Up front, let’s say that alot is a “graphical” interface to notmuch, which you might know or remember as a mail indexer and search tool.
And as you can see, alot has a lot 😛 of the right stuff — good color, very flexible terminal space, on-screen help and an intuitive interface. Navigation is with enter keys and a few other mnemonics, and some keys have global behaviors, regardless of what you’re doing at any moment in time.
I would bet that, once your mail setup is complete, you’ll only need about three or four minutes to learn how to use alot, and after that, you’ll cruise through your mail folder at ludicrous speed.
A few things to remember though. … alot needs notmuch on board, which means you’re dealing mostly with the local mail concept, as opposed to relaying directly to an online mail source. If you’re looking for something that will pull down messages from GMail and let you pick through them, I don’t think this is it.
On the other hand, it does mean that you’re free to latch alot (and notmuch) on to your home-grown mail system — or as I showed above, latch notmuch onto something like offlineimap, which can yank messages off GMail and store them locally.
So technically speaking, there are options. The question becomes, how much do you want to step backwards through programs, just to take advantage of alot, when things like alpine can more or less handle the entire process in one fell swoop? Again, if you use a local mail system, alot might be preferable. For me … well. … 😐
All in all, I have to give alot a gold star for catching every point in my checklist for a good console application. I don’t think this is a game-changer for me though, since I’d have to rely on two or three other programs before alot became my mail reader, even if setup is fairly straightforward for all of them.
In AUR as alot and alot-git, but the git version wasn’t working at this exact moment in time. In Debian. And of course, as promised: ⭐ Enjoy! 🙂
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