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Re: coping with a high-volume mailing list (like this one)?

"Lawrence H. Robins" <lrobins@his.com> writes:

> I'm curious to know what strategies are used by regular subscribers
> to this list to deal with the high volume of messages (>250/day)?

All my mail is handled by a server at my school. On this server, I run
procmail (via ~/.forward and ~/.procmailrc) to put debian-user mail in
a  debian-user folder. I  read this  folder from  home, with  the Gnus
news-reader, via IMAP. 

Gnus  is  occasionally  hairy  (way too  many
features) but a great medium for reading news/mail. It runs within the
Emacs editor, so everything is a buffer. For example, you can 
have the list of messages  in one buffer, the contents of a message
in  another buffer,  your  reply to  a  third message  in yet  another
buffer,  etc.  The  contents of  a  buffer  can  be displayed  with  a
keystroke, or you can display several buffers at once. 

Since Gnus  treats everything like  a newsgroup, all the  messages are
organized according to subject  ("threaded"). Finally, since Gnus runs
within  Emacs, it  means that  I  can edit  my replies  with the  same
program that I use to read  them (and not some half-baked appendage to
that program,  either). So, less keystrokes to  memorize, one familiar
interface, and so on. 

I try  to read debian-user  a couple  times a week  (more if I  have a
pressing question..).  The messages really  do pile up, and  I'm still
looking for ways deal with  this well. Gnus has  an "expiry" feature
which will hopefully do what I  want, failing that I'll try to write a
procmail recipe to  "rotate" the debian-user folder, so  that it never
contains more than, say, 500 messages. 

Even when  I don't have a question  posted, I do scan  through all the
subject lines.  So, no  filtering or scoring  or whatever. (If  I knew
exactly what I  wanted to read, I wouldn't be  subscribed in the first
place. See also next paragraph.) 

If  I want  to  search for  a  message on  a given  topic,  I use  the
www.debian.org search engine,  which seems to more or  less work these


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