[Gllug] Large mail files was -> RedHat

Nix nix at esperi.demon.co.uk
Sat Nov 3 14:03:29 UTC 2001

On Sat, 3 Nov 2001, Steve Nicholson stipulated:
> So what's the best way to go about having large amounts of mail stored?

Maildir, or some equivalent. I keep my mails in Gnus nnml mailboxes,
which are sort of super-Maildirs with INN-style overview files attached
for quick referencing by the MUA. (This doesn't lock me into keeping my
mail in there forevermore, because Gnus is amazingly good at shoving
mail around between different formats of mailbox.)

> I basically keep everything as it is very useful to refer back to what a

Likewise, for personal mail. (Not mailing list mail; this post of yours
will be gone from my box in 14 days.)

> customer asked me 12 months ago and what I replied.  Ok so I'm using
> outlook now, archiving regularly and opening the relevant archive when
> required (I also have them burnt to CD).  I hope to have time in

One major advantage of maildir and related formats is that they're plain
text, one article per file, so you can grep it sanely, and you get a
single article number back (which you can tell some MUAs to jump
directly to).

The *dis*advantage of maildir is that some filesystems are bad at big
directories (ext2 and ext3, for example) and that you might run out of
inodes in the end (if your filesystem has that restriction).

> I have played with Mozzila and it happily converts everything to mbox

I've never used Mozilla for email at all. I use its rendering engine
(within Galeon and Nautilus) but I won't be dragged from XEmacs/Gnus for
mailing without protesting all the way ;)

> By the way M$ say pst max file size is supposed to be 2GB, 32k items,  I

Whoops, I'm well past that item limit. (2Gb / 32k items? That's 64K per
item on average! How big do MS think our emails are? ;) )

> find that over 50Mb and I'm starting to have problems.

Jerry Pournelle commented once that he and Niven stopped using Word for
novel writing when they discovered that its word counter wraps at 32k
words; they assumed that this was but a symptom of a design philosophy
that said `don't bother to scale to anything larger than a letter'.

(Of course they should have used TeX. ;} )

`You're the only person I know who can't tell the difference
 between a pair of trousers and a desk.' --- Kieran, to me

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