Infinite Ink's Pine Feature List Suggestions

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Pine version 4 has 82 features listed on its configuration screen. Along with these, there are 9 hidden features that users can set. It's a daunting task to figure out how to set these 91 features and I'm still (and probably always will be) twiddling with mine. This page contains my latest settings and some of my reasons for setting them this way. Here's an outline of this page:


Getting Feature List Help

You can find out about all these features at the University of Washington's Pine Information Center (PIC) on their Configuration and Preferences page. Also, Pine's context-sensitive Help describes each of the 82 features that can be set from within Pine's configuration screen. To get help on a feature, highlight the feature and type ?.


Setting Your Feature List

To view and change your feature list, use either Pine's configuration screen or directly edit your pinerc file (.pinerc in Unix pine and pinerc. in PC-Pine). For most features, I use the Pine configuration screen because all the features are listed and I can get help on each feature by typing ?. In the pinerc file, only features that are set are listed so you need to type in the exact name of a feature you want to set that's currently not set. To get to your Pine configuration screen, type
M   S   C
which means Main Menu -> Setup -> Config. The Pine configuration screen is used to set a lot more than just your feature list, but now I'm just focusing on the feature list.


My Feature List

Below is what my latest settings look like in my Pine configuration screen. Features that I think are especially useful are flagged with a magenta explanation mark (!). Each feature is linked to my reason for setting or unsetting it. Note that my reasons are not meant to be full explanations of the features. To find out about a feature, read the PIC web page or Pine's context-sensitive Help.
feature-list             =
            Set    Feature Name
            ---  ----------------------
            [X]  auto-move-read-msgs
            [X]  auto-open-next-unread
            [X]  auto-zoom-after-select
            [ ]  auto-unzoom-after-apply
            [ ]  compose-cut-from-cursor
            [ ]  compose-maps-delete-key-to-ctrl-d
            [X]  compose-rejects-unqualified-addrs
            [X]  compose-send-offers-first-filter
            [X]  compose-sets-newsgroup-without-confirm
            [ ]  delete-skips-deleted
            [X]  disable-keymenu
            [ ]  disable-take-last-comma-first
            [X]  enable-8bit-esmtp-negotiation
            [X]  enable-8bit-nntp-posting
         !  [X]  enable-aggregate-command-set
         !  [X]  enable-alternate-editor-cmd
            [ ]  enable-alternate-editor-implicitly
            [X]  enable-arrow-navigation
            [X]  enable-bounce-cmd
            [ ]  enable-lame-list-mode
            [ ]  enable-cruise-mode
            [ ]  enable-cruise-mode-delete
            [X]  enable-delivery-status-notification
            [X]  enable-dot-files
            [X]  enable-dot-folders
            [X]  enable-exit-via-lessthan-command
            [ ]  enable-fast-recent-test
         !  [X]  enable-flag-cmd
            [ ]  enable-flag-screen-implicitly
            [X]  enable-full-header-cmd
            [X]  enable-goto-in-file-browser
            [X]  enable-incoming-folders
            [X]  enable-jump-shortcut
            [ ]  enable-mail-check-cue
            [X]  enable-msg-view-attachments
         !  [X]  enable-msg-view-urls
         !  [X]  enable-msg-view-web-hostnames
            [ ]  enable-msg-view-forced-arrows
            [ ]  enable-print-via-y-command
            [X]  enable-reply-indent-string-editing
            [X]  enable-search-and-replace
            [ ]  enable-sigdashes
            [X]  enable-suspend
            [X]  enable-partial-match-lists
            [X]  enable-tab-completion
         !  [X]  enable-unix-pipe-cmd
            [X]  enable-verbose-smtp-posting
            [ ]  expanded-view-of-distribution-lists
            [X]  expunge-without-confirm
            [X]  expunge-without-confirm-everywhere
            [ ]  fcc-on-bounce
            [ ]  include-attachments-in-reply
            [ ]  include-header-in-reply
            [ ]  include-text-in-reply
            [ ]  ldap-result-to-addrbook-add
            [X]  news-approximates-new-status
            [X]  news-deletes-across-groups
            [X]  news-post-without-validation
            [X]  news-read-in-newsrc-order
            [ ]  pass-control-characters-as-is
            [X]  print-offers-custom-cmd-prompt
            [X]  print-includes-from-line
            [X]  print-index-enabled
            [ ]  print-formfeed-between-messages
            [ ]  quell-dead-letter-on-cancel
            [ ]  quell-folder-internal-msg
            [ ]  quell-lock-failure-warnings
            [X]  quell-status-message-beeping
            [X]  quit-without-confirm
         !  [ ]  reply-always-uses-reply-to
            [ ]  save-will-quote-leading-froms
            [ ]  save-will-not-delete
            [ ]  save-will-advance
            [ ]  select-without-confirm
            [X]  show-cursor
            [X]  show-selected-in-boldface
            [X]  signature-at-bottom
            [ ]  single-column-folder-list
            [ ]  tab-visits-next-new-message-only
            [X]  use-current-dir
            [ ]  use-function-keys
            [ ]  use-sender-not-x-sender


