Re: [dev] Suckless mail client solution?

From: pancake <>
Date: Tue, 06 Oct 2009 18:24:14 +0200

markus schnalke wrote:
> [2009-10-06 16:26] pancake <>
>> PD: Actually I have not found a more fast, usable and simplest mail client
>> than the one shipped with iphone-os. And no, fetchmail,mutt,claws,telnet
>> are not decent solutions. Should we open another thread to create a suckless
>> mail client?
> What do you mean with ``mail client''? MTA, MUA, MDA, or all of them in one?
A solution that manages MTA, MUA, MDA and MDMA plus LSD in a simple

This is:
  - Keep a partial local cache of the mails (only last 50?)
     - imap support server search, so why i have to mirror the folders
with 53200 mails?
  - Only sync selected folders automatically or every N minutes
  - Attachments should be only retrieved in a second stage (on slow
    is really useful)

Client must provide a simple tree way to walk on folders (filesystem?)
every time a mail is fetched a file is created and it is touched with
the specified timestamp.

I already wrote a patch for msmtp that checks for the MX entry for a
domain to
automatically specify the remote SMTP server, so no need to configure
any smtp
server for sending mails. I find this solution much simpler for most
situations (unless
you are on a restricted network that only allows you to connect to your
local smtp)

So, what I see here is a simple application that manages files in
directories and allows to create formatted files (using a template) on
some directories using $EDITOR,
a command to check files in Outbox to push them to remote servers and commit
them into the Sent directory.

The basic imap operations can be easily mapped as filesystem ones:
  - list, copy, move, remove

Just having a simple application to manage pop3/smtp with those minimal
and writing a simple frontend to edit files on certain directories based
on templates.

Stuff like gpg, html2text (or text2html for those who wants to raise
hate on mailing
lists), filters to format a mail into a 'reply' format prefixing lines
with '>' ... are just
pre and post-hooks when calling the $EDITOR or $PAGER.

The only missing thing I see in this model is the part of attached
files. This can be
solved by having a directory with the same filename of the mail plus
.files and have
an application to serialize mail+attachments into a single text stream
before sending
it to the smtp (maybe using msmtp) can be ideal.

To setup accounts I can think on a single entrypoint with simple format
that configures
the rest of applications to work with.

Multiple accounts should be managed by this approach. Marking emails as
can be just a sed script changing a header.

I have never understood why there is no decent mail implementation like
the one
explained above. The only problematic to implement such thing is the
lack of decent
smtp/pop/imap clients. I think that ssl support can be done by local
openssl bouncers.

Another *important* thing is that the SSL stuff must be checked, so in
this way you
can setup any kind of secure connection without having to reconfigure
your mail
client. This is: connecting to localhost:110 to bounce the socket to an
network (or TOR, etc...), the client will just know nothing about the
underlying network,
and the bouncer app will be the one to ensure that the connection is not

Network *must* be an async dependency for a mail client, so I hate when
the client gets
locked because of a network cut or slowdown, it is just something that
cannot be understood

By having all this simple setup done (in a single package, please, i
dont want to configure
3 or 4 programs to get my email working) i can imagine a lot of
automatizations in scripts
to autoreply emails, filter spam, etc.. And the GUI is actually a

Email syncing is not only a thing of pop3/imap, we can also think on
using ssh or fuse to
access/sync to our remote mailboxes or maildirs.

Received on Tue Oct 06 2009 - 16:24:14 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Tue Oct 06 2009 - 16:36:01 UTC