Help for Pine - Incoming Folders
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The idea of an Incoming-Folders collection is that every folder in this collection is used to receive mail. For example if you are subscribed to a mailing list you can use one of these folders to keep all mail sent and/or received from that list. If you have more than one account, you can also use this collection to read mail from your other accounts, without the need to close the program.

Of course INBOX is your primary incoming-folder, this is a special folder. You can not rename it, or delete it. All other incoming-folders can be deleted and/or renamed.

Why would I like to have an Incoming-Folders Collection?

Besides the considerations that were exposed in the Introduction, here are some other reasons why you need to add this collection.

If you receive mail from mailing lists, having this collection, together with a filtering tool allows you to separate mail that is not personal, to the one that it is. In this way you can keep your INBOX only for personal mail (or vice versa, maybe you want to filter personal messages out).

How do I add the Incoming-Folders Collection?

In order to be able to use your Incoming-Folders collection, you must go to the configuration screen (Press M S C) and

[X] enable-incoming-folders

The next step is quite interesting, you must quit Pine and restart it again. This is just a convenience for the programmer that users must suffer.

When you restart Pine, you will see a new collection in your folders screen, in fact, you will see that INBOX is separated from the other folders, which are found in the Mail collection.

How do I add a folder to the Incoming-Folders Collection?

In order to add a new folder to this collection, be sure that you are in the folder list screen and put the cursor over any of the folders in this collection (so the first time you do this, you will have to put the cursor over INBOX). Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1 - Starting the Process

Press A, a menu will appear in the bottom of the screen. Starting in Pine4.55 you have 4 choices. If you are using a version of Pine previous to 4.55 you only have three options.
  1. Press ^X, if you are going to add the folder in the same server that INBOX is in. You do not need to do this if you are reading mail from your spool. If you do this, proceed to Step 3.
  2. Press RETURN, if you are going to add a folder that is in your local computer. If you do this, proceed to Step 3
  3. Starting in Pine4.55, there is a new item in the menu: ^W Use a Mail Drop. This new item is specially designed to work with a POP3 or NNTP (news) server. The idea of a maildrop is that instead of reading mail from a remote server, as Pine normally does, you can use a maildrop to move all messages in your remote folder to a local folder and read those messages as if they were in a local folder. Setting up a maildrop is a little bit more complicated, since it requires you to think of two things: The server from where you will be pulling messages and the local folder that you will save those messages that you pull from the remote server. If you press ^W proceed to Step 2.
  4. None of the above applies to you, in this case proceed to Step 2.

Step 2 - Defining the Server

If you are going to add your folder in a different server, or if you are going to a maildrop, you need to enter the location of the server. This part is a little bit complicated to describe in general terms. There are security considerations that are supported by newer versions of Pine, that may make you change the configuration of the server, these considerations are described at the end of these instructions. At this time we will describe the basics.

Step 3 - Adding the Incoming-Folder or Maildrop Folder

In this step you need to specify the folder that you want to add as an incoming folder or the folder from where you want to pull messages to a maildrop . This step is highly dependent on what your situation is. Here are your options

  1. Let's say that you want to read e-mail that you receive in another account, in this case enter the word INBOX. Now go to Step 6.
  2. Let's say that you filter certain messages to a folder, and you want to add this folder to the collection, add the path of this folder relative to the $HOME directory. For example, if your incoming folder is located at $HOME/folder, just enter folder. I prefer not to see the folders that are incoming and mix them up with other files, so I created a directory where I filter all my messages to. The location and name of this directory is $HOME/.inc-fld, and so if I wanted to add the folder pine-info in this directory I would have to write ~/.inc-fld/pine-info as the folder name. Notice that you can not add this folder as ".inc-fld/pine-info", since an incoming folder can not begin with a period. That's why you must add the prefix "~/". Pine contains code that allows for adding folder names (meaning file names) that contains spaces. If you need this to work and it does not, then report it as a bug.

    You can also add the full path to the folder, if you don't remember that the path is relative to your $HOME directory.

    If you are not using a maildrop, proceed to step 6, otherwise the next paragraph applies to you.

    If you are using a maildrop on a news server, you need to enter the name of the newsgroup preceded by the string #news.. For example to add a maildrop for the newsgroup comp.mail.pine one would add the folder #news.comp.mail.pine. Now proceed to step 4

Step 4 - Defining the Server for the target of a Maildrop

If you are using a maildrop, the next step allows you to define where you will move your message from the original mailbox specified in the previous steps. Normally one would use a maildrop to save messages to a local folder, but you can actually use any location for the target of your maildrop.

