I've been trying out
for no good reason other than the joy of tinkering. Yes, I know what I
but sometimes the lure of the dotfile is too strong. I've used
for quite a while, and I like it a lot. However, given my current
vim, I couldn't
resist trying an email client that allow you to use
vim to compose
emails, and furthermore has a lot of vim-like keystrokes for moving
around your mailboxes and issuing commands.
mutt isn't exactly a walk in the park. For a start, it is
really meant for reading and composing mail that is delivered and sent
by other tools. If you compile it correctly, you can get it to check POP
or IMAP servers, but it isn't ideal if you have a number of different
accounts to check. So the first thing I did was to set up
get my mail and dump it in my
/var/mail directory. Then I configured
procmail to send the mails to an inbox in my home directory, doing a
bit of filtering along the way via the excellent
to add an X-Spam header to spam and dump it straight in a spam mailbox.
So far, it was all relatively easy, as both
are built in to Panther.
Mutt compiled without problems, but then I was faced with the task of
getting it set up the way I wanted it. I was helped a lot by looking at
.muttrc files posted in various
on the web. However, I get the feeling that tailoring your
a kind of lifelong journey, rather than a quick job. I suppose it might
be the equivalent of tending bonsai trees for geeks. To say that
is highly configurable would be a massive understatement. Almost
everything can be altered — if you know the arcane sequence of
commands necessary to set it up.
Despite all this,
mutt is a lot easier to actually use than I ever
thought a command-line email reader would be. I've installed
to check my spelling interactively while composing emails, and
auto-render HTML emails as plain text. Even attaching and saving
attachments is much simpler than I had anticipated.
There are only a couple of outstanding glitches:
- Teminal.app doesn't seem to be capable of displaying the
muttUI properly, so I'm running it inside
screenwhich works fine.
- I would like to set it up so that replies to certain mails use a particular from address, signature and so on. I think that this is possible with folder-hooks, but I haven't quite got my head around how to achieve it yet.
- Getting notification of new mails in other mailboxes seems a bit
haphazard. I need a good loud sound to alert me, but the built-in
beepsetting seems to only work when it feels like it.
It might seem a bit mad to switch from a perfectly adequate mail client
to another, but mutt is free (in all senses of the word), and it uses
mbox format mailboxes, so it's pretty easy to switch back
and forth. It's been quite a fun learning experience.