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Re: Emacs mailreader that doesn't move the spool

From: Jonathan Groll
Subject: Re: Emacs mailreader that doesn't move the spool
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2013 21:19:11 +0200
User-agent: Wanderlust/2.15.9 (Almost Unreal) Emacs/24.0 Mule/6.0 (HANACHIRUSATO)

On 22 Oct 2013 19:05:56 GMT, Hikaru Ichijyo <address@hidden> 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?

Yes, it is possible - I read my mail via a local IMAP server
(dovecot). I don't do anything special and leave the mail as the
default mbox. I can switch between mutt and Emacs, if I want to (but
have never tried them both at the same time because of mbox
contention). To be explicit, in my case, mutt isn't configured to read
via IMAP but Emacs is, and the mail is in /var/spool/mail

Of course, an advantage to using an IMAP server is it means you can
sometimes use one mail client and sometimes use another, which seems
to be something you like to do.

I would also recommend you consider the Wanderlust mail client in

jjg: Jonathan J. Groll : groll co za
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