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Hydrant(mailutils's MUA) ideas

From: Alain Magloire
Subject: Hydrant(mailutils's MUA) ideas
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2001 10:25:16 -0400 (EDT)


  Hydrant(named by Jeff, do not remember the reasons), will be the mailutils 
The project did not start yet since obviously mailutils, although getting
better, is unfinished.
  One of the problem, besides getting the library(mailutils) to a finish
stage, is user interface(UI).  YAMUA, Yet Another MUA, we have plenty of 
MUAs: mutt, pine, elm etc ..  and when it comes to gui MUAs, the choice
is overwhelming.
  So instead of trying to come up with YAMUA, why not have the same underlying
design goals as mailutils; providing the tools to make building programs, that
are email aware, easily.

  Text mode MUAs are usually(maybe not mutt ;) straight forward.  It would
probably be possible to describe the UI in an XML file, then have hydrant parse
it.  So:

# hydrant --ui pine.xml
# hydrant --ui elm.xml
# hydrant --ui mutt.xml

Will look like Pine, Elm or Mutt.

# cat elm.xml
        <textbox align=left> Mailbox is '#MAIL' with #count messages [ELM 

        <headerlist> attribute #msgno Date From #size Subject</headerlist> 

        <textbox align=center>
        |=pipe, !=shell, ?=help, <n>=set current to n, /=search pattern
         a)lias, C)opy, c)hange folder, d)elete, e)dit, f)orward, g)roup reply, 
        n)ext, o)ptions, p)rint, q)uit, r)eply, s)ave, t)ag, u)ndelete, or 

8-) Ok, this is just an idea, its probably not feasible.  Or it may be feasible 
text mode MUA(using (n)curses) but getting complex for guis.  However looking at
mutt, elm, pine, etc .. they all have the same underlying UI patterns, isolating
them and providing them in term of simple "widget" objects that can place 
to XML configuration may (not?) be feasible.

 I'm running over a lot of "details" like (event, accelaration keys) bindings.

- http://www.xulplanet.com (Mozilla xul).
- http://www.uiml.org  (Harmonia User Interface ).
- http://www.w3c.org  (XForms, CSS, XML, etc ...)

If you want to follow, please follow up to bug-hydrant only, not bug-mailutils.
address@hidden, or to me.


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