Recommendation for $HOME

Thomas Guettler hv at
Fri Dec 8 16:36:20 EET 2006

Am Mittwoch, 6. Dezember 2006 19:11 schrieb Brian J. Tarricone:
> The mail server at my web host begs to differ.
> $HOME/Maildir/{cur,new,tmp} *is* my inbox.  Though I was a bit
> hasty in saying 'breaks': you are correct that the mail server
> admin could specify that "$HOME/Maildir/Inbox" is the user's
> inbox, and that would make all other folders appear underneath
> this folder.
> However, can you explain what benefit this would provide?

If you use this setup:
~/Mail/ this is not a maildir directory.
~/Mail/Inbox this is maildir
~/Mail/mailinglist1 again maildir
~/Mail/outbox-2005 file in mbox format.

This setup is used by many applications. But most applications
use a different path name. Some call it ~/Maildir/inbox
some ~/Mail/INBOX ...
That where I thought: Why not make a recommendation for one
path? BTW, I don't care if Inbox is written small or big. But
some sort of standard would be nice. ~/.local/... is OK, too.

> Why?  Because you say so?  Some mail programs use the actual name
> to try to autodetect what style mailbox is present ($HOME/mail or
> $HOME/Mail is mbox, $HOME/Maildir is maildir, etc.).  Does your
> proposed standard provide a benefit (real, not perceived) that
> outweighs asking all mail server and client authors to change the
> defaults in their software, as well as asking admins of all
> current mail hosts to change their configuration and migrate the
> data of all their users?

Everybody should do what he wants to. I would change my setup to
conform with the recommendation. 

> Again: mutt is broken.  A sane mail reader should be able to
> interpret the mail store format you are using, and only display
> the information relevant to the user.

~/Mail/.. is not a mailstorage. It just a directory containing
mail storages. Some applications write index files into this
directory. For example KMail. But the index files of KMail all
start with a dot. This is good. The command "ls" and other
applications hide these files.

It is not the job of an MUA to check the contents of a file and
guess if it is a mbox file or a index file of some other MUA.


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