! - Thu Mar 2 21:08:15 CET 2006
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Thu Mar  2 21:08:15 CET 2006

mutt...ng!

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My favourite MUA is a program called mutt. Its an excellent mail client
with support for pretty much everything, its completely configurable,
and its text-based.  Over the years I've found it to be stable and
pretty much completely bugfree (at least I haven't found any bugs... or
fleas, as its called in mutt)

However, theres two things which really irritate me:

When opening a new folder, it takes forever indexing the contents,
especially with large inboxes (500+ messages). I sort my email into
yearly folders, which means that towards the end of the year I've got
like six or seven thousand emails in my inbox. This is a major pita. My
solution was to split the inbox into bimonthly folders, but this makes
searching for emails a bit more of a hassle.

Modern gui email readers all have a sidebar with a list of all the
folders. In mutt you dont have this. Instead, you push the period
character ('.') and you can see which folders contain new email. Though
this works, it forces me to actively check if I have new email. Me being
a lazy forgetful person, I've noticed that I need something better. My
solution was to write a hack which quickly checks the maildirs over at
my mail server for new email, and update a file with the folder name and
the number of new emails in it. This file is shared over my local net,
so I could include it into the background image of my window manager on
my laptop. Im sure theres a much simpler way of doing this, but that
was my solution. Big workaround for a simple problem.

Why don't I use graphical email clients like everyone else? Because I
dont always have access to a graphical operating system, for one. Or a
mouse. Another thing is that textbased clients are simpler, and since
they are simpler they crash very seldom. My mutt application has been
running on my mail server for the last three years in a virtual terminal
with only a handful of restarts. Finally, I really have to consider my
geekiness factor. A graphical mail reader? Bah!

Enter muttng. Muttng is actually mostly the same code as mutt, but with
lots of little nifty features. Like email header caching. Like a nice
sidebar.

I've tested it now for a week, and it really works well. All the nifty
features of mutt is supported, but with the two things I dislike
fixed. 

Nice!

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