Minimal skills

Polytropon freebsd at
Thu Jun 4 22:33:12 UTC 2020

On Thu, 4 Jun 2020 22:59:38 +0100, Steve O'Hara-Smith wrote:
> On Thu, 4 Jun 2020 15:22:16 -0600
> Brandon helsley <brandon.helsley at> wrote:
> > I'm doing the indentation myself. Does your mailer do the indentation for
> > you or do you do it yourself?
> 	Many mailers know how to prefix and indent quoted material, many
> even know how to re-wrap it when the indentation pushes line length
> conventions. They also tend to know about the dash-dash-space-newline
> signature break convention and strip signatures on reply.

For example, my (older) version of Sylpheed does all this, except
the signature, but it's no problem to manually remove it. In fact,
it's absolutely no problem to "tidy up" a reply before sending,
as it will show your respect and gratitude toward the list.

By the way, this message is an excellent example of "multi-level"
reply. Some MUAs even have multicolor support for this thing. :-)

You can also see that people have different reply headers and
form their replies in a different way, but nothing interferes
with good readability. (See infront of "Many mailers" above:
">", space, remaining tab, first words - just as it should be.)

It's also not a big deal if you decide to manually do the line
breaks. I have a little ruler on top of the mail composer window
so I can see, in a monospace font, what columns the text occupies.

> 	Choice of mailer is every bit as personal and contentious as choice
> of text editor - FWIW I use Sylpheed and vim because they've both failed to
> irritate me much for many years now.

If you have IMAP support, you can even try / use multiple MUAs and
see what works best for you, without requiring to have multiple
mail accounts and program-individual local mailboxes. You can even
use Thunderbird and alpine side by side, with Maildir local storage,
connecting to an IMAP account - all this is possible and does not
require complicated configurations.

I fully agree with Steve's statement that this choice is a very
individual thing. Luckily, this is not a "once and for all times"
situation, you can change your editor or mailer whenever your
preferences or requirements change, without losing any data. It's
even possible that you _will_ change programs as you advance and
gain more experience, maybe feeling that the tools that you started
with don't offer everything you need, so you begin using something
else which is a better fit.

By the way, several MUAs allow you to use an external editor, so
if you say: I like the mailer, how it displays discussion threads
and manages mailboxes, I just don't like its message editor - then
you can simply use an external editor. Best of both worlds. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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