread deleting of mutt.

I want the permenant thread deletion of... well, I don't know of anything which does that.

I want the ability to plug in my own anti-spam system OR have one that's so good it gets me down to less than 10 a day in my inbox.

I want searches as flexible as grepping my inbox while still having the ability to search by headers and labels.

I want the ease of a GUI with the speed of a hotkey-heavy interface such as mutt.

I want the ability to get an overview of the state of my inboxes at a glance, something mutt does not provide.

What do I do about that?

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  • The sidebar patch that was rolled into mutt-ng lets you list the mailboxes with new mail counts.
  • You can configure TB to use Gmail as its "server" for both POP and SMTP.
  • Easily filter streams of mail (be it a mailing list or mail from a certain source (, for example) into folders WITHOUT then my then simply ignoring that folder.

    Dunno if this will do for you, but I have the following contraption in my .muttrc:

    mailboxes =Inbox =correspondence =geekery =postponed =spam =work

    macro pager c '<change-folder>?<toggle-mailboxes>'
    macro index c '<change-folder>?<toggle-mailboxes>'

    This registers each of my folders, and then patches the ch

  • I guess I could write a number of scripts using Mail::Box, or Email, and read my email as YAML files. I wonder how vim would make them look.

    No I would just have vim use its mail syntax highlighting.
  • kmail [] is the KDE mail client, which I am using for my mail at home. I really like it, and cannot think of going back to anything else. Let's see how it fares:

    1. For Anti-spam/Anti-virus filtering, I'm using SpamAssassin and ClamAV respectively. I'm using ClamAV on the server where my email forward is present, and SpamAssassin on the client side using kmail's filter to pipe it through spamc. There's some sort of SA integration built-in to kmail, but I never tried to use it. I just sort the mail manually