Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

PINE Releases 4.50 424

wasaty writes "Yesterday new PINE came out. Main new feature is (at last!) threading support. Look here for a full list of changes." Ah, my first "real" e-mail program; watching it change is like watching evolution in motion.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

PINE Releases 4.50

Comments Filter:
  • Still useful (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ekrout ( 139379 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:23PM (#4726788) Journal
    My school added an "amazing new webmail feature" this year, but I really wasn't that impressed with it. The sad thing is that they probably paid some company for the webmail app, even though you can download several different ones at for free.

    Anyway, the point is that PINE is still used today even though many consider it antiquated. For people like myself who know all the shortcuts and don't mind an all-text interface, it's superb.

    So, PINE is certainly not dead, and many of us still use it on occasion when away from the office. It's much faster than VNCing into your home box and using Outlook.

    When you're on the go, give PINE a call ;-)
    • Re:Still useful (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fweeky ( 41046 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:28PM (#4726833) Homepage
      When you're on the go, give PINE a call;-)

      Or mutt, which doesn't have such a large history of security holes, and which has had basic features like threading for years :P
      • Re:Still useful (Score:5, Insightful)

        by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:30PM (#4726858) Homepage
        And which is now the default email client for my university; they tossed Pine the other week because it's a security risk...
      • Re:Still useful (Score:3, Informative)

        by SquadBoy ( 167263 )
        Damned straight. I love my mutt. The one big reason is that I can SSH to my box from anywhere and get my mail. Mutt does in fact rule and it is also free as in speech. :)
    • Re:Still useful (Score:3, Insightful)

      by coryboehne ( 244614 )
      Really, when I'm on a *nix box I prefer to use Pine over ANY other option.... I actually enjoy the somewhat antiquated interface (reminds me of the good ol' days when that was the only option) and I love the fact that it is super fast.

      I can't really understand the reason to add threading support... It's kinda like putting a bigger engine in a Corvette without putting more rubber on the ground.. It's a waste really, the program is so fast already with such low overhead that I have never had any problems with speed... Maybe I'm just missing something and there really is a great reason for this... I just don't see it.

      Oh well though, great to see that it is still being maintained by someone, and that there are others out there that care about the wonderful program known to all as PINE.
      • Re:Still useful (Score:4, Informative)

        by coryboehne ( 244614 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:32PM (#4726876)
        Duh, damn programmer mindset getting me into trouble again....

        Now that I look at it again I realize that they don't mean the kind of threading I was thinking about, they mean theading as in nesting.... D'Oh!

        Dearest Moderators: This is not flamebait, I am replying to myself to acknoledge that I made a stupid mistake.... thank you.
      • Re:Still useful (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gallir ( 171727 )
        can't really understand the reason to add threading support... It's kinda like putting a bigger engine in a Corvette without putting more rubber on the ground.. It's a waste really, the program is so fast already with such low overhead that I have never had any problems with speed... Maybe I'm just missing something and there really is a great reason for this... I just don't see it.

        Bad, bad, moderators :-). He is not a troll, he's a moron.

        It doesn't mean anything like "POSIX Threads. "Threads in Pine" means "message threading", you know, that magic thing that sort and "join" related messages. As my answer to you, here in /.

    • Re:Still useful (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Chicane-UK ( 455253 ) <chicane-uk.ntlworld@com> on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:33PM (#4726887) Homepage

      I implemented a Web Mail system where I work this year for students - downloaded for free from []. Its a very powerful system and is currently serving 30,000 student accounts on a mid priced Dell server.

      But back onto the topic, I have tried quite a few email applications in my time - the college where I work has recently just phased out out old POP3 Linux mail server in favour of an Exchange 2000 server. To be fair, it has been pretty good so far.

      But Pine has to be one of my very favourite email apps - small, quick, and very easy to use. I even found that Windows users with no experience of *nix could get to grips with Pine pretty quickly, which is no mean feat.

      I'll make sure I download this version :)
    • Re:Still useful (Score:2, Insightful)

      by misof ( 617420 )
      Well, pardon me if I'm wrong... but if you are fond of all-text interface (+aalib for viewing attached images, etc. :-) as I am and if you were really willing to learn _all_ the kbd shortcuts in pine, then mutt (and NOT pine) is the right client for you. Mutt has had threading support for _ages_, it is a much more powerful tool and the kbd shortcuts are IMHO more logical, especially to someone used to work with Linux and the editor vim.
      • I hated (some) of the keybindings in mutt -- luckily it's pretty trivial to rebind them.

        I now control 90% of all my mutt usage from the cursor keys. Right goes into a mbox, then into a mail, then into a list of the parts of a mail, then into individual parts which weren't displayed inline. Left goes in the other direction, and up/down do what you'd expect.

        Numpad '0' (bound to next unread message), PageUp/Dn and 'r' make up most of the other 10% :)
    • "My school added an "amazing new webmail feature" this year, but I really wasn't that impressed with it. The sad thing is that they probably paid some company for the webmail app, even though you can download several different ones at for free."

      It will still save them money because they will get significantly fewer calls from people who don't know how to set up pop3 and smtp in their Outbreak Express. My univ. also introduced one of these and it is pretty convenient. Click a quick shortcut in mozilla and enter uid/pass as opposed to starting telnet session, connect to mail server, start pine, go to inbox...