Why I've Set Things This Way

Below I explain why I've chosen these settings. Features features that I think are especially cool are flagged with a magenta explanation mark (!). These are not meant to be full explanations of the features. To find out about a feature, read the PIC web page or Pine's context-sensitive Help.

  [X] auto-move-read-msgs
I like to keep only new and unread messages in my inbox.

  [X] auto-open-next-unread
This makes it faster to TAB through my incoming folders that have new messages.
  [X] auto-zoom-after-select
Usually after I make a selection (using ;) I want to zoom in and look at just those messages. If I want to zoom out and see the selected messages in the context of the whole folder, I type Z.
  [ ] auto-unzoom-after-apply
After I apply a command to selected messages, I might want to apply another command so I don't want to automatically unzoom them. When I'm ready to unzoom, I type Z.
  [ ] compose-cut-from-cursor
I'm too used to ^K killing a whole line so I don't set this.
  [ ] compose-maps-delete-key-to-ctrl-d
The default behaviour of the DELETE key is what I'm used to so I don't set this.
  [X] compose-rejects-unqualified-addrs
The only time I type an address without a domain name is when it's a nickname in my address book. If it's not in my address book, I want it to be rejected and not turned into whatever@my.domain.
  [X] compose-send-offers-first-filter
I've got this set so I can choose whether I want to encrypt a message. (This does not yet work in PC-Pine.)
  [X] compose-sets-newsgroup-without-confirm
I don't want to wait for Pine to check to see if the newsgroup exists. I almost always post to a newsgroup I'm currently reading and the newsgroup name gets inserted automatically, so I rarely have to worry about typos in the newsgroup name.
  [ ] delete-skips-deleted
After I delete a message I do not want Pine to jump over all the next deleted messages because 1) I can not easily look at the message I just deleted and make sure I really wanted to delete it and 2) I lose my place in the message index.
  [X] disable-keymenu
I disable Pine's menu at the bottom of the screen because it gives me three more lines on the screen and makes the screen less cluttered. Also, it's forcing me to memorize the Pine commands, which ultimately will make me faster at using Pine. In PC-Pine, I can use the Windows-style menus that are at the top of the window and the ones that pop up when I right click.
  [ ] disable-take-last-comma-first
I like to sort my address book by last name and this makes it easy to do this. This doesn't do the right thing when someone's last name is more than one word, e.g., Baron von Munchhausen, or if there's a comma in the full name, e.g., William H. Gates, 3rd. In those cases, I correct the full name after I'm in the address book.
  [X] enable-8bit-esmtp-negotiation
I don't want my mail messages to be sent as MIME attachments unless they have to be.
  [X] enable-8bit-nntp-posting
I don't want my news messages to be sent as MIME attachments unless they have to be.
!  [X] enable-aggregate-command-set
This is one of the great features of Pine!
!  [X] enable-alternate-editor-cmd
I sometimes use an editor other than Pico. Usually I use an alternate editor when I'm writing a long message and I need to do a lot of cutting & pasting or regular-expression searching & replacing.
  [ ] enable-alternate-editor-implicitly
Pico is fine for writing short quick messages. It's faster than waiting for the alternate editor to load and then unload when I'm done.
  [X] enable-arrow-navigation
I almost always use arrows rather than less than/comma (</,) and greater than/period (>/.) to move through Pine's levels.
  [X] enable-bounce-cmd
I use the bounce command when I resend a misdelivered message, or if I want to resend a message to myself.
  [ ] enable-lame-list-mode
My primary IMAP server does not need this.
  [ ] enable-cruise-mode
I do not want SPACEBAR to move me to the next message.
  [ ] enable-cruise-mode-delete
I definitely do not want this for reading my regular mail messages. I'm used to Unix newsreaders that do this but for now I'm not using it for news reading.
  [X] enable-delivery-status-notification
I like the option to see this. (I don't think this works in PC-Pine?)
  [X] enable-dot-files
I like to see everything, including files whose name starts with a dot.
  [X] enable-dot-folders
I like to see everything, including folders whose name starts with a dot.
  [X] enable-exit-via-lessthan-command
I am now really used to using the left and right arrow keys to move through Pine's levels. When this is unset, you have to type E to exit some screens, e.g., the configuration screen. I want to be able to use the left arrow key so I set this.
  [ ] enable-fast-recent-test
