coma - a console mail user agent
THIS IS ALPHA SOFTWARE WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY. PLEASE KEEP BACKUPS OF YOUR MAIL, ESPECIALLY IF YOU USE DESTRUCTIVE OPERATIONS.
This is coma, a simple but powerful console mail user agent. You can think of it as a modern (that is, post-2000) alternative to the venerable MH, RAND Mail Handler.
coma aims to provide a surrogate for MH that works well in modern environments. The main differences are:
coma uses Maildir as backing store; this is more reliable and widely supported.
coma has built-in MIME and UTF-8 support.
coma has built-in threading support (using jwz's algorithm).
coma is a single, extensible script written in Ruby, so you can implement complex features in it easily without having to write C.
Yet, coma also is a lot like MH:
it is command-driven, featuring a non-captive interface, unlike tools like mailx or mutt. It is well suited for parallel use for multiple terminals and thus a good fit for screen/tmux/xterms.
it is a MUA only. Mail delivery and transfer is the task of other tools.
coma is a multi-call script that is executed like this:
% coma SUBCOMMAND ARGS... [-FLAG FLAGARGS...]...
Note that some flags have *possibly several arguments*. Consider:
% coma repl -cc email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org -att *.c -noquote
How do you use coma? The default workflow for coma works like this:
You are bored and want to read mail, or your xlbiff pops up and shows an interesting message.
Thus, you check your folders for new Maildir messages:
% coma inc +INBOX 134 messages 129 unread 5 new
You setup a reading sequence you want to progress in; usually this is saved in your config, here is an explicit variant:
% coma read +INBOX +ruby-talk thread unseen [...scan lines of new mail...]
By default, “inc” sets up a reading sequence containing all fresh mail.
You read the mails:
% coma show % coma next % coma next % coma next . . . % coma next no more mail
You are done.
It is highly advised that you alias ,=coma.
coma has a powerful search language that can operate on the header fields being cached:
% coma scan '+INBOX ( subj:foo | subj:bar ) date>2009-01-01 unreplied'
For content searches, I recommend using mairix:
% mairix -r SEARCH TERMS | coma read -
Put the included “coma-search” wrapper into your path to simply use:
% coma search SEARCH TERMS
% coma mail ... [-cc ...] [-bcc ...] [-att ...] % coma repl % coma fwd
% coma Subcommands: att copy cur expunge folders fwd inc mail mark mkdir move next prev read repl scan seqs show usage
% coma folders +camping-list 1299 messages 0 unread 0 new +lispmachines 121 messages 0 unread 0 new ...
% coma mark unseen -seen % coma mark 666 667 -flagged
% coma mark 666 667 -trashed % coma expunge
Moving and copying mail:
% coma move "date<2000-01-01" +archive % coma copy +announcements # defaults to .
% coma show From: Dyers Downin <XXX> Subject: " "You shall judge for yourself. It is just as Harvey To: Etchells Freid <XXX> Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 09:12:01 +0200 2 --image 19968B PNG 366x275 mousiness.png-- % coma att 1 multipart/mixed 27522B 2 image/png 19968B "mousiness.png" % coma att 2 mousiness.png % display mousiness.png % coma att 2 - |lpr
Scanning mail (like read, but don't change the current sequence):
% coma scan date # sort by date ...
scan (and read) support various scan line formats, others can be implemented easily:
% coma scan 363 367 1133 363 2008-01-10 Jeremy McAnally Keeping Camping going 367 2008-04-07 _why camping moved to github 1133 2010-06-30 Magnus Holm Access to github.com/camping % coma scan "363 367 1133" -fmt nmh 363 01/10 Jeremy McAnally Keeping Camping going<<all, I'm not sure who Cam 367 04/07 _why camping moved to github<<the better interest of 1133 06/30 Magnus Holm Access to github.com/camping<<I've converted the % coma scan 363 367 1133 -fmt twoline 363 Keeping Camping going S 2008-01-10 05:29 "Jeremy McAnally" <email@example.com> 367 camping moved to github S 2008-04-07 21:17 _why <firstname.lastname@example.org> 1133 Access to github.com/camping S 2010-06-30 13:18 Magnus Holm <email@example.com> % coma scan "363 367 1133" -fmt 9fans Keeping Camping going 363 Jeremy McAnally Thu, 10 Jan 2008 05:29:17 +0100 367 _why Mon, 07 Apr 2008 21:17:01 +0200 Access to github.com/camping 1133 Magnus Holm Wed, 30 Jun 2010 13:18:49 +0200 % coma scan 363 367 1133 -fmt mailx 363 Jeremy McAnally Thu Jan 10 05:29 Keeping Camping going 367 _why Mon Apr 07 21:17 camping moved to github 1133 Magnus Holm Wed Jun 30 13:18 Access to github.com/camping
Working with sequences
Sequences are refered to in the query language as “%sequencename”. By default, you operate on the sequence “%default” (or $COMASEQ if set). You can list sequences with “coma seqs”:
% coma seqs %default 1250 messages %ten 10 messages %y 14 messages
Sequences are created with “coma scan … -save sequencename”, and can be deleted with “coma seqs -clear sequencename…”. You can add mails to a sequence with “coma scan … -add sequencename” or remove mails with “coma scan … -delete sequencename”.
There are two special sequences, “%” and “%-” which are the sequence expressions of the current and the last “coma read”, respectively.
You can create a ~/.config/coma/config like this:
path: /path/to/your/maildirs scan: -default -arguments -for -scan %alias: %for +often +needed %sequence +expressions
Ruby 1.8 and sqlite3.
External tools: file(1), w3m(1) for HTML mail display, identify(1) for images.
tkma provides a very early exmh-like interface for coma. Needs Tk.
Written by Christian Neukirchen <purl.org/net/chneukirchen>.
To the extent possible under law, the creator of this work has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.