On Sat, Nov 02, 2019 at 12:31:29PM -0400, Patrice Levesque wrote: > > > […] virtually all of the people who use mutt either as their only > > email client or along with others, chose mutt because of its > > simplicity. > > People who want a simple text mail client will use Alpine or similar. > Mutt's possibly the most “complicated” text MUA. > > I don't use mutt because of its “simplicity”, I use it because of its > power and flexibility.
Yes. There is simple and then there is simple. I choose Mutt because I can adjust it to be simple in the ways I want it to be simple, and sophisticated in the ways I want it to be sophisticated. That exacts a cost in configuration complexity which I'm quite willing to pay. I like that Mutt presents emails simply. It ignores all the fancy to-the-pixel formatting, pointless images, distracting backgrounds, and flashing multicolored nonsense. I find that reading mail with Mutt is more restful than with other MUAs. Occasionally I do encounter a message whose text/plain part says only "you must enable HTML mail to read this message." I interpret this as "you do not need or want to read this message," and I happily hit "d" and move on. I like that Mutt can be configured to handle signing and encryption well using the tools that I use for these operations in other contexts. I like that Mutt gives me ready access to the structure of MIME messages. I like that Mutt understands me when I add an attachment, and sets the Content-Type correctly instead of just blowing it off as application/octet-stream. I like that Mutt just asks me what I want to do with this funky attachment, instead of trusting it and performing it without my leave. I like that Mutt makes me stop and think about following that URL. I like that Mutt lets me choose my editor and just accepts what I have composed with it. For some messages I really need EMACS. I like that Mutt treats me as someone who takes the trouble to understand the medium, and facilitates my use of that knowledge. Most of that was not simple to achieve but, having achieved it, Mutt makes sending and reading email *my way* simple for me, and that is the simplicity which I value most highly in a MUA. What it boils down to is that Mutt is a tool rather than an appliance, and I prefer tools. An appliance does the work for me, the same way it does it for everyone else; a tool enhances my ability to do the work using my skills and expressing my intent. -- Mark H. Wood Lead Technology Analyst University Library Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis 755 W. Michigan Street Indianapolis, IN 46202 317-274-0749 www.ulib.iupui.edu
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