I tried setting this but then tabbing through my incoming folders didn't stop at all my folders that had new messages. It missed some default inboxes on other servers.
!  [X] enable-flag-cmd
This is one of the great features of Pine. (But I wish that there were more than just four flags).
  [ ] enable-flag-screen-implicitly
I dont' want to use the flag screen because 1) I can flag messsages faster without it and 2) it makes it harder (or impossible) to use macros (via pine -I) to automate flagging messages.
  [X] enable-full-header-cmd
I want to be able to see "full headers" by typing H. Note that some headers, e.g., X-Status, are hidden even by the full headers command.
  [X] enable-goto-in-file-browser
I don't think this makes sense in PC-Pine since you use the Windows file browser (rather than Pilot) to select files for, e.g., insertion into a message.
  [X] enable-incoming-folders
I use procmail to filter my incoming messages into different folders. Pine's incoming folders feature makes it easy for me to TAB through all my incoming folders that have new messages.
  [X] enable-jump-shortcut
This way I never need to type J to jump to a message number; I just type the number.
  [ ] enable-mail-check-cue
To me, those little asterisks in the upper left corner are just noise.
  [X] enable-msg-view-attachments
A nice feature of Pine 4.
!  [X] enable-msg-view-urls
One of the great features of Pine 4!
!  [X] enable-msg-view-web-hostnames
One of the great features of Pine 4!
  [ ] enable-msg-view-forced-arrows
I want to be able to use up and down arrows to move through hot spots (attachments and web-page links) in a message.
  [ ] enable-print-via-y-command
I want to train myself to use the new Pine print command, which is %.
  [X] enable-reply-indent-string-editing
Yes, I want this option, although I rarely use it.
  [X] enable-search-and-replace
Of course.
  [ ] enable-sigdashes
Setting this feature makes it so Pine does not include the signature of the person you're replying to in your reply. I sometimes comment on people's signatures so I don't set this. Instead I provide my own sig dashes by starting my signature file with a line containing "-- ".
  [X] enable-suspend
In Unix, I want to be able to go out to the shell and do things and then come back to wherever I am in Pine. This doesn't make sense in PC-Pine since Windows and NT let you easily switch between multiple processes using the Windows Taskbar.
  [X] enable-partial-match-lists
This is great for zooming in on a subset of my folders. For example, my incoming folder names all contain the string "in-" and my lists all contain the string "l-".
  [X] enable-tab-completion
I want the option of using TAB and TAB TAB to avoid typing all of a folder name.
!  [X] enable-unix-pipe-cmd
Another great feature of pine. Unfortunately, it's not yet working in PC-Pine.
  [X] enable-verbose-smtp-posting
I like the option of seeing the technical details. (I don't think this works in PC-Pine??)
  [ ] expanded-view-of-distribution-lists
This just clutters up my address books. If I want to expand a distribution list I highlight it and press Enter.
  [X] expunge-without-confirm
I tried having this unset but the prompt drove me crazy. Now I'm living dangerously and haven't regretted it yet.
  [X] expunge-without-confirm-everywhere
I tried having this unset but the prompts drove me crazy. Now I'm living dangerously and haven't regretted it yet.
  [ ] fcc-on-bounce
I bounce a message because it shouldn't have come to me, so I don't need a record of it.
  [ ] include-attachments-in-reply
Why would you want to do this??
  [ ] include-header-in-reply
I rarely want to do this. If I do, I just copy the header before I go into the composer.
  [ ] include-text-in-reply
I want to be asked whether I want to include text from the message I'm replying to in my reply. For personal mail messages, I usually don't; for news and mailing list messages, I usually do.
  [ ] ldap-result-to-addrbook-add
I haven't yet experimented with LDAP so I'm not sure how I want to set this.
  [X] news-approximates-new-status
I want to be able to tell which messages are new since the last time I viewed the group. If this is set, these are marked with N.
  [X] news-deletes-across-groups
I don't want to see the same message in more than one group. Once I've read it and "deleted" it, I don't want to see it again.
  [X] news-post-without-validation
I do not want to wait for this check. If there's a problem, the news server will send me a "post failed" message.
  [X] news-read-in-newsrc-order
I want to see my favorite newsgroups first and be able to TAB through them in the order I've set in my newsrc file. Note that you need to directly edit your newsrc file (.newsrc in Unix pine and newsrc. in PC-Pine); you can't do it through Pine.
  [ ] pass-control-characters-as-is
