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Re: Browsing Guix (or any) lists with Gmane

From: myglc2
Subject: Re: Browsing Guix (or any) lists with Gmane
Date: Mon, 02 Oct 2017 22:45:07 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.2 (gnu/linux)

On 10/01/2017 at 12:45 Maxim Cournoyer writes:

> Hello Guix!
> For Guix and Gnus (or to become) users out there, I thought I'd share
> this brief post where I explained the process of setting up Gnus and Gmane.
> Here are some benefits:
> 1. No need to locally store emails; just view them over NNTP.
> 2. Easily subscribe to some lists in Gnus without having to go through
> the mailman registration.
> 3. Much nicer/convenient UI than the web archives pages; you can post
> follow-ups directly.
> 4. Rich collection of some 30000+ mailing list archives.
> The main drawback I've found so far is that server-side search facility
> doesn't seem to be available yet in the new Gmane. Still, it's not too
> long to load the full list of messages ever post to a list and use Emacs
> or Gnus native features to search/sort.

For several years I used and really liked gmane + gnus. I was shocked
when gmane went offline at my vulnerability to something I had taken for
granted. When gmane came back I found that the loss of search, which I
relied on, was a killer. So I cooked up a workaround (see below). Gmane
has been back, but, IMO, stagnant, for a year.  I say stagnant because a
year has gone by with no new news posts and the gmane search is still
not working. NNTP without search is, IMO, TOTALLY lame. This makes me
wonder about the depth of support at gmane and whether it makes sense to
rely on it going forward.

My workaround is to download the mail list archives to a local maildir
cache indexed/searched by gnus/notmuch/nnir and read with gnus +
nnmaildir. I use a makefile and mb2md running in the background to do
downloads and trigger indexing. While not elegant, this bit of hackage
frees me from depending on gmane or any other 3rd party and has turned
out to be very reliable. There is really only one hitch - it suffers a
hit each time you (re)open gnus. Apparently gnus has a scaling problem
with large nnmaildir directories. E.g., my 1.9G cache takes ~45 sec to
open on a 3.4 Ghz E3 w/2500 MB/sec Samsung 950PRO SSD. This is not
really a problem in my situation because I run on the server and leave
gnus open all the time. The 1.9 G includes all the guix lists,
emacs-orgmode and geiser-users. But if I followed more or bigger lists
expect the gnus (re)open might become prohibitive.

I could avoid the gnus open hit by reading the cache with the notmuch
gui or indexing/reading the maildir cache with mu/mu4e (which I do for
my email accounts) since then I wouldn't be using gnus at all. I guess I
continue to read these lists with gnus because I got into the habit :-)

Of course the best thing would be for gmane to restore search and to be
managed by an organization that has dept and staying power. If that
happened I would gladly discard my workaround because gmane was truly a
thing of beauty when search worked.


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