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Re: Rmail-mbox branch

From: Paul Michael Reilly
Subject: Re: Rmail-mbox branch
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 03:15:00 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20080501)

Chong Yidong wrote:
Paul Michael Reilly <address@hidden> writes:

For now, I just committed a bunch of "pmail*.el" files in lisp/mail
that will allow developers to test Rmail/mbox using M-x pmail.

My long term goal is to replace my use of Thunderbird with Rmail/mbox
as the first step.  The next step is to test Rmail/mbox using imap via
Gnu Mailutils (for the movemail/imap support) so my Rmail/mbox testing
will be geared very much to my day-day use of email, rather than
specific test cases.  A good thing, I think.

Thanks for working on this.

It may not be feasible to get imap working with rmail in time for Emacs
23.1; better to finish up the mbox support, to give enough time for
testing/bugfixes.  How long do you want to wait before replacing the old
rmail?  Say, a couple of weeks?

Here's my conundrum. I'm married to IMAP, for better or worse. I have my mail on a very reliable RAID5, backed up, fast server. One under my control. So my day-day use of email revolves around using Thunderbird to access this mail. Even though I map Thunderbird editing to Emacs, I much prefer the Rmail interface. That's why I'm putting the effort into Rmail/mbox. It's a step to having email my way.

If I'm using Rmail/mbox to access my daily dose of email, it's getting a lot of testing and bug fixing from me, for sure. If not, then not. I could respond to bug reports and dribble out test cases as needed but that will, IMHO, prolong the drip, drip, drip of the Rmail/mbox saga.

I would suggest making the switch sooner rather than later, so that it
gets as much testing as possible.

This is your call. Richard seems to feel it is low risk, i.e. that Rmail/mbox is basically there. I was aghast when I executed M-x pmail and it actually worked. Imagine. So Richard could well be right. He has a knack for that.

But my considered opinion is that switching BEFORE some small number of developers (could be 1) is using Rmail/mbox as their production mail client is fraught with the risk of introducing lots of bugs. I'm more than willing to be one of those developers but not without basic access to IMAP to fetch the mail. I don't need extensive support, especially committed (as in checked-in) support, i.e. using both Thunderbird and Rmail simultaneously works for me. I think getting that basic support is as simple as building MailUtils movemail and configuring it for use with Rmail as an inbox. Two days if that. Then a couple of weeks of intensive testing (daily use) makes all the sense in the world to me. At that point my comfort level is high to make the switch. Sound like a plan to you?

The parts of the merge that were deferred were mostly around spam filtering and Babyl<-->mbox conversion. I'll revisit those deferred changes this week. The lisp/mail/mbox-changes/*.changes files contain more details on what was deferred.


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