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Re: Emacs mailreader that doesn't move the spool

From: Gregory Benjamin
Subject: Re: Emacs mailreader that doesn't move the spool
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2013 13:17:34 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

Hi Hikaru,

On Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 07:05:56PM +0000, Hikaru Ichijyo wrote:
> Every now and then, I consider migrating my mail and news reading to the 
> wonderful wild world of Emacs, but every time I do, the main thing that 
> always makes me decide to forget about it is that, as far as I can tell, 
> there isn't a single Emacs mailreader that doesn't insist on copying 
> your mailbox into your home directory and leaving it there.
> For mail, currently I use Alpine, but I like occasionally using Mutt, 
> and sometimes even Kmail.  All of these mailreaders have appropriate 
> file locking mechanisms implemented to make it possible to operate on 
> the system mailbox in place, in /var/spool/mail or wherever it happens 
> to be.  Having it this way makes it so that even if I use Alpine most of 
> the time, I can switch if I like, and the mail is always where it's 
> expected to be.  Even my shell knows to give me the "You have new mail" 
> notication by watching the system spool (where else should my mail be?).
> Most UNIX newsreaders also seem to have a similar philosophy of sharing, 
> since they all more or less have agreed to keep read/subscribed article 
> information in ~/.newsrc, even ones that have more efficient mechanisms 
> that they use for themselves, so you don't have to stay in one 
> newsreader.  I mostly use Tin, but I also use Pan, and sometimes SLRN.  
> None of them lock me in.
> I've gone over the documentation for RMAIL, VM, and Gnus, and they all 
> seem to require moving your mailbox to the home directory, apparently 
> because none of them can lock the mailbox for exclusive access.  Emacs 
> seems powerful enough that a kludge could probably be written that puts 
> your mailbox back the way it was every time you close your mailreader, 
> but that seems sort of ugly and unnecessary.
> I'm strongly leaning toward either VM or Gnus if I did migrate, but I 
> really want to keep my mailbox where it is.  Is there any way to do 
> that?

I'm sorry I cannot offer any help at the moment, but wanted to say two

First, I admire your English writing. Very, very clear and
well done.

Second, I too use mutt and would like to move to a mixed mutt/emacs
environment for mail processing until I'm fully comfortable with the
emacs solution. I've used rmail a bit, and tried to force myself to
like it, but mutt is still faster and more capable for me. I cannot
afford to 'break' email while playing around with rmail, gnus, vm, or
some other emacs email configuration.

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