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Re: [Nmh-workers] Front-end census

From: chad
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Front-end census
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2014 16:46:52 -0800

On 13 Feb 2014, at 19:11, Ken Hornstein <address@hidden> wrote:

>> 1) xmh (obsolete, I assume)
> I would be shocked if people still use xmh; wasn't it written with
> Athena Widgets?  Eww.

Yeah, it was written in Xaw, but it was also written before Microsoft
Windows came with network support included, so I think we should
cut it some slack. :-)

There were a couple attempts at Motif ports, but I believe that
they (thankfully) never came to light. There was a while when write
a better xmh was a rite of passage for new hackers at MIT (where
MH was the default mail system and Emacs was the default editor).
Ive seen (way back when) a few Xaw3D versions, so if you *really*
wanted no, I dont think anyone will recommend xmh anymore.

>> 2) MH-E
> There is a relatively active MH-E community; I'm a vi user myself, so I
> never tried it.  From what I can tell they've extended it to make up for
> the deficiencies in MH; I can kind of understand that, since there was a
> period in the 90s when MH development essentially stopped (a long and
> tortuous period).

MH-E is what kept me in MH for such a long time. If you can handle
using Emacs (perhaps with Viper or Evil if you have vi pushed down
into your fingers), its what I would recommend. Importantly, MH-E
works very well in a mixed mail-client/command-line environment (at
least, it did when I was pulled away ~a decade ago, and I doubt
they would have lost it since then).

Gnus was also entirely functional as a MH client, and I used it for
a while, but unless youre going heavily into Gnus for other things,
I dont think it adds nearly enough value over MH-E.

>> 3) exmh

This seems to be the best real MH gui client, if you want such a
thing, but it seems to have stalled a long time back. It interoperates
(I guess I should use the past tense, since I havent checked since
the early 2000s) reasonably well with command-line mh use, but you
might need the occasional rescan.

A career change has made me deal with a lot more graphical mail
clients and word documents than I would have tolerated when I used
mh for everything, but the single biggest impediment for me these
days is the added value of mobile clients - I use the macosx Mail
app, not because its great, but because it integrates so well with
my mobile phone and infrequent webmail access. The other big change
is the drop in daily mail volume from multiple thousands of messages
to less than a hundred. Id hate to imagine handling the same volume
of mail with Mail.app that I lived in for years using mh+MH-E.

One other wacky option Ill suggest if youre looking to really dig
in is acme (acme.cat-v.org), a programmers editor written originally
for Plan 9. It has its own (very non-Emacs) editing paradigm built
in, but Ive heard of a few people (on this list, I believe) that
have made solid nmh integration. Ive never used it (the mail
integration), but maybe someone else can suggest a good starting

I hope that helps!

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