[MlMt] syntax in smart folders editor

Sherif Soliman sherif at ssoliman.com
Mon May 2 15:54:37 EDT 2016

On 2 May 2016, at 3:45, Max Rydahl Andersen wrote:

> On 24 Apr 2016, at 8:56, Benny Kjær Nielsen wrote:
>> On 22 Apr 2016, at 19:17, John Cooper wrote:
>>> Howard Wettstein wrote (at 22:53 on 21 Apr 2016):
>>>> I’m trying to set up smart folders but find some of the syntax 
>>>> )(a lot of it) hard to follow, I mean  in the drop-down lists. Is 
>>>> there someplace I can find more or less detailed explanations?
>>> This bothers me a lot, too. So much power, and so little 
>>> information!
>> The documentation could certainly be improved. As you might expect, 
>> many of the undocumented details have been added to MailMate after I 
>> wrote the documentation.
>> As Gary wrote in a separate reply:
>>> The Smart Mailboxes feature is so powerful and Byzantine that you 
>>> often just have to ask Bennie here or by e-mail if some specific 
>>> task can be done, and he'll say yes or no.
>> It might be a comfort to some that my Inbox is “punished” for the 
>> lack of detailed documentation :-)
>>> I'm a pretty good reference sleuth, but I don't know how to even 
>>> begin to decipher these, among many others:
>>> Source > Path > Noinbox
>> This is a hack to get around IMAP weirdness. Some IMAP servers place 
>> all mailboxes under INBOX in the mailbox hierarchy, e.g., it's 
>> `INBOX/Archive` instead of just `Archive`. The “Noinbox” 
>> specifier gets rid of the `INBOX` prefix which can be useful for 
>> various format strings used elsewhere (message list column, smart 
>> mailbox submailboxes, counter notifications). Usually, you would not 
>> need it.
>>> Date > » Local > Formatted [why the chevrons? Formatted how?]
>> Local is a special selector which converts a date to the local time 
>> zone. “Formatted” is also for use in format strings and is kind 
>> of an implementation leak -- at least in the smart mailbox editor 
>> and/or in searches. Most of the time you should only need to simply 
>> use “Date” and its comparison methods (the popup after the date).
>>> Subject > Blob
>> This is a word I got from an old RFC (standards document). It's the 
>> string often used for mailing lists to state the list name in the 
>> subject. For example, it would be “MlMt” in “[MlMt] syntax in 
>> smart folders editor”.
>>> Any Address > » Identity [or » Correspondent] > User > Notag
>> Identity/Correspondent are relatively new additions. They allow you 
>> to reduce the set of matched addresses to your own identities (email 
>> addresses found in your IMAP account settings to belong to you). So, 
>> “Identity” is your address and “Correspondent” is *not* your 
>> address. This could, e.g., be used to only match messages which have 
>> one of your addresses in a recipient header: “Recipient ▸ 
>> Identity exists”.
>> I hope that helps a bit. I'll note that this information should be 
>> added to the documentation when I have time extend it.
> Any thoughts about making the docs based on markdown/asciidoc and put 
> on github and we could help make the docs better faster ?
> Just a suggestion ;)

That would be pretty great. I would put some time into adding to it if 
that happens.
I could even put some time into Markdown-ifying the current 
documentation if Benny says he's open to the idea of migrating it to a 
GitHub repo.


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