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Re: Email programs that work.

On Wed, Aug 30, 2006 at 05:51:27PM -0700, Steve Lamb wrote:
> Michelle Konzack wrote:
> > I send E-mails via smtp...   => set sendmail="sendmail -oi"
> No, that is via command line.  If sendmail were not there how would
> you get mail out? 

But it IS there... so what's the problem?  A simple minimal ESMTP
engine might be more convenient -- and numerous solutions for that are
available for mutt -- but being able to choose to use a full-fledged
MTA like sendmail offers the user (or system administrator) a great
deal of power.  And if you are configuring mail on a mail server for a
large number of users, it also saves them from having to make ANY
configuration settings in their mail client for SMTP.  So I would say
zero is better than one.  ;-)

You claim that the lack of an SMTP engine is a weakness of Mutt.  Even
though I think Mutt would be better with that, I don't think it's a
weakness.  In some ways, it's a benefit: numerous SMTP engines already
exist, so not including one makes Mutt easier to debug and maintain,
which make its overall code quality better.  This is the Unix
Philosophy.  It also provides the flexibility of allowing the user or
system administrator to choose the SMTP engine they prefer, rather
than forcing you to use theirs, which you may not like at all.

> Or, more importantly, which is easier to set up, sendmail (exim,
> postfix, qmail) or a single configuration option which consists of
> "smtp.host.com".  

I happen to agree that Mutt should have a minimal SMTP engine, to make
this easier for inexperienced and/or braindead users.  But oh, wait...
there's a patch (kind of like add-ons for Tbird) that does exactly
that.  So I guess this functionality really isn't lacking in Mutt,
after all (using your own logic)...

> I don't know of an MTA which runs perfectly off a single
> configuration option and I've run or currently run Exim, Sendmail,
> Postfix and nullmailer.

Even still, here again you're just making a mountain out of an ant
hill.  When you install Debian, it installs a MTA for you, and the
installer asks you a couple of very basic configuration questions
which are sufficient to meet the needs of the vast majority of basic
users.  Perhaps it's not one single configuration option, but the few
questions it asks are not any more difficult, and there are only a
handfull of them, so the practical difference is minute.

> > > It lacks filtering.
> > This is a job for procmail and maildrop
> Procmail, the line noise of mail filters, no thanks.  And neither of
> these are able to retrieve mail.  Oh, right, that pesky MTA again.

Fetchmail does a fine job of retrieving the mail.

As far as procmail being line noise, that's just poppycock.  If you
want to feed it dumb regular expressions like "joe@foo.bar" that will
mostly work, certainly enough for someone like yourself who apparently
only wants simple-minded filtering.  But by using regular expressions,
it offers the user so much more power to filter on very complex rules
and criteria.  You can't be bothered to take an hour to learn how to
write regular expressions?  Your loss...

Regular expressions abound in the Unix world.  They are so incredibly
useful that if you take the time to use them, you will not believe how
much easier they can make your life.  Tools like grep, sed, perl, etc.
become like instruments with which you can play masterful music.  

> > The others are sucking more...  Mutt CAN handel IMAP boxes with
> > more then 2 million Messages and there is not a singel GUI client
> > which can handel this
> I've yet to fathom a need for a 2 million message mailbox.  Not to
> mention the support structure behind it since 2 million would break
> or strain both maildir and mbox.

Well, the numbers are silly, but the point is Mutt will not break
until long after any of your favorite GUI programs will.  Please try
to remember that Michelle is not a native English speaker, and is
trying to make his points as best he can in a language which is not
his first.  Actually I think he did a fine job.

Mutt's memory footprint is so small that it can handle gargantuan mail
folders, half the size of which would cause most GUI mailers to crash
due to memory exhaustion.

> > > It lacks a decent multi-account implementation.  Having to
> > > configure every single item by hand without the concept of
> > > account inheritance is a nightmare.

Here again you display your unwillingness to learn how to use your
tools.  Mutt's various hooks offer immense power; they can give you
the same functionality as "personalities", though you need to think
about it a little differently.  You may need to organize your mail
very carefully into folders, to make your folder hooks easy to
configure.  You can have essentially an infinite number of
"personalities" using them, and in addition to that you can change
individual configuration options, set custom headers, and do a whole
lot more, based on the folder you're in, the people you're sending to,
or various other criteria.  It's a LITTLE more complex to set up than
filling out a "personalities" dialog in some GUI, but in return you
get an ENORMOUS amount of additional power.

> > ???  And How do you configure GUI clients?
> > You must setup things for each account.
> Yes, which is why I said "account inheritance."  When I create a
> subfolder under "grey@dmiyu.org" I don't have to configure the
> folder for my address, my real name, my signature.  It inherits all
> of that from the account!  I create a folder in mutt and I have to
> exit, vim .mutt/folders and add a freakin' folder_hook!  

Sorry, but no you don't.  folder hooks match patterns of folder names,
so you can have a folder hook matching Mail/account1/.* and all mail folders
under that will match.  There's your inheritance.

Man, it sucks to be wrong, after being so adamant, doesn't it?

On Wed, Aug 30, 2006 at 06:03:45PM -0700, Steve Lamb wrote:
> > > A rediculously complicated system?  What's so complicated about
> > > it.  Let's see, I have home mail and I have work mail.  I                 > > > configure my home account with 1 signature, 1 POP/IMAP server, 1
> > > SMTP server.  All the mail remains separate.  All my home                 > > > filters only apply to my home mail.  I need a work account I
> > > configure 1 signature, 1 POP/IMAP server, 1 SMTP server.  All
> > > mail remains separate.  All my work filters only apply to my
> > > work mail.
> > And?  -  I use such thin daily with mutt!
> Liar.  

I've thus far resisted the overwhelming temptation to call you
names... but frankly I think you deserve to be called names.  You are
being extremely arrogant, and you're just plain wrong.

> As pointed out you can't do SMTP, you need to configure multiple
> things externally so my second case is what you do.

1. Yes, you can do SMTP with the ESMTP patch.

2. Yes, you can do SMTP with sendmail, or a different MTA, if you

Furthermore, I've done this myself as well, so I know for a fact that
Michelle need not be lying.  There are at least 4 ways I can think of
to do all of what you describe using mutt and/or the MTA you choose to
use with Mutt.

1. Use different configurations of Mutt on different machines (maybe
log in remotely over VPN to a machine at work, or whatever)

2. Mutt's configuration can be entirely generated by a program.  Use
such a program to generate your config based on where you are.  I have
done this.  Er, I mean I am doing this.

3. Use a boot script to reconfigure your laptop's MTA based on the
network configuration (IP address, hostname, etc.) it gets at boot
time.  I have done this in the past as well.

4. Configure your MTA to relay mail through your work server if you're
using your "work account", using mailertable or some such mechanism.
Sendmail is unbelievably powerful, and can do virtually anything you
can think of if you take the time to learn how to do it.

So, now will you please shut the hell up about how bad mutt is?  Every
single thing you have said about mutt is either dead wrong (mostly),
or not a huge problem for any reasonable human, or is designed that
way intentionally to give the user more power and flexibility than you
apparently can handle.  Mutt is largely for power users of e-mail,
which you obviously are not.

Derek D. Martin
GPG Key ID: 0x81CFE75D

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