    • Re:Still useful (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tack ( 4642 )
      I'm seeing a lot of posts in this thread basically saying "I use lots of different computers and I can access PINE anywhere -- who needs web mail?"

      The problem is with security. There are two ubiquitous tools on almost any computer: a telnet client, and a web browser. In fact, computers rarely have ssh clients installed. So if you want to access PINE remotely, you must telnet in, and I don't need to explain why that's bad.

      Alternatively, web mail can be setup with https, and I'd be much more comfortable checking my email when I visit my friend in Europe (for instance) via https, rather than telnet. Of course, _any_ option is a security risk when you're using a public terminal (in a library of internet cafe, say), but if you trust the computer you're using, webmail via https is safer than pine via telnet. And it's easier than installing putty on every computer you want to check email from.

      • Re:Still useful (Score:3, Informative)

        by spacey ( 741 )
        pine and mutt can both work over an IMAP or IMAPS connection, which means that you don't have to give them local shell access if you know how to set up a virtual host setup.

        Good stuff for security. No ssh, no telnet, less web (most have mildly horrible interfaces).

      • Re:Still useful (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cadre ( 11051 )
        So if you want to access PINE remotely, you must telnet in, and I don't need to explain why that's bad.

        S/Key support is in most modern Unixes. S/Key + Telnet is very safe. And unless you use PGP (which I'm going to make a wild guess that you probably don't) you can't complain that people can read your unencrypted session and see your email.

        Also, Java SSH clients that work in web browsers are a dime a dozen. Just check Freshmeat.

        One last thing S/Key + Telnet is far less risky than https at a public terminal to the point that it's very acceptable and quite convenient.

      • Re:Still useful (Score:4, Informative)

        by Combuchan ( 123208 ) <sean@emvis . n et> on Thursday November 21, 2002 @09:40PM (#4728371) Homepage
        If I'm ever trapped at the library or foreign language lab here at my local community college and have to accomplish something more productive than studying or listening to the instructor, I always download PuTTY [], a free Win32 SSH client.

        The good thing about PuTTY is that the downloable .EXE is the entire program. There's no installer and thus the application can be run from even the most locked down of machines with little difficulty.

        PuTTY is also super-stable (has never crashed on me, and Notepad can't even say that) and it's GPL'd. Go PuTTY!
  • by Delirium Tremens ( 214596 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:25PM (#4726796) Journal
    ... watching it change is like watching evolution in motion.

    Hum, not quite yet []. But, it is definitely catching up.

    • by terkozer ( 521819 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @07:22PM (#4727315)
      To really watch Evolution in motion peform the following steps...
      • obtain one (1) laptop & install favourite linux distro (debian in my case)
      • apt-get install evolution (or however you would install an app in your favourite distro).
      • make sure laptop is unplugged from electrical, ethernet sockets..
      • pick laptop up and hurl as far as possible across room.. (also, ignore all those wierd looks you get from co-workers)
      • last but not least, hope atleast somebody finds this funny..

  • by Ryu2 ( 89645 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:26PM (#4726802) Homepage Journal
    Bah... /usr/ucb/Mail rules!
  • Well, maybe not, but seriously, distributing modified binaries of pine is illegal, which really cramps my style ;-). There are other mail readers I would reccomened over pine, namely mutt, or elm, spruce, sylpheed, or balsa, all of which are Free as in speech.
    • Re:Pine is EVIL!!! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Servo ( 9177 ) <`dstringf' `at' `'> on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:51PM (#4727070) Journal
      Not entirely. I used to maintain PINE for Debian quite some time ago.

      Because it wasn't entirely "free as in speech", it was required to go into the non-free section. Unless they've drastically changed the license since I last paid any attention to it, it required:

      1) Modified versions were required to be designated with a L (iirc) after the version number to signal they had been changed before compiling.

      2) You are not allowed to sell the binaries, or distribute them on a "for sale" media.

      3) Permission is required before distributing the binaries.

      The big deal with Debian was that it could not be included in the normal section because of #2, and I think the powers that be at the time were pissed off at #3 as well. At the time I was managing PINE for Debian, practically all of the other distro's included a compiled version of PINE. It pissed me off because the controlling group within Debian didn't want to work out a deal with UW to allow Pine to be distributed as a normal package within Debian.

      FYI, this was back when Bruce Peren's had his weekly temper tantrums and threaten to go work for Redhat instead.
      • Ah, I see. Good info, thanks for clearing that up.
      • Re:Pine is EVIL!!! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by WzDD ( 23061 )
        > Not entirely. I used to maintain PINE for
        > Debian quite some time ago.

        Ah, I was wondering what the maintainer thought about the whole situation. :-)

        I'm maintaining Pine for a programming society at my university, and I encountered a fair bit of resistance of the "It's not Free enough" variety. While people may certainly choose to believe this, my reading of license indicated to me that it was permissible to do what I was doing - ie, compile it from source, perhaps even make local changes, as long as I changed the version number. I often wondered why the Debian Pine installer - which downloads the source, applies patches, compiles and makes a local .deb - disappeared. It's nice - I guess - to know that the reason is as I suspected: ideological, rather than due to any legitimate legal concerns.

