I finally moved the second of the two domains I actually receive mail on from my old co-located server to my new virtual server instance. This simplified things enough that I could easily leave gmail and switch back to reading mail on a unix box where I control everything. I’d been wanting to do this for a long time — not because Google has turned evil (yet) nor because I dislike gmail in general — I love it. However, it offers very little ability to tune the spam filter, and it seems that the extra Received headers from forwarding mail through my own server was resulting in on average one or two false positives per day. Because of this, I desperately wanted to go back to my own spamassassin setup.
I accomplished this yesterday. I also tried out sup a mail reader I’d been wanting to try out for months. In many ways it’s great, it does search a lot better than traditional unix mail readers. However, as part of its design, it only makes changes to its index, it doesn’t modify the mail sources. This means that if I go and use it for a long time, but then decide to switch away, I’m going to have to find or write a tool to write all that state back to the mail folders. After using it for a couple hours, I decided that was not tolerable to me, at present. I might still consider using it for searching and only searching, I’m not sure.
So, I switched back to mutt, with a couple config tweaks over what I used to do — I’ve been converging on a workflow where I bring anything except moderate-to-high traffic mailing lists into one inbox, and from there, when I check email, I process everything as one of the following: mark as spam and move out of the inbox, read (possibly act on) and move to an archived/old mail folder, leave in the inbox if I really have to defer it, delete (actually move to a trash folder) if it’s just random crap like cron emails.
But, this got me to thinking about what I really want in a mail reader:
– MH/nmh-like seperate commands command-line interface
– Maildir support (this means nmh won’t work)
– header caching for performance (depending on the overhead of opening/closing the db, etc, this might be a daemon that the user programs connect to.)
– modern MIME handling
– fast search engine