rfrm: Elm's frm(1) replacement

Himeji Castle.

Over many years of using email systems, I've come to settle on three programs for dealing with the majority of my email. These are Elm, for any small personal account, MH for anything where hundreds of messages a day are likely to turn up, and GNUS for anything involving mailing lists.

Particularly in the case of Elm, which is now sadly unmaintained, this has led to much angst when my MUA of choice ceases to be available. Much noise is made over mutt as a replacement for elm, but Mutt's interface is far too obstructive and cluttered with baroque features that are only accessible via magic option-file-arguments for this to be a reasonable claim.

Personal choices of mail agent aside, some of the utilities that were bundled were Elm are useful beyond measure. The single utility that I've been unable to find any usable replacement for has been frm(1). This handy utility summarizes the contents of a Unix mail file in a simple columnar arrangement with sender and subject. My rfrm replacement does a slightly better job of preventing bad characters and line-wrap to provide the same level of functionality.

Rfrm is written in Perl, to work on most modern systems and currently doesn't require anything beyond a basic Perl installation. I'm going to attempt to prevent it bloating to the point where it requires half a dozen perl library packages.

Download rfrm code:

Currently, there's just the perl file. While rfrm works perfectly well as a frm replacement, there isn't a version number until I start getting documentation and all the new features working.

Project TODO list

  • Proper documentation
  • extend the configurable output stage to work.
  • add support for remote mailboxes over various protocols.

© Bruce Murphy, March 2004