I don't want control characters in a message possibly messing up my system. (Does anyone know if this matters in PC-Pine?)
  [X] print-offers-custom-cmd-prompt
I want the option of using my custom print commands.
  [X] print-includes-from-line
I like this because it gives some extra information about the message, e.g., the time/date stamp of when the message arrived. The regular Date header gives the time/date that the sender's machine thought it was when the message was sent.
  [X] print-index-enabled
I want to be able to print (or save to a file) the message index. This is useful for record keeping.
  [ ] print-formfeed-between-messages
I want to use as little paper as possible when I print messages. If I want to print a message on a page by itself, I print it individually.
  [ ] quell-dead-letter-on-cancel
I want to keep a copy of a message I cancel just in case I make a mistake or change my mind.
  [ ] quell-folder-internal-msg
I want the functionality that the internal folder message gives.
  [ ] quell-lock-failure-warnings
I like to know when locking has failed.
  [X] quell-status-message-beeping
I want things as quiet as possible.
  [X] quit-without-confirm
When I type Q (or in PC-Pine choose File.Exit or click the X in the upper right corner of the Pine window), I almost always really do want to quit.
!  [ ] reply-always-uses-reply-to
To me, being able to unset this is one of the nicest features of Pine. I want to be told when the Reply-To is different from the From header and be given a choice about whether to use it. This is especially useful on mailing lists that set the Reply-To to be the list. It helps to prevent the embarrassment of sending a personal message to the list.
  [ ] save-will-quote-leading-froms
I mainly use Pine to process my message folders so I don't need to set this.
  [ ] save-will-not-delete
Most of the time I want save to mean "move" so I do want saving to delete the message. If I want to leave a copy in the current folder, I type U (for undelete) after I save it.
  [ ] save-will-advance
I might want to do something else to the message, e.g., undelete it, after I've saved it so I want to keep the focus on it.
  [ ] select-without-confirm
I want to make sure that I've typed, or TAB-completed, a folder name correctly before I accept it. ???
  [X] show-cursor
Why not set this?
  [X] show-selected-in-boldface
I prefer bolding selected messages to putting an X in their index line because 1) the X's are ugly and 2) boldface is more noticeable.
  [X] signature-at-bottom
When I include a message in my reply, I almost always intersperse my comments amongst the lines of the message I'm replying to. It looks really weird to put my signature at the top so I do want my sig at the bottom.
  [ ] single-column-folder-list
Setting this makes the arrow keys work more intuitively, i.e., down arrow moves down through the folders in the list rather than to the right. Unfortunately, single-column-folder-list, is broken in PC-Pine: clicking or double clicking on folders in the single-column folder list doesn't work. So I've got this unset for now.
  [ ] tab-visits-next-new-message-only
I want TAB to visit both new and important messages. This way I get reminded about messages I've marked important.
  [X] use-current-dir
I've discovered that this is essential in PC-Pine if you don't have the $HOME environment variable set. I do not want to set $HOME for PC-Pine because other tools, e.g., gvim, use $HOME in a different way than PC-Pine does.
  [ ] use-function-keys
I don't know why anyone would want to use this because it disables the regular Pine keystroke commands. If you know of a reason for using this, please let me know?
  [ ] use-sender-not-x-sender
I used to have this set because I wanted to conform with IETF standards (RFC 2076 and its predecessor RFC 822) but then I had problems with a mailing list server that kept trying to subscribe the address that was in my Sender header rather than the address in my From header, so now I don't set this. Now the address I've logged into on my primary inbox server is put into an X-X-Sender header (I don't know why it's not just X-Sender (with one X) - do you??).


! Hidden Features

Some features can be set only by directly editing your pinerc file. These hidden features are described at the PIC Preferences and Configuration page in the Hidden Config Variables and Features section. The hidden feature I set is allow-changing-from. For information about changing your From header after you've set allow-changing-from, see See Infinite Ink's Changing Your From Header in Pine.



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Copyright © 1992-1998 Infinite Ink and Nancy McGough
Put on web November 16, 1998
Last significant update November 16, 1998
Last tweak November 18, 1998
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