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Re: [Nmh-workers] Sharing MH files across computers

From: Thomas Levine
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Sharing MH files across computers
Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2017 10:42:36 +0000

I have come up with an approach that I like.

I use fastmail.fm as my email provider. They have two features that are
necessary for this approach.

1. I can use IMAP
2. I can configure my account to put mails in the Sent folder when I send them
   through fastmail's SMTP server.

For simplicity, let's say that I have only four folders.


I configure mbsync to pull from the fastmail IMAP Inbox to a local
maildrop without modifying the mails on fastmail. I run inc from the
local maildrop, deleting the mail from the local maildrop and
incorporating it into the +inbox. (In practice I would really use
slocal, &c. and do filtering, but it's the same idea.)

mbsync keeps track of which mails have already been synced; on
subsequent runs, mbsync downloads and only the new mail and thus
incorporates only the new mail into the maildrop.

When I send mail, nmh puts a copy in +local-outbox. You'll see soon that
this isn't really necessary, but think it is good to do this in case my
internet connection drops while I am sending a message.

Since I send mail through fastmail's SMTP server, fastmail puts a copy
in my remote Sent folder. I use the mbsync process to incorporate this
remote Sent mail to the local +real-outbox, just like how incorporate
the remote Inbox mail to the local +inbox folder.

I skip the +local-outbox folder when I take backups because everything
in there should be in the +real-outbox.

The main thing that is missing from this is a way to synchronize
refilings and drafts. I handle this by refiling only from my desktop
computer. I use my laptop computer or the fastmail web interface to
check email when I'm not at the desktop computer, but I organize mail
and take backups only at the desktop computer.

Conveniently, I don't use refile very much, as I have never been into
manually categorizing my email. The lack of drafts synchronization is a
bit annoying, but the drafts directory is pretty small, so synchronizing
just that should be pretty easy. I would probably use duplicity.

And, now that I have figured it all out, I might not want to use it any
more! For reasons beyond nmh, I'm finding it a bit annoying to maintain
two different computers. I'm planning to get a very nice laptop and a
docking station and using that as the main computer, instead of
switching between the desktop and laptop. When I do this, I may still
use the present mbsync strategy so that I can synchronize sent mails
between the fastmail web application and the local nmh, and I won't
worry about synchronizing drafts.

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