    • That's all, nothing more to see here. Move along...


      PS: Couldn't resist.

  • Well, slow motion... sometimes it's hard to imagine what they could possibly have done to Pine to enhance it over what I used to use on the old Auburn University VAX's so many years ago, but then again I can't think of any other real application that has aged so well. I first used pine MANY years ago, but most recently used it oh... well... last week probably.

    But I think the best reason to love Pine has to be... PICO! Yes! Yes! Flame me! I use PICO!!!

  • Don't use it. (Score:5, Informative)

    by fahrvergnugen ( 228539 ) <[fahrv] [at] []> on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:26PM (#4726815) Homepage
    FreeBSD says this when I try to make PINE from ports:

    SECURITY NOTE: The pine software has had several remote vulnerabilities discovered in the past, which allowed remote attackers to execute arbitrary code as you on your local system, by the action of sending a specially-prepared email. All such KNOWN problems have been fixed, but the pine code is written in a very insecure style and the FreeBSD Security Officer believes there are likely to be other undiscovered vulnerabilities. Do you wish to proceed with the installation of pine anyway?

    Does the new version address any of the issues that lead to this message appearing?

    • Re:Don't use it. (Score:3, Informative)

      by erik umenhofer ( 782 )
      I believe this warning comes from the fact it requires pico to build. IIRC, pico was the major problem and not pine. Of course, a bug is a bug no matter what the source. Me thinks that's what the problem was.
  • by ekrout ( 139379 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:27PM (#4726819) Journal
    Screenshot [] of PINE in action.
    • I'm interested in how you got a 32-bit gif.
    • +1, funny (Score:3, Funny)

      by x mani x ( 21412 )
      i dont think anyone realizes that your post is a joke.
    • Wrong, wrong!!! HERE [] is a shot of PINE in action!
    • Can we get a shot of threads? Be interesting to see how it compares with mutt [] (and no, that's not the default index format or colour scheme)
  • Still loyal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by doc_traig ( 453913 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:27PM (#4726822) Homepage Journal
    I'm still a loyal pine user, having cut my teeth first with "mail". What I've noticed, however, is that just about everyone I know who was a happy pine user is now a happy mutt [] user. I'm only a holdout on switching because I haven't really investigated the differences (if it ain't broke...), but my sense is that by popular majority among CLI mail readers I know, mutt is where you go to get "better-than-pine".

    - DDT
    • "All mail clients suck. This one just sucks less." -me, circa 1995

      I think 'me' is Jeremy Blosser.

    • pine2mutt (Score:3, Interesting)

      There even exists a perl script to help the transition: pine2mutt [] (disclaimer: I still use pine).
    • I waited to switch to mutt for a long time because in mutt it is not obvious at all what you have to do to get it to actually read your mail. I had to read a lot of docs, manuals, howtos, and mailing lists to make mutt send and recieve mail in the desired fashion. In contrast Pine was always very easy to configure.

      But, I am now much happier with mutt than I was with pine. The only thing mutt lacks from pine is 'zoom'. Is there a mutt analog?

      In fact there doesn't even seem to be a next-tagged-message keystroke...

    • I can totally relate. I started with Elm and was forced to switch to pine many years ago when our sysadmin decided to overhaul the system to his likings. After a week or so, I got used to Pine and have been using it ever since. I haven't even tried Mutt as Pine works fine for me.

      Maybe I'll give Mutt & Nano a try this weekend. Or maybe sometime around 2005. Who knows.
    • Re:Still loyal (Score:3, Informative)

      by mosch ( 204 )
      I'm one of those people who switched from pine to mutt. I switched for a number of reasons: better pgp integration, mail threading (no longer an issue), easier to modify code (pine is hellish), a better security history, and a more powerful interface.

      mutt isn't as cuddly as pine is, but it was worth it for me. and i get the added bonus that nothing installs pico on my machines now.

    • Re:Still loyal (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 0x0d0a ( 568518 )
      Well, let's see.

      * Heavily menu-based, easier to learn
      * Better colorization when reading letters (colorizes each level of replied-to text a different color)
      * Most keys easier to remember
      * Has a monthly sent-mail folder. You can do this in mutt, but it takes a bit of work and editing your config file.

      * More consistent keystrokes...Pine has something like three keystrokes that mean "back out of this screen" -- Q, E, and less-than. Mutt inexplicably still uses both "q" and "i", but it's somewhat better.
      * Unlike pine, you don't have to turn on something like 50 options to get reasonable functionality out of the program -- pine defaults to an extremely simple set of options, mutt to a much more powerful set.
      * really, really good PGP support
      * more and nicer colorization of the UI aside from the recieved mail text.

      Both are fairly configurable, mutt more so. Mutt takes much more poking around and time spent to get working the way you want.

