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Exmh, Evolution, Pine, and MH mailboxes

I've been using exmh for years as my mail reader, and there's a certain
amount of pain associated with trying to switch to something else, mostly
because of the difficulty of syncing between multiple mailboxes.

However, earlier today I was playing with pine, and got it to work natively
with my exmh folders, and when poking around in Evolution I found it
supported mh-style folders too. Its support wasn't transparent, but
a couple symlinks were enough to make it work.

Here's what it took:

For pine, I edited ~/.pinerc and changed two lines:


When I sent a message, it created the mh folder "sent-mail".

For Evolution, I opened the Inbox folder, then selected the menu option
"File->Folder->Properties" and set the mailbox type to "mh". I then
quit from Evolution and explored its directory structure.

The Inbox folder is located in ~/evolution/local/Inbox, and originally 
contained a couple of xml files and a file "mbox" containing a bunch of 
mail messages in mbox format. These were the test messages I had sent 
myself yesterday when I was trying out Evolution. After changing the 
preferences, the xml files were still there, and the mbox file had been
converted into an MH mail directory named "mbox". There was also a
couple of new index files.

Since there was nothing worth keeping there, I just deleted the mbox
directory and the index files, then created a symlink to ~/Mail/inbox
and named it mbox. When I started up evolution after that, it worked
perfectly. After that I converted the other mail folders the same way.

With this setup, I can now switch between exmh, evolution, and pine 
transparently. I had originally started this project by looking for
a way to make exmh talk to an IMAP server. Now I think it might be
better to go the other way: to find an IMAP server that can sit on
top of nmh the way exmh does. That would make it possible to add
the Mozilla mail client to this setup. 

John Abreau / Executive Director, Boston Linux & Unix 
ICQ 28611923 / AIM abreauj / JABBER jabr at / YAHOO abreauj
Email jabr at / WWW / PGP-Key-ID 0xD5C7B5D9
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