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Re: Moving from Thunderbird to Emacs for mail and calendar
Re: Moving from Thunderbird to Emacs for mail and calendar
Sun, 25 Oct 2009 07:12:44 -0600
Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1.50 (gnu/linux)
address@hidden (David Combs) writes:
> A top-post: Here, someone went from Thunderbird (gui, etc)
> to emacs, showing what he had to do to succeed.
> (I include it all this once, so if expired for you, is
> newified again.)
> Question: I use mutt on my isp-shell-account, and like it,
> and use .1% of its capability (I think, so powerful is it).
> Has anyone switched from mutt to emacs (temporarily or not)?
This particular thread diverged later back into discussing GNUs again,
so I thought I would provide an update to what I wrote below as I've
changed a few things around and am still working through some problems.
After running for two months I got a boatload of very large
multi-megabyte attachments from several people, and also accumulated a
lot of mail in my mbox folder (>120MB). Gnus got slow.
I sat down and finally figured out most of how to get maildir working,
and switched to that. (Later on I figured out how to get emacs maildir
co-exist with imap maildir, but I have not switched to that yet.)
That, after 2 months is getting slow, but I have not (yet)
implemented expiry the way that I want it to work, and I have high hopes
that once that works things will be better. Also I plan to throw
hardware at the problem (an intel flash drive) in the fairly near
Also, I am trying to learn enough about emacs to profile gnus. Perhaps
it can be made more co-operatively multitasking - or some of the
threaded emacs work going on elsewhere will prove fruitful.
The slowest thing in my setup right now is not mail but news, as I
turned on nocem support. That takes a very long time to filter the
news in emacs. I finally bit the bullet and installed a real news server
(inn), which turned out to not be the huge hassle that I remember it to
be. With that, nocem support can happen as the feed arrives, not as it
is read, and I gain local newsgroups again.
Where I'm eventually going with this is developing a 300mw (milliwatt!)
mail and news server, several blog posts on that can be found at:
(As is usual with blogs, it helps to read them in reverse order)
Attachments are a real problem. I'll argue that they ended up occupying
over 90% of my slowest mailboxes and it is completely unnecessary to
keep them in email format once read. I hope to get around to writing
some sort of sane procmail filter that will strip out the attachment on
incoming and save it somewhere sane (saving me a decision step, anyway)
and insert an url to where it ended up.
As I wrote below, the advantages of running out of Emacs itself (typing
with less pain!) for me outweigh the problems with speed and
I did, while converting to maildir, try mutt. I liked it, but leaving my
abbrevs and shortcuts for it simply wasn't in the cards.
I have no opinion on the other mail readers for emacs.
Some more comments below.
>>I just switched from Thunderbird to GNUS. It's taken me a month to get
>>truly happy with it (about 29 days longer than I wanted to spend) and I
>>still have some things left to do, but overall I'm glad I made the
>>To this end I made some compromises and changes to my assumptions in
>>order to work with how gnus actually worked. Also, my solution is very
>>linux specific, and not relevant, really to what you were asking about,
>>but I gotta write this up somewhere....
>>After fighting with postfix + dovecot, sieve, imap, gnus, and Maildir
>>formats for several days, I gave up, and switched to postfix, procmail
>>and mbox format, abandoning even the thought of imap.
>>I did several unusual things, few of which were GNUS specific, (although
>>gnus made me do it because I could not get maildir working) but perhaps
>>folks would find these alternatives interesting. I evaluated mh, gnus,
>>and mews and settled on gnus as being the closest in mindset for what I
>>wanted "(set bugs off (do what I am thinking))"
>>1) I adopted IPv6 for my email requirements, coupled with ca-cert
>>certificates for authentication. This gives me a static IP address and
>>real AAAA record in DNS so I can actually receive mail on my laptop's
>>tunnel, wherever I am, via my stably connected secondary mx host, and I
>>can send/receive mail directly to anyone running IPv6 on their mailhost
>>(I've only seen bsd.org and isc.org have that turned on), or via that
>>secondary mx exchanger.
>>The certs get rid of sasl which I always thought was a hassle anyway.
The ipv6 mail exchanger thing is working great, and several of the lists
I read (notably debian) connect directly to me now, without going
through intermediaries. I also got my backup mx server to run on a tiny
power sipping arm box, which is pretty cool (see the pocobelle blog
posts linked above)
>>2) Instead of IMAP I am just opening emacs frames on other X displays,
>>against my already running emacs session. My server is my laptop, not
>>some far off imap server. It's cool to keep all my context - especially
>>including org-mode - available anywhere I walk in the house or around
This, too, remains great.