      I *strongly* suggest using whichever you choose in conjunction with procmail to process your incoming mail. I sort mailing list stuff into mailing list inboxes, filter out viruses, and eat spam with procmail. A little more work to use than the more simplistic filters in a GUI email program, but very powerful, and quite a useful tool to have under the belt.
  • by irregular_hero ( 444800 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:28PM (#4726830)
    Pine is a really nice mail app, for sure. But I still think it has one of the quirkiest licenses [] of any source-available application out there. It specifically forbids development and support of branches of the codebase -- if I add a cool new feature that the maintainers refuse to add (web browsing, maybe), then I can't split off and make "Joe's Pine," I have to distribute a diff file with the original source tarball.
    • It specifically forbids development and support of branches of the codebase -- if I add a cool new feature that the maintainers refuse to add (web browsing, maybe), then I can't split off and make "Joe's Pine," I have to distribute a diff file with the original source tarball.

      If you ever had to work with the University of Washington's patent and copyright folks, you'd understand. Since the university is an exceedingly underfunded institution, they demand their cut on all patents -- and Japanese companies compensate their internal inventors better.

      Trust me, you want to put any homemade mods into your own personal tarball. If not, the University of Washington will act as if your mod is their personal property.

    • It's like that for a very good reason. Pine was around BEFORE the GPL. Hell, Pine was around before there was open source as we know it. WU wrote a license that fit their needs and still allowed for the freedom its users wanted, and is still as such today. The people that shout about how evil Pine is because it isn't GPLed really need to do some reading.
  • by nakaduct ( 43954 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:28PM (#4726832)
    Good for them. I myself just released 2.10, for a can of pop and bag of chips. That comes on the heels of a 1.30 release, into a parking meter.
  • No, thanks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by huma ( 8269 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:29PM (#4726835)
    I stopped using pine as my mail client (about three years
    i was using it) for three reasons:

    1. Doesn't support Maildir in the main code, only thru third-party patches, and pine guys rejects to add Maildir
    support to the code, and nobody can do it and publish it,
    because of their license.

    2. Is not GPL

    3. Mutt is waaaaay more configurable

  • Get your brand new green PINE tree in time to decorate for christmas! You could mod it with all blue lights... imagine a beowulf cluster of christmas trees! Merry Christmas to all!

    Seriously though, threads help a ton in organizing messages. :)
  • In other news... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ivan256 ( 17499 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:30PM (#4726850)
    In other news, pine would have done this years ago had it truly been free software. Since they don't allow people to distribute modified versions, and they don't like to accept featere enhancements nobody does any work on it. For that reason, everybody with the patience to look for and learn something better has moved on to other text based mail clients.
  • quote:
    watching it change is like watching evolution in motion

    this is a bad pun, or a bad joke, or a funny mistake
    • I would say (Score:4, Informative)

      by emag ( 4640 ) <> on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:41PM (#4726983) Homepage
      ..."because it's slow and messy"...

      Pine was nice 10 years ago, easier to figure out (for me) than elm, nicer than mail and Mail. But, well, changes take a damned long time coming, and some things (like newsgroup support) seemed to be added for "gee whiz" reasons before things that make reading large mailing lists useful (like threading).

      As others have said, most everyone with patience to learn something else has moved on. Most of the people I know have moved on to mutt []. And yes, someone's pointed out to me the default keybindings match elm. I guess as you grow and learn . . .
    • quote:
      watching it change is like watching evolution in motion

      this is a bad pun, or a bad joke, or a funny mistake

      D. All of the above

  • Did they fix the Ctrl-H Backspace bug?

    Can it understand more than one local sender address as not to be included in the reply set?

  • by jki ( 624756 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:31PM (#4726870) Homepage
    Imagine that pine was first released in 1989 [] and yet the latest version number is reasonable. If this was something else - going to be polite and not mention it :) - you know what it would be like. I mean there's a point in it - the project is more than 10 years old but has stayed very consistent for the whole time. And talking about email clients, that's a miracle.

    Have you ever read the project history linked above: " Our goal was to provide a mailer that naive users could use without fear of making mistakes. We wanted to cater to users who were less interested in learning the mechanics of using electronic mail than in doing their jobs; users who perhaps had some computer anxiety". I think they have succeeded well, even now when everyone is used to having all the graphical bells and whistles my Mom - who had never used email before, learned pine quicker than outlook (she never learnt to use it, actually).

  • Pine (Score:2, Insightful)

    Pine was my first e-mail app too. But a single view of those old text menus (and memories of mails lost/rewritten) would send me running to the nearest GUI-driven mail program I could find.
    Use only as needed (imho).
    • Re:Pine (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SquadBoy ( 167263 )
      But how do you use a GUI client over an SSH tunnel when you are on a low bandwidth connection? The point is pick a tool that is right for the job and for *many* of us that means a CLI mail client.
  • watching it change is like watching evolution in motion

    it doesn't change - people change it.

    and the people have changed it well - way to go pine!

    j. []

  • Users? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by livio ( 583002 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:35PM (#4726906) Homepage
    I'm really curious to know how many users still use pine? I remember when I first got in college, it was the "easiest" mail application for an UNIX-newbie, so I used it for about a week (I didn't like it, so I found out about Emacs VM and never used pine again :-), but now I think things have changed a bit, no?

    I mean, very new users tend to use graphical interfaces for almost everything... And there are plenty graphical MUAs ou there. And old, more "advanced" users tend to use more sofisticated or powerful MUAs (graphical or non-graphical), like Emacs' VM, Mutt, etc.

