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Archives for October, 2022

Restoring the old Mu4e message view look and feel

October 30th, 2022

I’ve used mu4e as an email client for several years now and by and large I’m happy with it. However one big change with the 1.8 release was the switch from the “old” message view to the new one based on Gnus article mode. Functionally it’s fine but I did prefer the look and feel of the old message view. Despair not, as Gnus is sufficiently customisable that we can tweak it to look almost the same.

First we do the easy bit which is just setting the font-lock highlighting to match the old message view:

(use-package gnus
  (gnus-signature ((t (:inherit font-lock-comment-face))))
  (gnus-header-name ((t (:inherit message-header-name :weight bold))))
  (gnus-header-from ((t (:inherit font-lock-variable-name-face))))
  (gnus-header-subject ((t (:inherit font-lock-type-face))))
  (gnus-header-content ((t (:inherit font-lock-type-face))))
  (gnus-cite-attribution ((t (:inherit default))))

(I’m using the excellent use-package.)

These aren’t strictly the same as the original message view, but I prefer them to Gnus default of multiple subtly different shades of blue:

(gnus-cite-1 ((t (:foreground "light salmon"))))
(gnus-cite-2 ((t (:foreground "turquoise"))))
(gnus-cite-3 ((t (:foreground "light goldenrod"))))
(gnus-cite-4 ((t (:foreground "chartreuse2"))))

Mu4e used to highlight some of the header fields in different faces:

(add-to-list 'gnus-header-face-alist '("To" nil font-lock-variable-name-face))
(add-to-list 'gnus-header-face-alist '("Reply-To" nil font-lock-variable-name-face))
(add-to-list 'gnus-header-face-alist '("Cc" nil font-lock-variable-name-face))

Restore the previous sort order for header fields:

(setq gnus-sorted-header-list '("^From:" "^To:" "^Reply-To:" "^Cc:" "^Subject:"
                                "^Flags:" "^Summary:" "^Keywords:" "^Newsgroups:"
                                "^Followup-To:" "^Date:" "^Organization:"))

Highlight the >, >>, etc. at the start of quote lines in addition to the quoted text itself (this really bothered me for some reason):

(defun filter-gnus-cite-args (args)
  "Replace PREFIX argument with the empty string."
  (setf (cadr args) "")
(advice-add 'gnus-cite-add-face :filter-args 'filter-gnus-cite-args)

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Cambridge to Ely

October 23rd, 2022

Another surprise relocation! I’ve moved to Cambridge after being turfed out of my parents’ home. Earlier this month I set off northwards on an initial exploration towards the city of Ely.

I ended up doing this over two days due to illness (not covid) but still I somehow didn’t manage to arrive in Ely until after dark so I didn’t really see anything of England’s third smallest city.

Oh, how flat and featureless the fens are! Flat terrain can sometimes be interesting to walk through if there’s some navigation challenges or other obstacles (see my recent adventures on the Romney marsh) but as I was along this river for most of the journey the middle section after leaving Cambridge was really boring. The scenery picked up a little bit towards the end though when I could see Ely cathedral in the distance from miles away.