Saturday, August 16, 2008

MarkMail has Procmail

This last week we loaded the Procmail list archives into MarkMail and I wanted to pause and mention it here because it's the kind of thing that readers of our blog would probably appreciate.

Procmail, for those who don't know, is a tool for filtering email. It lets you define complex rules for email processing. You can file messages into folders, quarantine spam, block viruses, and more. First released back in 1990, it's an oldie but goodie for people who want to do advanced things with email and aren't afraid to do some rule file hacking.

Of course not all is great with Procmail. It's arcane and fickle, with a rule syntax that confuses new users. It hasn't had a new release in a long while, nor have its official docs been kept up to date. Answers to common questions aren't on the web site. As a result, every time I've wanted to do something non-trivial with Procmail, I've had to spend a fair amount of time Googling for answers and hunting for samples.

I think that can change. With this list load MarkMail lets you search 25,000 emails spanning the last 8 years where people have been doing Q&A for each other. I expect those emails will give me some good A's for my Q's. Hopefully they'll do the same for you.

P.S. Of course there's almost as many emails about Procmail outside the Procmail list as there are emails inside it.

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