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Re: Linux Mail Client (was: Re: Web browsers for Linux (was: Re: Netscape Bus Error))

On Aug 23, Steve Lamb (grey@dmiyu.org) wrote:
 > On Tue, Aug 22, 2000 at 09:53:43PM -0700, brian moore wrote:
 > > Huh?  From a single source?
 >     Yes, a single source.  Fetchmail.
 > > Note that in my example (if you had bothered to read it), you would have
 > > seen that ~/.procmailrc was irrelevant.  Each pop3 mailbox had its own
 > > (optional) procmailrc.
 >     I fail to see how you cannot understand that my position of having to
 > filter from a single source is a problem by pointing out...  I can filter!  

B:"The fireswamp? We'll never survive!"
W:"You only say that because no one ever has."

My impression is that you think that to get mail from several sources
with fetchmail and have it put into separate folders requires that you
dump it into a single file and then filter using regular expressions
in procmail.  And that every time you add yourself to a mailing list
you'd have to add that mailing list to the regular expressions in
order to get that mail into the appropriate folder.  Is that what you
think?  It's not true.  Here is a tiny fetchmail configuration that
uses procmail, but does not even require a procmail configuration
file, and therefore has no regular expressions, much less any to
modify, to put mail from separate mail accounts into separate folders
on your local machine.  Mail from separate accounts *never* gets
merged into a single source from which it needs to be filtered.

poll $MAILHOST proto pop3
mda "procmail DEFAULT=$HOME/Mail/$MAILHOST"

Invoke it as "MAILHOST=work fetchmail" and it will get your mail from
the server work and put it into the file (folder) called work.  Invoke
it as "MAILHOST=friend fetchmail" and it will put it into a file
called friend.  As long as the mail comes from a particular server, it
will go into a particular folder.  Point your mail client at the
resultant folders.  You also need to add user and password info to
.fetchmailrc or have a .netrc file (better).

Extensions to allow the folder to have a different name than the mail
server, and to invoke fetchmail just once for all your mail servers,
are obvious.  The above assumes one account per mail server, but that
is not hard to relax, either.

Beyond this, yes, your mail clients need to go beyond treating the
files as separate folders of a single account to treating them as the
inboxes of separate mail accounts, but I agree with you that that is a
problem of the mail clients.  As others have pointed out, you can
configure existing mail clients to send it out via the correct server
with hooks attached to the folders.  That sounds darn close to what
you want.  We are all looking forward to trying out the mail client
you build that does exactly what you want - I would like the Emacs
version :-)

I don't understand why you object to your mail client invoking an
instance of, say, sendmail in order to contact the appropriate
outgoing server for the particular message you are sending.  Some
process has to contact that server using SMTP, why build SMTP into a
mail client when there is already an existing program that does that?

Neil L. Roeth

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