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Authored by: sjk on Jun 02, '04 10:31:24PM

Pine's UI leaves much to be desired. AFAIK keybindings still can't be cutomized. And when I tried v3.x it felt too "modal". Hard to imagine anyone who's used mutt extensively being able to tolerate Pine's "rigid" interface.

Forgot to include MM (great command line MUA on TOPS-20; Columbia University wrote a UNIX version) and MH in my list. And Emacs-based VM. :-)

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Authored by: babbage on Jun 03, '04 09:56:45AM

You mention Pine's lack of keybinding flexibility as if that's a bad thing, but really, why would that be a good thing? I don't want a mystery meat UI; I want clear, consistent behavior and preferably would prefer to have good documentation for that behavior. Pine's keybindings -- much of which is inherited from Emacs -- are clear, well thought out & documented, and predictable. I have better things to do with my time than try to come up with a different set, ya know? :-)

And Pine 3.x is ancient history by now. The program had already reached 4.00 by 1998, and as of last month is on 4.60. If you're going to compare to Mutt, then be consistent: Mutt didn't even exist until the end of 1998. Moreover, Mutt has been updated four times in the past two years, while Pine has had nine releases that brought it from 4.44 to 4.60 (with big changes at 4.5x & 4.6x) in the same span of time.

It would appear that the Mutt users are two wrapped up in coming up with new keybindings to make much useful progress with their software, eh? :-)

Really though, Mutt has the reputation as the "flexible" mail client while Pine is perceived to be the "training wheels" one, but having spent time using both, it seems to me that Pine is at least as flexible in any ways that count (better IMAP support, etc) and is far less confusing to use. I've seen little if anything that a Mutt user could do that couldn't be done in nearly as few keystrokes in Pine (not counting cheating like binding a series of commands to one keystroke, which Pine obviously doesn't allow), to the point that the practical differences between the two are negligible, and the clearer, more consistent UI in Pine becomes a real advantage -- at least to me.

In any case, the only obvious thing is that they're both better than nearly any GUI mail client. Talk about training wheels! Sheesh! :-)


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Authored by: ilchymis on Dec 29, '04 08:32:14PM

I like Pine and I use it when I have to deal with remote IMAP boxes. However, its inability to deal with Maildir boxes means I won't be using it as my primary user agent, at least for now. (Or at least I don't think that it can do Maildir, as much as I've tried... correct me if I'm wrong.)

I've always seen mbox as a very fragile format; I'm much more comfortable keeping my important mail in a Maildir folder, regardless of the (mild) performance loss associated with the format. So, it's Mutt for me.

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