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Re: [Nmh-workers] switching from thunderbird to nmh

From: Brenda J. Butler
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] switching from thunderbird to nmh
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 14:42:13 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:17.0) Gecko/20130704 Icedove/17.0.7

Ken, David, Norm,

On 09/20/2013 02:02 PM, address@hidden wrote:
> Ken Hornstein <address@hidden> writes:
>>> I'd like to switch to using nmh for email handling.  I've been using
>>> thunderbird for the last few years.
>> Great!  Glad to get a new user!  If you don't mind me asking ... how
>> come you decided to switch?  We get a lot of people going the other way,
>> so I am curious why you decided to go against the tide.  Not that I'm
>> complaining!

I'm a programmer.  I work with plain-text files and plain-text editors
on the command line.  I used Thunderbird at my new job (four years ago)
because it was most convenient at the time, but now I want a real mail
client : -)  Once I'm familiar with nmh, I will probably move to using
it in emacs.

>>> I understand the nmh mail format is a little different from mbox format
>>> or maildir format.  Is there any conversion utility out there?  I've
>>> searched but only found utilities for people going the other way.
>> So, it's not obvious ... but the "inc" utility does that.  It will take
>> a mbox file (or, I belive, a Maildir dropbox if you have a new enough
>> version) and incorporate it into a nmh folder.


>>> Alternatively, a pointer to the documentation of what the nmh format
>>> actually is would be helpful.  I haven't found a concise description
>>> yet.
>> The man page mh-mail(5) should describe that.  Basically, each message
>> is in it's own file, each folder is a directory.  Messages have
>> filenames that are all numbers.  Each message is pretty much straight
>> RFC 2822 format, except using Unix newline conventions.  Although
>> looking at the man page now, I see that it's a bit out of date; for
>> example, messages nowadays are not limited to 7-bit ASCII in the body.

Similar to maildir, maybe.  I'm a bit less familiar with maildir.

Would I be able to read the Thunderbird files and write them out as nmh
ones?  No point keeping the old format around.

>>> Also, I need nmh to get email by imap.  How can I configure that?  Or am
>>> I supposed to use fetchmail for that?
>> _If_ your IMAP server also supports POP, inc can incorporate messages
>>from that.  Otherwise, fetchmail is probably the best solution.

Ok, fetchmail it is.

> For most purposes, especially to get started, you don't need to know most of
> what's in mh-mail(5).
> It might be added that if you are using a Unix like system, such as Linux, 
> BSD,
> Macintosh, or Cgywin, then you can operate on nmh messages just as though they
> are Unix files -- which indeed they are -- and using Unix commands such mv, ls
> and cp. And you can inspect and modify them using your favorite text editor.

Yep, looking forward to it.

I'm doing this in my spare time (of which I have negative quantities) so
it will take a while.

Thanks again for your quick, helpful and friendly reponses.
}{ Centre for Research and Experimental Development in Informatics Libre

Brenda J. Butler
+1 613 693 0684  #3202
F3018 - 283 Alexandre Taché
Gatineau (QC) J9A 1L8 CANADA
Sustainable Innovation // Innovation Durable

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