    So.... does Pine really still maintain a user-base? If so, what would be the reasons for these users sticking with Pine? (As you can see, I'm not a Pine fan ;), but anyways, I'd like to hear from those who are...).

    • I use pine when I'm away from my home computer and evolution when i'm at home. The reason I still use pine is because I haven't found anything better or at least haven't found a compelling reason to switch to mutt or emacs or mh. Pine with vim as my mail editor (pico sucks) does everything I need it to. Can someone give me a compelling reason to try out another command line mail system?
    • Re:Users? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rsidd ( 6328 )
      Linus Torvalds uses it [] (as email headers from his lkml messages confirm).
    • Glad you asked... [].

      When a new user first runs pine, it asks them if they would mind sending an anonymous message that would count their use.

      I still use pine. It's very very fast. Like searching for some text in a folder with 2500 messages is almost instantaneous. It also helps me cut through crap, reply quickly, and move on. Plus I don't have to use a mouse. I do have my priorities and just load up with 800 mg of Ibuprofen first!

      I am old, 43, and suffering from RSI in a muscle in my right shoulder blade from using the mouse too much... However, that doesn't stop me from playing some decent first person shooters with my mouse.

      Which reminds me, I was recently quoted in the newspaper here [] on a story about abandoning the mouse. My quote was ""If you tried to use keyboard commands for an online shooting game, you'd be dead before you could load your weapon," said Ken Weaverling, computer services manager at Delaware Technical & Community College."

      I actually said "first person shooter" but the reporter changed it to "online shooting game." Still it was kinda neat even though people where I worked were wondering if they should call Tom Ridge's boys after me...

    • Re:Users? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nessak ( 9218 )
      I've been using pine for about 7 years. I found out about it when I got my first linux install, in 1995. Not long after that I got an ISP which gave a free Unix shell account (via dialup/telnet) with the PPP account (you could buy just the shell account if you wanted.) Since it took a few days for the PPP to start working and the shell account was ready right away I started using pine and liked it.

      Now at my final year at my huge university it is still what I use. It is very quick, very small, and I can get to it using every differant computer I use. (I use a *lot* of differant computers.) I see absolutly no advantage that a GUI mail client offers me. I use procmail for spam anyway, and I don't exactly have the most complex mail needs. Pine just works well and I have never said, "Oh, If only I could be able to do X".

      So that is why I still use pine. Most of my freinds use it too. In a few months when I leave college I will just setup fetchmail and continue to ssh into my own box to check mail with pine.

      And speaking of mutt, it is not installed on the student unix cluster my school maintains so I have never had the chance to use it.
    • Ah what a great discussion to mod, but nonetheless I feel obliged to reply. I suppose I'm a loyal pine user, I've never used anything else. No IMAP, no POP3, no webmail, etc. With the great help of Mysidia [], we converted everything to qmail a couple of years ago and pine works just great. (Had to change a config setting in pine, oh no!) Also, I always answer "no" when changing my sent-mail to the new month, so.. according to my sent-mail my first outgoing email was on August 26, 1997.

      Er, anyways, to be on topic, I never switched because I have no reason to. What does GUI provide that I don't have besides pretty pictures? I use the keyboard shortcuts just fine, it's fast, I can save attachments and get them via ftp, I can easily send attachments, I hate html emails, but it parses just enough to make them readable, and all of the features are at most 3 keystrokes away, not to mention wrappers for pgp signing and encrypting!

      My name is Adam, and I'm a happy Pine user.
    • I've been using Pine for about 5 years now, after moving to unix from Eudora on a Windows box, and am still extremely happy with it. I've tried Mutt, but I didn't like the 'feel' of it as much as Pine. While Mutt's bindings are configurable, the functions they provide just didn't match up to how I use Pine.

      I have a great deal of muscle-memory using Pine, and I fly using it, which is extremely important to me. I'm able to perform the operations I want to in Pine very quickly. I also use Pine as my newsreader, but I'm not a heavy news guy.

      If there was a mailer I'd switch to it might be nmh, but only with a strongly personalized, self-written frontend.

  • I for one really don't care about Pine that much as as mail program. I love Pico, the wonderful little text editor that comes with it. Yeah I know there's the GPL nano, but I'm still pico all the way, and put it on every unix machine I use. It's nice to see that the one app I use probably more than any other is still in development.
  • First?! (Score:5, Funny)

    by sielwolf ( 246764 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:37PM (#4726938) Homepage Journal
    Ah, my first "real" e-mail program

    Careful, captain. Some of us are still using Pine.

    Of course I'm not surprised by the reaction. My mother saw me sshing to my box once and said "Oh God, that brings back horrible memories..." Who says that UI has nothing to do with End User acceptance? Me personally: I love it. But to most people its like "Why do you go out hunting with a bow and arrow when we can get perfectly good meat down at the Kroger?"

    Pine Users: the Ted Nugents of the Computing World!
    • Not even! I use pine every day also, but that's just because I like pico so much. I've hated all the Unix text-mode editors except pico, so pine was just natural for me to start using. And I guess I've stuck with it because I'm lazy.

