Re: [dev] Suckless mail client solution?

From: Anselm R Garbe <>
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 18:00:43 +0100

2009/10/6 pancake <>:
> 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
> way.
> 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
> connections
>   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
> operations
> 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
> read/...
> 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 VPN
> or an DNSTX
> 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
> broken.
> 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
> nowadays.
> 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
> filesystem.

As a follow up of our IRC discussion today, I like the idea of
following (n)mh in this respect, though I'd really appreciate having
some kind of mail dir pager, perhaps the relevant parts ripped from
mutt or written from scratch. I always found that the threading
display in mutt is excellent and I'd really think the basic mail
lister + previewer as an addition tool in the mh tool chain for
listing mails and threads would be nice, it's the only feature I'd
really miss and the only feature with a crappy curses dependency in
the toolchain ;)

(Though I wouldn't mind doing such a lister in X instead, following
the paradigms of curses but having an X based implementation of a text
based UI).

Kind regards,
Received on Tue Oct 13 2009 - 17:00:43 UTC

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