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Gnus as mouse-centric mail interface for Windows user

From: Joseph Gay
Subject: Gnus as mouse-centric mail interface for Windows user
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2011 13:26:00 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.110014 (No Gnus v0.14) Emacs/23.2 (gnu/linux)

My father, who is keyboard phobic, but somewhat adventurous when it
comes to computing, is looking for a new mail client to replace Windows
Mail. He has never used Emacs.

I thought it'd be an interesting experiment to see if Gnus can work for
an uncommon type of user. Though we can always fall back to Thunderbird,
he agreed to be a test dummy as he's curious and not in a hurry.

I've been working on a configuration for him with No Gnus and testing it
on Windows. So far, I've succeeded in using window configurations to
have group, article, summary, and message displays appear in a manner
familiar to a Windows Mail user. I plan on adding folder icons to the
group lines and using a larger face for the group names to make it
friendlier for his eyesight and monitor setup.

He has a few requirements however that I'm not sure I will be able to

The requirements are as follows:
  1. pop mail access
  2. create and manage local folders for organizing mail
  3. import existing Windows Mail and preserve existing folders

I put those into what I consider order of increasing difficulty.

I've accessed a test pop account using No Gnus on Windows over gnutls by
setting up mail-sources and using the nnml backend. This created a
misc.mail group and pulled in the mails from the server. So far so good.

He's going to want misc.mail to be named Inbox, I'm assuming that's not
too hard to accomplish.

Now comes part 2, he'll want to create folders (as he'll call them) that
will reside locally for archival and organizational purposes. These will
be primarily populated manually by drag and drop or menus. I noticed a
facility for filtering incoming mail into new local folders, but what
about a facility for manually creating new folders (if you'll forgive my
user of the word folder)? If there's just some configuration to set and
reload, I can code it up. That would take care of part 2.

Now for part 3, importing his existing mail. From what I've read so far,
the nnml backend is the easiest to get working to download pop mail.
However, it may be difficult to transform an EML data file into a
corresponding nnml folder structure, or it may not. I'm not at all
familiar with parsing data from formats that Windows Mail is able to
export. Unless there are any suggestions on an easy way to do this, I
will have to look at the format and see about parsing it. If I could
produce a valid nnml structure, would it be relatively easy to get Gnus
to read it? Should I be using a different backend?

That's all for now. Thanks for reading.

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