      I almost hit CTRL-x, y to submit the post.
    • Amen! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Akardam ( 186995 )
      I've been using Pine ever since I first had access to a shell account (at my school) in 1998. I don't particularily care about the license, as I don't develop in it. I don't particularily care that it doesn't handle newsgroups very well, as I rely on Google Groups for newsreading (I don't post). I could go on.

      It's a simple interface, with everything documented WITHIN THE PROGRAM (main reason I don't use vi), and best of all, it comes with Pico, which I think is the most cool, kickass little text editor. Pico on my servers combined with Putty on my Win2k workstation equals easy code and script editing.

      Anyway, just my two simolians.
    • Re:First?! (Score:4, Funny)

      by abe ferlman ( 205607 ) <bgtrio@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Thursday November 21, 2002 @07:21PM (#4727305) Homepage Journal
      Not a fair analogy. A better one would be "Why go out hunting with a bow and arrow when you could chase squirrels, beat them senseless with your plastic Outlook cd case, then eat their brains?"

  • le mot juste (Score:2, Insightful)

    by happystink ( 204158 )
    Evolution in motion eh Hemos? As opposed to evolution which doesn't go forward, or uhh..
  • Pine is a great email program. Using only a console it somehow manages to be easier to use than most GUI programs. The error messages are an example of brilliant UI design.

    Unfortunatly the licence is not good. While the source is available, distributing changed versions is illegal. This for example makes it illegal for Debian to fix its paths and distribute it, or for me to make a graphical version (anyone remember xpine?)

    That means I've now given up on it. Fortunatly there are fairly good replacements, like mutt with pine bindings, or kmail via aalib.
  • by Stonehead ( 87327 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:47PM (#4727038)
    A quick search on the changelog reveals nothing improved about the years-old problems [] with Pine and S/MIME. It simply can't invoke plugins for GPG to check or generate messages that have the GPG signature as an attachment. Which means that 80% of the GPG-signed email that I get is useless and that Pine still does not handle the S/MIME RFC. (The other 20% is handled by patches or stopgaps [].)
    Sigh. I know Mutt is better, but I still use Pine 4.44. I just don't trust those scripts that add Pine keybindings to Mutt.. :)
  • by bobv-pillars-net ( 97943 ) <> on Thursday November 21, 2002 @06:52PM (#4727075) Homepage Journal
    watching it change is like watching evolution in motion.

    ...except that evolution is faster.

    Score: -1 (Troll)

  • First off - I love this program. I've been using it at Cornell for the last 6 years and except for not being able to have a look at those silly pictures people sometimes send me with my text terminal, I'd have it no other way.... I'll sometimes type ahead of my terminal's response by 4-5 commands, then just wait for them all to complete "at once" when the busy sun box catches up to me. It handles pine for many others and gets somewhat slow in the evenings. Damn fine email client though. (A much better way of handling mail than the IMP solution they recently came up with....)

    Question: How does Pine's IMAP client implementation compare to Mutt's? Insight or experience anyone?

    I've been thinking of setting up my own IMAP server.... [Offtopic] Cyrus or courier-imap server? Advantages or disadvantages of each?

    • I use pine for some years now. I have kept all my old email in pine folders. Recently I installed cyrus imapd at home, with SSL support. I tried using mozilla to transfer all my old email to my IMAP server, but the server would complain about the headers in the messages. Opened up pine, configured IMAP/ssl and tried moving all my old email to the IMAP server. Except for some minor problems (some messages), I moved it all. It is slow, but does the trick.
    • Pine handels one IMAP server just fine... but that's just not good enough anymore. Personally I have three imap account one three different servers, Pine doesn't not handle that well. Sure you can do it, or at leasts thats what they claim. I just gave up, it amazingly complicated to setup, just my opinion. If you just have the one IMAP server it pretty good.

      Im still looking for a console mail reader that can handle multiple IMAP servers as good as Mozilla does. Any ideas ? (And no, the answer Im looking for is NOT Gnus, I hate it okay, no reason, I just dislike it in a bad way, live with it.)
    • Re:IMAP in Pine (Score:5, Informative)

      by Charles Dodgeson ( 248492 ) <> on Thursday November 21, 2002 @08:22PM (#4727827) Homepage Journal
      How does Pine's IMAP client implementation compare to Mutt's?

      Pine is IMAP. For a very long time, other clients (including mutt) just treated IMAP as a form of POP. Pine, on the other hand, did IMAP before it did POP. (A principle pine developer is also a principle force behind IMAP.)

      I've been thinking of setting up my own IMAP server....
      Look at the UW IMAP server. The chief complaint about it is that it is be slow and a memory hog for large mail boxes. But that is only true if you use the unix/mbox mail box format. If you use the recommend mbx format, access is quick, you can have multiple sessions open to the same mailbox (with this, I get around the "single view" problem of pine, by running multiple instances. I also store my .pinerc on an IMAP server as well.)

      Anyway, I'm obviously a pine fan (and was a tester for this release. I haven't yet installed 4.50, so I'm still running 4.49.9999).

  • Threading support (Score:4, Informative)

    by rsidd ( 6328 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @07:01PM (#4727157)
    is improved, but not new: it has been there in some form since at least version 4.30 [].
  • by stype ( 179072 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @07:03PM (#4727171) Homepage
    And don't forget about pico (pine composer), which has been making bad programmers worse for more years than I care to remember.

