2020-05-26 Email client

Do people still write email? I certainly don’t write as much email as I used to. I used to be a big Gnus user, spending hours online on net news and mailing lists. I even have the mug to prove it. Not anymore. These days, I feel my mails are just bills and spam. All my friends and family use messenger apps on their phones.

I wanted to get away from Gmail and switched my mail to Migadu. With them, I can use my own domain names. I also figured that I don’t actually need a fancy web client for my email. The simple one they have is more than enough, and most of the time I read my email on the phone anyway, so why bother.

But then I started thinking about Gnus and wanted to try using it again. Sadly, that didn’t really work out too well. Gnus kept getting confused. I would read mail on the phone, hop over to the laptop, fire up Gnus, and couldn’t find the mail. It was still there on the phone, but not to be seen with Gnus. Sometimes I could get the mail by going via the server buffer. It was way too annoying.

So I started looking again.

I knew that I wanted more than basic mail which is what I use on the server to read my admin notifications) because I want MIME support (HTML emails and attachments, basically.

I also knew that I wanted something other than mutt. I’ve tried it twice, I think. I never got a feel for the keybindings, and I never managed to understand the help system.

I also knew that I didn’t want a solution that involved another level of caching: I’m not interested in some sort of offline IMAP sync. One more layer means one more opportunity for bugs, for fiddling, for breakage, for tuning, more packages installed, more attack surface. Please, no. Just IMAP is fine for the phone and it should be fine for the laptop.

I’ve settled on aerc. It’s a mail client for the terminal, written in Go. The problem with that is that I would need the whole tool chain installed to compile something because golang on Debian is too old to compile aerc. @cstrotm offered me a binary build and that worked. Thanks!

So that’s what I use right now. And I already made some changes to the config files, changing some keybindings:

d = :move Trash<Enter>
$ = :move Junk<Enter>
a = :archive flat<Enter>

That’s the level of complication I understand, I’m afraid. aerc it is, for the moment.



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