>>3) For backups, rsync run out of cron. I'm not entirely convinced this
>>is acceptable so I bcc another account on another mail server on sent mail.
Still not satisified with this.
>>4) For RSS, r2e, which uses rss2email to correctly *text* format most
>>RSS feeds. I tried the in-gnus RSS reader, found that it interrupted my
>>workflow too much, and dropped it in favor of r2e.
I discovered that once I reduced most blogs I used to read to RSS that
netnews became much more interesting in comparison.
>>5) For news, Leafnode. The local nntp cache makes a huge difference in
>>speed, and I can read news offline. I liked leafnode so much that I
>>subscribed to lkml again via gmane, and the various gnus.* groups.
I still am using leafnode. I played around a bit with leafnode2 before
deciding to try to setup inn. I have not switched to inn yet.
>>8) chat - I dropped pidgin and adopted erc + bitlbee. Bitlbee now does
And otr. Love bitlbee. Problem right now is that it doesn't do
yahoo. (Patches are out there, haven't got around to applying them)
>>The net benefit to my life is that I just rid myself of several
>>applications and their relevant context switches. I would argue that I
>>went from about 10-15% emacs usage per day to about 75%. I'm able to do
>>things like customize my keyboard to handle my carpalness (like mapping
>>' to return) and not have my default keystrokes break other apps.
>>With Emacs' abbrev mode, im turns automatically into I'm, and with
>>auto-capitalize mode (which I put a fix in for on the wiki recently) I
>>almost never have to hit a shift key again. Big win. You couldn't get me
>>to switch back to any other mail client if you paid me.
>>I love green on black text everywhere.
>>I cleared out a lot of screen space by getting rid of menus, icons,
>>scrollbars, fringes and other stuff that get in the way. hide-mode-line
>>is cool, too.
>>Supercite is great. The gpg integration is great too.
>>rss2email has easily put 12 hours a week back into my life that I used
>>to spend waiting for blogs to load. I'm spending 4 hours of that on
>>netnews, which has been kind of fun in a retro sort of way.
>>My mail is as fast now as instant messaging. Switching in or out of mail
>>mode takes two keys, a split second, and no thought. There's no "Logging
>>into server... checking folders... sending mail..." step at all. For the
>>first couple weeks I kept running tail -f /var/log/mail.log just because
>>I was scared it wasn't working.
>>I tied mail and org mode notifications into a speech synth.
>>I can do just about any darn thing I want to with procmail, including
>>automagically create mailboxes for any mailing lists I might join. I
>>had wished thunderbird would do that for a long time.
>>And I can take my mail with me, to the beach, or the park, without having
>>to be online, and write voluminous emails like this one.
>>My only major open problem is somewhere in my maildir experiments my
>>sent mail folder stopped working. :(. I'll figure it out eventually.
>>I'm still in a losing fight with how GNUS splits windows on wide displays.
>>I still have the more prosaic problem of expiring the mailboxes (like
>>messages from cron and nagios) that I want to expire the way I want to
>>expire them. I like very much the concept of expiring - or at least,
>>automatically archiving, mail, much more than I like the idea of
>>continuing to have 20,000+ message mailboxes as I have in gmail. Yes, I
>>have read how to do it, but regular expressions scare me. I will try it
>>on some smaller test mailboxes first. So far, 2000+ message mbox
>>mailboxes have been acceptably fast on the hardware I use.
>>mbox format + archival actually makes sense to me, although I will take
>>a stab at Maildir again one of these days.
I got maildir working finally (I don't remember how). Getting it to
co-exist with dovecot's imap was harder, but I have that running now for
a test user.
(I will document later). Now, as to whether I need imap or not, I don't
know... I really like wandering the house with X on multiple emacs displays.
Dave Taht http://the-edge.blogspot.com
Re: Anyone gone from mutt to Emacs? was: Re: Moving from Thunderbird to Emacs for mail and calendar, Matt Lundin, 2009/10/12
Re: Anyone gone from mutt to Emacs? was: Re: Moving from Thunderbird to Emacs for mail and calendar, Richard Riley, 2009/10/12
Message not available
Re: Anyone gone from mutt to Emacs? was: Re: Moving from Thunderbird to Emacs for mail and calendar, Jonathan Groll, 2009/10/14
Message not available
Re: Moving from Thunderbird to Emacs for mail and calendar,
Dave Täht <=
- Re: Anyone gone from mutt to Emacs? was: Re: Moving from Thunderbird to Emacs for mail and calendar, (continued)