Once you get to this point, you have the following options

Now you are ready to proceed to Step 5

Step 5 - Defining the Folder that Contains the Maildrop

In this step you need to enter the location of the oflder where you want your messages saved. Examples could be "/var/spool/mail/username", or "mail/testfolder", or "INBOX" in the case that you are using a remote inbox as a maildrop. Here you must apply the same rules that you used in Step 3.

Now you are ready to proceed to Step 6.

Step 6 - Giving the Nickname

This is the easiest step of all. You need to give a nickname to your incoming folder. This is the name that you will see for the folder. You can give it any name that you like. You can always change this easily with the R Rename command later. Of course, you should give it a name that resembles its use and/or location.

You are done!.

Here there are a few security considerations. When you connect to a server, in the form described above, your login name and password to that server, could be read by someone "sniffing" (meaning spying) your connection to the server. Although, some people do not care about this kind of insecurity, it may be required for you to set up a secure connection, if this is your case, and your server supports secure ssl connections you must add the string /ssl to the definition of the server.

Adding the string /ssl establishes a secure connection between you and the server, so even if someone is sniffing that line, they won't be able to know what is being communicated through that line.

Notice that some servers have "self-signed certificates", that means that they are the only person that guarantee that they are the people that you want to connect to. In other words, they claim that they are who you think they are, but no third party authority has checked that. When Pine finds a server with a self-signed certificate, an error is produced, which can be solved by adding the string /NoValidate-Cert to the definition of the server.

When you add the /NoValidate-Cert to the definition of the server, you are betting against the odds. What you are saying is that you will set up a secure connection to any server that identifies itself as the one that you want to connect to, even if it is not the one you want. In other words, by writing this string, you may be connecting (securely) to the wrong server, and therefore you may have your login/password stolen.

How Do I Specify the Password when I Define an Incoming Folder?

You can't, it's a security measure. Pine is not only thought to be used for personal use but also by use for universities, companies, etc. If anyone had access to your computer/account, that person could take control of your e-mail, and send messages in your name (meaning spam, for example).

Don't lose hope, however. If you are using PC-Pine all you need to do is to to create an empty file called pine.pwd in the same directory where your PINERC file is located.

If you are not using the PC version of Pine, you must compile this support in. Instructions to compile this password support can be found here.

After you have compiled the support for the password file and/or created an empty file in the corresponding place, Pine will take care of the rest of the process for you.

How do I copy a message to an Incoming-Folder

Let's assume that you need to copy a message from one folder to one of your incoming folders (e.g. INBOX). The way to do this, is very similar to what you would do if you were going to save a message. Just press S as if you were going to save the message and keep pressing ^N until the word "Incoming-Folders" appears in the prompt. Now you can enter the name of the folder (its nickname as entered in Step 4 above) in the Incoming-Folders collection that you want to save to (e.g. INBOX), and that will save the message in that folder.

Special features

  1. When you are in your INBOX folder and there are no more New or Important message and you press the TAB key, Pine will go in a cycle a check each folder for new mail. Depending on if you have enabled or not the feature
    [X] auto-open-next-unread ,
    Pine will ask you if you want to open the folder with new messages or keep looking for new messages in the next incoming folder. You can use this test also in any incoming folder, but the downside is that the check will be made only in folders that are listed after this incoming folder in your collection of folders, you can not check for new mail in folders that are before the one you are in, unless, of course, you return to your INBOX and press TAB there.
    In order to speed the process of checking for new messages enable the feature
    [X] enable-fast-recent-test.
    This gives an important improvement in speed, since Pine will not have to open the folder to know how many new messages there are, it will just check that there are new messages. It can also make a difference in the following situation: If your configuration looks like:
    [  ] auto-open-next-unread
    [  ] enable-fast-recent-test,
    then pressing TAB will only stop in a folder with new messages only if new messages have arrived since the last time you pressed TAB. If in the above case, you enable the second feature (leaving the first one disabled), Pine will stop in the folder every time that it finds messages that are new to the folder since the last time you opened the folder. You must know this difference in order to decide which ones to enable. In my personal case, I enable both.
  2. You can sort the order in which the folders in the collection are displayed by pressing the $ command to shuffle their order. The order in which you sort them (from top to bottom and left to right) is the same order in which the TAB key will travel through them when checking for new mail.
  3. There are patches that allow Pine to report automatically which folders contain new messages, you can get the patch from here.
  4. There is a patch that allows Pine to check for new messages in all incoming folders, regardless of which incoming folder you are in. You can get the patch from here.
  5. The ; Select command does not have any effect in this collection. This is bad, a possible use of this could be to select folders that have new messages, for example. In this way there could be another way to check for new messages, however this is not possible. This feature needs to be implemented in the future.

1. Some servers, like Gmail's POP3 server require your full email address instead of the part to the left of the @ sign. Make sure that you get this information from the server provider. For most servers, however, this is the part to the left of the @ sign. Return to text.
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