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Re: Handling lots of mail

On 25-Apr-2002 Ross Boylan wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 25, 2002 at 01:07:31PM -0700, Karsten M. Self wrote:
>> on Thu, Apr 25, 2002, Ross Boylan (RossBoylan@stanfordalumni.org) wrote:
>> > I am currently using mutt, but many of my folders are getting very
>> > big, and I'm getting annoyed by the length of time it takes to switch
>> > between them.
>> What mailbox format are you using?  Default is 'mbox'.  Alternatives
> mbox.  Will the alternatives get me anything (except lower
> compatibility)?

mbox is one file.  So the program spends it time reading and rewinding the
file.  Any writes have to be written to a temp file and the moved over the old

The alternative mailboxes store each mail in its own file.  This allows the
reader to only read and write the files it cares about.  This also means if it
kills one message the likelihood of it killing everything is slim.  One bad day
and your entire mbox can go *poof*.

>> How big are your mailboxes?  I find my wait threshold starts to get
>> tripped at ~500-1000 items, which most of my mailboxes hit quickly ;-)
> My primary inbox is around 2,700.  Debian-user is at 27,000.

around a thousand or so most mailers get unhappy, at ten this gets very
noticable.  Remember it is storing at least a little info about each message in
the folder in memory.  Consider either moving mail to a storage folder after a
certain age or simply killing mails in mailing lists after a certain time. 
There are online archives.

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