Today my main machine was down for about 8 hours. Oops.
That meant when I got home, after a long and dull train journey, I received a bunch of mails from various hosts each saying:
- Failed to fetch slaughter policies from rsync://www.steve.org.uk/slaughter
Slaughter is my sysadmin utility which pulls policies/recipies from a central location and applies them to the local host.
Slaughter has a bunch of different transports, which are the means by which policies and files are transferred from the remote "central host" to the local machine. Since git is supported I've now switched my policies to be fetched from the master github repository.
- All my servers need git installed. Which was already the case.
- I can run one less service on my main box.
- We now have a contest: Is my box more reliable than github?
In other news I've fettled with lumail a bit this week, but I'm basically doing nothing until I've pondered my way out of the hole I've dug myself into.
Like mutt lumail has the notion of "limiting" the display of things:
- Show all maildirs.
- Show all maildirs with new mail in them.
- Show all maildirs that match a pattern.
- Show all messages in the currently selected folder(s)
- More than one folder may be selected :)
- Shall all unread messages in the currently selected folder(s).
Unfortunately the latter has caused an annoying, and anticipated, failure case. If you open a folder and cause it to only show unread messages all looks good. Until you read a message. At which point it is no longer allowed to be displayed, so it disappears. Since you were reading a message the next one is opened instead. WHich then becomes marked as read, and no longer should be displayed, because we've said "show me new/unread-only messages please".
The net result is if you show only unread messages and make the mistake of reading one .. you quickly cycle through reading all of them, and are left with an empty display. As each message in turn is opened, read, and marked as non-new.
There are solutions, one of which I documented on the issue. But this has a bad side-effect that message navigation is suddenly complicated in ways that are annoying.
For the moment I'm mulling the problem over and I will only make trivial cleanup changes until I've got my head back in the game and a good solution that won't cause me more pain.
Tags: github, lumail, slaughter, sysadmin
23 May 2013 21:50
Although I've still not got the ability to reply to messages, and composing new ones is ugly, my toy mail client is working nicely.
I've received a couple of patches, and given commit access to the repository to one other user.
Currently I'm still juggling primitives around and working out what is missing. The big exceptions are the obvious:
- Cannot reply to a message.
- Cannot move a message to a new folder.
- When composing a mail to be sent no copy is saved in "sent-mail", or similar.
- Thread-view is absent. Indefinitely.
But on the plus side the lua scripting is lovely:
precious ~/git/lumail $ rm /tmp/unread.log
precious ~/git/lumail $ ./lumail --rcfile ./lumail.lua --eval "dump_unread();"
precious ~/git/lumail $ head /tmp/unread.log
Selected folder /home/skx/Maildir/.Automated.backups
Folder has 10 unread messages
Selected folder /home/skx/Maildir/.Automated.bounces
Folder has 3 unread messages
Selected folder /home/skx/Maildir/.CRM.Spam
Folder has 7 unread messages
Selected folder /home/skx/Maildir/.facebook.com
Folder has 4 unread messages
The website needs some love, most notably a logo. And there are several reported bugs/todo-items I need to work through.
Still for a toy program I'm using it daily. (Though still using mutt to reply to messages & view/save attachments.)
30 May 2013 21:50
Give me a few days and I'll stop writing about Lumail, but tomorrow I intend to make the first stable source & binary release. From that point onwards you'll not need to track the github repository to getu pdates.
The website has had an overhaul in advance of the release, but could still benefit from a logo. As usual I've written the website using my templer static-site generator. I hacked up a couple of plugins to make it easy to generate the pages of Lua primitive documentation, and handle cross-links suitably. (The source is available for reference.)
The first binary release of the mail-client is obviously something of a big deal. I've been using the client daily for the past week or so, as a read-only mail-viewer. But now that the compose() and reply() primitives are present it is usable "for real". Having real scripting present is also allowing me to do interesting things, which are kinda/sorta demonstrated on the examples page.
Now its a case of fixing up a couple of display-related glitches, and implementing things that are both missing and desirable. Happily the list of missing things is actually surprisingly small.
I think the biggest outstanding issue is that the defaults are Steve-friendly, for example the colour-setup should probably be configurable.
Beyond the personal-defaults I think the next biggest issue is the lack of threading support. Messages are displayed in oldest->newest order. Always.
The other omission is that it is impossible to tag-things, in the mutt-sense, so you can't reply to two messages at once. That's a design decision I might have to revisit. The balance of course is that you can open multiple folders at once, and that rocks!