Zsh Mailing List Archive
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Re: new zsh mailing list up and running

> I know this is not a zsh question, but...
> I've never used it (procmail) before -- I've been using elm's filter(1) --
> but this looks much more flexible and powerful. I've skimmed through the
> man pages, and I think I understand what you're doing below except for:

Although a lot of people use elm filter, it is not a very good mail filter
utility.  Procmail is definitely the best, probably followed by mailagent.
Mailagent is totally written in perl, so is a good choice for perl hackers.

Procmail is actually a fairly general purpose mail manipulation and filter
language.  As an example of its power, the mailing list manager I'm using
for zsh-{announce,users,workers} called SmartList is primarily written in
procmail (and some shell scripts and a couple of small utilities written in

My procmail setup has an auto-responder built into it.  If you send me e-mail
with any of the following subjects (only one per mail message):

get procmailrc          # get a copy of my .procmailrc
get zsh faq             # get a copy of zsh FAQ
get pgp key             # get my pgp key

then my procmail mail gremlin will automatically send a response.

> RC> :0 w: zsh-announce/$LOCKEXT
> RC> * ^Resent-from: *zsh-announce
> RC> | rcvstore +zsh-announce              <<<<----
> I gather you're filtering the mail through some external program (rcvstore)
> we don't have. Why? If you have time, can you explain a bit more what the
> above recipe accomplishes?

Rcvstore is a program that comes with the mh mail system.  This is only 
if you are using the mh mail system.  Mh and procmail work very well together.
I use the exmh front-end to mh.  The combination exmh+mh+procmail is one of the
best for dealing with high volumes of mail.

In mh, a folder is actually a directory and mail messages are keep in 
files, rather than concatenating them together.  Sometimes this is a problem
for people who have quotas on the number of files that they can have (this is
to prevent i-node depletion) since this will limit the number of mail messages
you can keep around.  It also makes your e-mail setup incompatible with elm or
mailtool.  Personally I like this since it makes it easy to write scripts that
manipulate your mail  I have zsh shell functions that given the sequence number
of a mail message, will slurp in a mail message from my zsh-{list,workers} mail
folder and patch the zsh baseline source.

> Also, in contrast to zsh-list, SmartList doesn't appear to provide a `Reply-To:'
> header. Consequently, replies not go to the author and not to the
> list. There was some lengthy discussion a while back about whether `Reply-To:'
> should be set, and if so what it should be set to. The consensus was to
> include it, and to set it to zsh-list. Do you not want to do this, or is
> there another way?

I can never decide which way I think is best.  The problem with setting the
Reply-To field back to the list is that this strips out information that
sometimes is necessary if you do want to respond directly to the sender
rather than the list.  Also there is the risk that people will accidently send
things to the list that they didn't intend for everyone to see.

I think the best thing to do is continue with the current configuration for
now and see how it works.  If it turns out to be inconvenient, then I
can easily change it.


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