Nail 11.25 review

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Nail is a mail user agent derived from Berkeley Mail

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 0K
Developer: Gunnar Ritter
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Nail is a mail user agent derived from Berkeley Mail. It provides the functionality of the System V and POSIX mailx commands.

Additional features include support for MIME, IMAP (including caching and disconnected use), POP3, SMTP, S/MIME, international character sets, maildir folders, message threading, powerful search methods, scoring, and a Bayesian junk mail filter.

Nail can be used as a mail batch language in nearly the same way as it is used interactively. It can thus act as a mailbox filter, can fetch mail from remote accounts, and can send files as attachments.

Here are some key features of "Nail":
Derived from Berkeley Mail 8.1. An interface like the original Berkeley one is still optionally available.
Is a free implementation of the System V mailx command and features an interface like that by default.
Is intended to comply to the mailx command specifications of IEEE Std 1003.2-1992 (POSIX.2) and IEEE Std 1003.1-2004 with XSI extensions (SUSv3).
Supports the MIME specifications. Nail can send and receive attachments and code and decode international character strings. If the system libraries provide appropriate support, conversion between different character encodings is performed. In combination with a UTF-8 terminal, nearly all international languages are supported. External converter programs can be automatically invoked e. g. to view messages in HTML format.
Supports IMAP. In combination with either OpenSSL or Mozilla NSS, IMAPS can also be used. With IMAP, folder hierarchies can be stored and managed on remote servers. This is particularly useful for people who use more than one computer to access their mail. Of course, it is also possible to use IMAP just for fetching mails and storing them locally.
Supports caching and disconnected operation of IMAP folders. This speeds up operation while in online mode. It also makes it possible to transparently view and edit IMAP mailboxes without an active connection to the server.
Supports POP3 to read messages on a remove server. In combination with OpenSSL or NSS, POP3S can also be used. Nail can read and delete individual messages, thus POP3 accounts can almost be accessed like local mail folders.
Supports SMTP to send messages directly to a remote server. A local sendmail interface setup is thus not necessary. In combination with OpenSSL or NSS, both the STARTTLS method and SMTPS can be used. SMTP AUTH is also supported.
Supports S/MIME for signed and encrypted email (in combination with OpenSSL or NSS).
In combination with NSS, certificates for S/MIME and SSL/TLS can be shared with Mozilla applications, and can be managed using them.
Can display message threads and supports operations on them. This is especially useful for handling mailing lists. It is also possible to sort messages by various other criteria.
Provides a Bayesian junk mail filter mostly according to Paul Graham's article “Better Bayesian Filtering”. Chained tokens according to Jonathan A. Zdziarski's “Advanced Language Classification using Chained Tokens” can optionally be used.
Features a lot of detail improvements over Mail/mailx, such as IMAP-style search methods and flags for any types of folders, killing and scoring of messages, maildir folder support, an option to set the From: address directly, and the generation of References: header fields to avoid annoyances on mailing lists.
Can be used as a mail batch language in nearly the same way as it is used interactively. So it is possible to use nail as a mailbox filter, for fetching mails, or for sending files as attachments.
Is extensively described in its manual page nail(1), which provides both introductory material and complete reference documentation.

What's New in This Release:
When the 'replyto' variable was set, sending a message resulted in a segmentation fault due to a NULL pointer dereference (Bug reported by Nick Pasich).
An 'imap-list-depth' variable was introduced to control the maximum depth of the folder traversal for the 'folders' command if the folder separator on the IMAP server is not the slash '/'.
If standard output is not a terminal device, the output of the 'folders' command applied to an IMAP account is no longer arranged into columns.
The new '-R' option causes all folders to be opened read-only.
When the From address was changed with '~H', the value obtained from the 'from' variable was still used for the SMTP transfer, for generating the Message-Id, and for S/MIME signing. This has been fixed; the changed address is now used throughout.
When reading header fields from a terminal, the input buffer could overflow by one byte (Patch by Ulf Harnhammar).
Only applicable if Mozilla NSS is used for SSL support: If the certificate of the server contains a dNSName, NSS ignores the CN. Thus if the CN contains a name that does not also appear as one of the dNSNames, the certificate is rejected. This case is now verified separately in nail, and the certificate is accepted if the CN matches the host name of the

What's New in This Release:
The base64 encoder used an invalid encoding for the last unit of data if (bytes_of_input % 3 == 2); it wrote two encoded bits beyond the last byte then. Most base64 decoders, including nail's own, ignore such bits since base64 data is always a multiple of 8-bit bytes. This might explain why no harm caused by this error has been found for years. (Bug reported by Lukasz Iwaszkiewicz).
When a completely cached IMAP message was copied on a server supporting the UIDPLUS IMAP extension and the message had not been printed during the current session yet, the cached entry for the target message contained the message body twice. This bug has been fixed, but cached messages written by previous nail versions may still suffer from this error. To get rid of them, delete them from the IMAP cache directory. The file README in that directory explains its structure.
When sending messages, input data that lacks a terminating newline is now always encoded in quoted-printable.
Wildcard host names in certificates according to RFC 2595 are now accepted (Bug reported by Svend Sorensen).
The new "maximum-unencoded-line-length" variable allows to configure the limit on the line length that causes an ASCII text message to be sent in quoted-printable if exceeded (on request by Greg Cox).
Since RFC 2595 allows wildcards at other places than RFC 2818 which is implemented by Mozilla NSS, host name verification is now done separately.
The "sort xyz" commands now uncollapse all threads of a previously threaded folder view; messages in collapsed threads were previously not shown when the folder was sorted.
The junk mail filter now also ignores the "X-pstn" header fields generated by "postini" filtering software.

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