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Using mu to manage e-mails (followup)

June 14, 2013

Here are further thoughts on managing IMAP accounts on a Mac without any GUI.

I have been reading with pleasure this post: Email done right. In my case, I’m not so much concerned with the need for a unified inbox: I have several accounts but I only use Gmail. I have a .mac address that I will probably drop by little, and I don’t use my server ( address (maybe I should!). Instead, I’m just looking for a simple way of checking and filtering mails. I like the Google web interface because it is dead simple, but it lives in the cloud. I need to backup everything on a physical drive: first, I’m a little paranoid when it comes to 7 years of messages, and, second, I need offline access to my mailbox. Mu provides me with the bare essentials: fast search and indexing capabilities, and an extremely simple interface for Emacs that I use all the days.

Text-based solutions are great: they are fast, they are not greedy in terms of RAM, and they allow to focus on the essentials–productivity. Besides email, I have been using links (or Lynx under Linux) as my main text-based browser, but w3m offer similar capabilities, or maybe more. I ran into a couple of problems when trying to compile the program. First, I had to apply a minor patch because of a weird error in file main.c. Then, the Makefile needed to be updated to link properly to the X11 libraries which are required for w3mimgdisplay. This can be fixed with:

LDFLAGS = -L/usr/X11/lib -lX11

According to the post Emacs, Email and Mu, w3m can be used as a replacement for html2text (which I cannot get to work on OS X), and the following should work:

(setq mu4e-html2text-command "w3m -dump -T text/html")

However, it should be noted that there is another project, html2text, which is purely written in Python, and works like a charm.

Finally, I forgot to mention in my preceding post that we need some extra steps to setup the sending part. The following gists were useful to get mu4e sending email:

I even managed to get my Google calendar and contacts list live in Emacs with the help of googlecalendar and googlecontacts.


See Also

» Emacs auto-completion for Python » GNU Emacs on OS X 10.7 » Color schemes for Emacs and TeX » Getting started with Slime » Emacs versus Textmate