  • by zorgon ( 66258 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @07:05PM (#4727191) Homepage Journal
    I have found that copy and paste (from somewhere else, into pine/pico) using highlight/middle button in X sessions results in a tangled mess -- particularly if it's over some other text, this text is overwritten and whatnot.

    Does anyone know if the new version of pine&pico has fixed this problem? I find it to be a big obstacle to useability. Merci.
  • by MaverickUW ( 177871 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @07:09PM (#4727217)
    Well, not many people may realize it, but the UW has been working on a newer version of Pine then what was just released. Many schools have their own webmail program (UW had this really bad one for a while), but UW has been developing what it calls Webpine for a long time now accessable at [] if you're a UW student (links to find out more are on the page. It works pretty well, when accessing my old UW email account, I generally log into webpine (I don't have shell access anymore so normal pine is out the window). Given time, and ways to speed the process up for those of us unfortunate enough to be on dialup (broadband isn't always the fastest for some parts of it either), and this could be really good. It's written at least partially in tcl.
  • by Tester ( 591 ) <> on Thursday November 21, 2002 @07:18PM (#4727283) Homepage
    Yes I admit it, I still use pine even if its not free software. Why? Its to my knownledge the only email client that supports remote imap properly. By that I mean one that doesnt try to re-download the whole list of all messages in the folder like mutt (Very usefull with huge folders). Evolution would probably do the job as it keeps a local copy. But it was way to unstable the last time I tried it. And I need something that I can use over the network.

    Any mutt user can tell me if mutt now supports imap properly? And don't tell me gnus is the solution, even if I'm starting to consider it...
  • by timothy ( 36799 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @07:40PM (#4727454) Journal
    I've been using PINE for a long time; this does not make me a power user of PINE so much as someone who has eventually had a very few useful bits of information blasted at me enough to have left a small groove in my brain like a flatworm. (Right animal I'm thinking of?) Here's one thing that I hope you find useful: how to use PINE's filters.

    Many people, in fact, don't realize that PINE has a very nice filter system. Yes, there *is* a fine manual for pine, but not that many pithy HOWTOs. Or maybe there are -- google searches eventually brought this information to light for me, and I'm just paraphrasing it here for your convenience :)

    So. Let's say you use pine, and want to stop, interrogate and file away from your sensitive eyeballs all email that contains the giveaway snippet "this email cannot be considered spam". Here's a step-by-step guide -- it's only this long to provide assurance; once you start the process, you can probably ignore my steps and simply follow the on-screen prompts.

    1) fire up pine if it's not already running.

    2) Hit "M" if you're not at the Main screen. My PINE session is setup to take me straight to my inbox, but yours may already bring you right to your main screen, but at any rate hitting M can't hurt :)

    3) (OK, this is really three steps in one) Hit "S" for Setup; Hit "R" for Rules; Hit "F" for Filter, because that's the type of Rule you want to add.

    6) The screen you're now looking at is a bit intimidating, but it's really like a gruff pal who is actually friendly once you're past his exterior. Highlighted already is a line that says "No Value Set: using "Filter Rule": at this point, hit return and give your filter an appropriate name. I usually say something like "[keyword description] [(reason)]" -- in this case, I'd make it "this email cannot be considered spam (spam)." From here on out, use your arrow keys or tab around to fill in the relevant information.

    7) Let's do this example section by section.
    In the top section, the one headed by the line "CURRENT FOLDER CONDITIONS BEGIN HERE," you most likely will not have to do anything; the default is probably to make the filter affect your inbox, which is what I (and I'm guessing most people) usually want.

    8) Next section, "FILTERED MESSAGE CONDITIONS BEGIN HERE," that is, looks more complicated than it is. You can ignore the fields you don't care about by just leaving them blank. If you were trying to block all messages from "," you would put that address in the field labeled "From pattern." In our present example, go down to the field "AllText pattern," hit return to give yourself an input field, and type in (or paste in) "this email cannot be considered spam". In fact, "cannot be considered spam" by itself might be even smarter. I avoid punctuation in my spam filters; you want matches, and shorter phrases give more matches.

    9) Almost done :) Scroll down, ignoring a few sections, to the section "ACTIONS BEGIN HERE" and the subsection "Filter action =" Go down to the line "Folder List = " and hit return (again, this is the way you get a text entry field). Type in the name of a folder to which you would like the dreck blasted; "spam" is what I call mine. If the folder does not yet exist, PINE will prompt you and ask if you want to create it; this is a useful catch in case you accidentally try to filter it to "span" instead.

    10) Hit "E" to "Exit Setup." When PINE asks "Commit changes ("Yes" replaces settings, "No" abandons changes)? " hit Y for Yes. You now have a filter in place! :) If it corresponds to a piece of spam currently in your inbox, you should see a message like "moving one filtered message to "spam.""

    11) Return to you inbox; "M" for Main and "I" for inbox should do it. If your filter was well applied, you should be down one spam :)

    Note: you can set up filters on ingoing mail for your friends as well as the jerks of the world; you can filter all mail from your old buddies to a folder "pals," and mail from coworkers to "job_mail," etc, by using the "From pattern" field rather than the AllText pattern, for instance.

