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Re: What are advantages and disadvantages of RMAIL and mh-rmail ?

From: William G . Gardella
Subject: Re: What are advantages and disadvantages of RMAIL and mh-rmail ?
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2013 20:33:11 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

Emanuel Berg <address@hidden> writes:

> address@hidden (W. Greenhouse) writes:
>> With MH-E you have the option of using the MH
>> implementation's command line tools to manipulate your
>> mail ...
> 100% correct, and that is a great advantage. If you go
> from a web mail service, be it Hotmail or even
> Gmail... -- to experience this transition is a *dream*!
>> Or, you can use Gnus as read-mail-command instead of
>> either of these, which is my own preference.
> How do you do that? It was very easy to setup RMAIL, I
> think below 30 minutes, but every time I see some
> tutorial about mail in Gnus it seems it requires hours
> of hacking (?).

That's because a lot of the tutorials suffer from bitrot; timeliness in
wiki pages and blog posts is a real problem, especially since software
configuration advice necessarily changes over time.

To set up Gnus for locally delivered mail (similar to how you'd use
RMAIL or MH-E, with system MTA/MDA facilities routing the mail to your
inbox, and the system MTA sending mail) is a very brief configuration.
Something like this is all that's really needed for this:

(setq gnus-secondary-select-methods
      '((nnml "")) ;; This is similar to an MH mail store, with the
                   ;; addition of news-server-like "news overview" files
                   ;; that make the summary buffer's display faster.
      message-send-mail-function 'message-sendmail-send-it
      mail-user-agent 'gnus-user-agent ;; `compose-mail' and related
                                       ;;  commands will use
                                       ;;  message-mode with full Gnus features
      read-mail-command 'gnus) ;; Clicking on the "Mail" flag in
                               ;; display-time-mode launches gnus
                               ;; instead of RMAIL
I use a setup similar to this, with the addition of other
`gnus-secondary-select-methods' elements corresponding to my IMAP
mailboxes.  It is very nice seeing everything in one coherent interface.

> I use Gnus for Usenet and RMAIL for mails. But sometimes
> I get both Usenet posts *and* mails (with the same
> contents) as is often the case for this group, for
> example, so it is not optimal. Also, the "one big file"
> solution for RMAIL is not good.

Gnus offers a number of file-based mail backends.  See (info "(gnus)
Choosing a Mail Back End").

> What's more, why shouldn't you use Gnus (or your
> favourite newsreader) for mail, as well? I use message
> mode for both (this required some minor hacks), and
> there seems to be noting separating them apart from the
> broadcast character of Usenet (but that can be
> implemented as a listbot as well, so again I see almost
> no difference).

Indeed, for Gnus an "article" is an article, regardless of how it was
delivered :)  That abstraction has certain nice advantages (e.g. Gnus
can let you use score files and killfiles for mail as well as news).

Finally, Zippy drives his 1958 RAMBLER METROPOLITAN into the faculty
dining room.

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