Subject: Re: A Game (Email - Kelly)
From: Jamie Lokier <>
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 00:28:20 +0100

Anderson, Kelly wrote:
> > back to VM).  
> VM? The Vax operating system? Virtual Machine?

There's an MUA that runs in Emacs (on unix _and_ Windows) called VM.
Is it that one, I wonder?

> The point is that you aren't excited about it. No innovation for many
> years has left them dull and uninteresting. The problem as I see it is
> that email clients are viewed as a commodity, not somewhere that
> innovation can occur. We need innovation in our mail clients.

Gmail seems to have excited people.

Whatever mystery thing Microsoft Research are working on looks quite
exciting too.

Neither has features that haven't been thought of, and wished for,
before.  The ideas are ancient.  But they're actually putting in the
effort to implement those features.

> I didn't explain myself well enough. Imagine a combo box (why a combo
> box? Because it's easy to imagine) containing "Father", "Programmer",
> "Student", "Homeowners Association", etc. When you pick "Homeowners
> Association" the emails you see are sorted in such a way that emails
> from the other board members of your homeowners association are at the
> top of the list. When you pick "Programmer", emails to the XP list are
> featured more prominently, etc.
> This is very different than just +ing the priority.

I agree that would be a very nice feature.

> > Also autoconfiguration --- auto-elevate names, addresses, 
> > keywords, etc found in messages that you read to the end, 
> > bonus points for saved messages or reread messages, 
> > auto-deprecate for messages flushed without reading, etc.  
> > Slogan: "The MUA that reads your mind!"
> Now you're on the same wavelength with me.

That too.

Also, when I mark a spam as "spam"(*), I'd like the remaining 2000 new
mails(**) that are in my INBOX to be re-evaluated, so that any which
have become spams with high confidence will be deleted immediately.

(*) Or any other tag such as "father", "work" etc.
(**) I get 1000 spams daily.  It is very annoying.

Seriously, how about adding those features to Mutt? :)

Pointedly: why not?  Thinking from the POV of a business, why write a
new MUA, instead of enhancing an existing one?

I would much prefer using Mutt, which I'm used to and happy with, with
the above features added, over having to use a totally different new
MUA just for one feature, which probably sucks for the other features
which matter to me.  I probably wouldn't bother using the new MUA
because of the unpleasantness of changing, just for that feature.

I'm sure everyone else who is comfortable with their MUA would rather
adopt a new feature into it, than switch to some completely different

That suggests it would be better to produce an add-on which adds the
feature to several popular MUAs, instead of providing a new MUA.  Or
standardise a protocol, such as an IMAP extension for that sort of

> It's a lot of work :-(  AI isn't easy, and this is definitely AI stuff.

Your idea of different roles affecting scoring needn't be AI, and that
would be useful by itself.  A genuine productivity enhancement, I
should think.

-- Jamie