    Then, to read your sorted email, look in the folders you have created, because the incoming messages will be sorted into them. i.e., if you create a "friends" folder, you must open that folder to see the mail which has been sorted into it.

    This is a very incomplete look at PINE's filters, but I hope it is useful to you. If you explore the options available on the filter creation page, for instance, you can see that you can also sent junk mail straight to the toilet by deleting it unread; this has resulted in some false positives for me, so I try not to do this any more.


  • by magi ( 91730 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @07:54PM (#4727572) Homepage Journal
    Much better than Elm, actually, as Elm didn't handle MIME stuff and character sets properly (at least in the time Pine did).

    I consider the following the best advantages of Pine:
    • Doesn't require windowing system - works nicely through ssh, so you can read mail on one server from whereever you are.
    • It doesn't need mouse for anything.
    • Is very compact on screen - all GUI email clients need practically full screen. Pine reuses the entire space of screen and doesn't waste it with frames like all GUI clients do.
    • Pressing 's' saves mail to mailbox according to sender's username. No need to drag with mouse.
    • Saves sent mail to folder according to receiver's username, or whatever you write to the Fcc field. Not cramming everything to an annoying "sent-mail" folder.
    These are my reasons for still using Pine at home. At work, I use KMail, mainly because I need to handle attachments more easily, but also because of easier IMAP configuration. KMail is rather good, though not without problems, and lacks all the important features of Pine listed above. Most annoying problem with KMail is that downloading mail through IMAP seems to be very slow for me (about 30 secs for a megabyte).
  • Email Clients (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wdr1 ( 31310 ) <wdr1.pobox@com> on Thursday November 21, 2002 @07:59PM (#4727618) Homepage Journal
    Ah, my first "real" e-mail program; watching it change is like watching evolution in motion.

    if by real, you mean one you run from a unix shell, sure. if you mean one with geek chic, not quite.

    pine was what was showed to people who couldn't figure out something like mm (which i still miss. *sigh*)

    i gotta say though, i never agreed with the MUA machismo. i've used mm, mh, rmail, mh-e, outlook, quickmail, mutt, and eudora. (not to mention less & grep in some dire situtations.) i say, use whichever you like or find useful. these days i personally like mutt for my work email (on a unix desktop), but like eudora for my home mail.

    i think the real studs are on the MTA side. seperate the world into those who've configured sendmail and those who haven't. anyone who's done that without going mad gets my respect.

  • by Mustang Matt ( 133426 ) on Thursday November 21, 2002 @08:01PM (#4727640)
    pine and pico are distributed together right?

    For those of you that want to get away from pico, try GNU nano [].

    Has a lot more to it than Pico, but still easy for all the people that don't like vim or emacs.
    • Amen. Nano has a pico emulation mode, or just the default has NO changes to the "old" pico-style bindings... just some new ones. Force of habit has me typing pico all the time, so all my systems have pico symlinked to nano, and I love it. Fast, light, and does everything I want. For a complex regex, commandline+awk/sed is faster and easier over a slow terminal than emacs.
  • by hacker ( 14635 ) <> on Friday November 22, 2002 @09:35AM (#4731202)
    The stock threading in Pine 4.50 is STILL wrong, but the patch I've been running here [] for over a year works perfectly (in fact, my name is actually in the patch itself for a similar bug). Let me explain:

    When you want to sort your mail, so the newest messages arrive at the top (normal for anyone who reads a LOT of mail), you set Pine to sort by "Reverse Arrival". Using the patch, I hit 'k', and now I expose threads, but ONLY the first message of the thread is sorted in reverse-arrival mode (as it should be). All replies to that thread are shown consecutively underneath it in normal arrival mode (replace dots for spaces, Slashdot strips them):

    Nov 22...Message 1

    Nov 22...Message 2
    Nov 18...Message 3
    Nov 19...+---Re: Message 3 (repl 1)
    Nov 20.......+---Re: Message 3 (repl 2)
    Nov 22...........+---Re: Message 3 (repl 3)
    Nov 15...Message 4

    With the threading in the new Pine 4.5, without using the threading patch (which was written by, btw), you get:

    Nov 22...Message 1

    Nov 22...Message 2
    Nov 22...........+---Re: Message 3 (repl 3)
    Nov 20.......+---Re: Message 3 (repl 2)
    Nov 19...+---Re: Message 3 (repl 1)
    Nov 18...Message 3
    Nov 15...Message 4

    And there's no way to stop it. Sorting by Reverse-Arrival hides threads.

    Sorting by Threads sorts upside-down (as above).

    Sorting by Reverse-Threads puts new messages at the bottom.

    I've been a happy user of Pine for 10 years (or however long it has been out), but I can't upgrade to this when such a core function is non-working like this (incidentally, don't tell me to try mutt, I've tried mutt, and it can't even come remotely close in features to what last-year's pine can do, not to mention the exploitable holes with mutt's file browser).

    I guess I'll report this again, and hope that Eduardo []can come up with a quick patch to fix it.

"The C Programming Language -- A language which combines the flexibility of assembly language with the power of assembly language."