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Re: Which mail client?

From: Miles Bader
Subject: Re: Which mail client?
Date: 20 May 2004 06:57:50 +0900

exits funnel <address@hidden> writes:
> seems there are many choices: gnus, rmail, vm.  Are
> they all three still actively maintained?

Yes (well actually I'm not entirely sure about vm, but the likelihood
is high).

rmail is the simplest, but the least powerful; it operates on
single-file mailboxes.  I think in released versions of emacs, rmail
stores mail in the non-standard `babyl' format, which might occasionally
be annoying; plans are to change to using the more standard unix mbox
format instead (with appropriate conversion function in place of

Gnus is utterly, insanely powerful, and is probably the most well
supported of any of them (there's a large and very active Gnus community
too).  It supports mail very well, but is a news-reader at heart and
treats mail as simply a special sort of newsgroup, which turns some
people off.  The last time I checked, setting up Gnus to read mail was
slightly fiddly.  This is what I use.

VM is sort of in-between -- it's only a mail reader, and while it's a
lot more featureful than rmail, it doesn't really approach the giddy
heights of Gnus.  Unlike the others, VM is not included in the GNU Emacs
distribution, and so may have a few issues because of that (it's been a
while since I kept up with VM, but when I did, the maintainer seemed
quite responsive and helpful).

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it
has to be us.  -- Jerry Garcia

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