Start:ing my offline-tools…

by Ploum on 2021-11-19

Introducing my

Found on Gemini, I adopted the idea. A simple script that would do everythnig I need to do online then allow me to disconnect myself.

After reading an unrelated post about "scripts that do nothing", I started my own do_the_inthernet by simply writing a list of stuff I needed to do. This was a plain markdown file, not even a real bash script. At each part, I would note the real command to be passed, as a reminder.

A few days ago, I decided to switch from Mbsync to offlineimap. And, suddenly, all my syncing email problems disappeared. Instead of debugging an ever changing config file, to try to understand why some folder had stopped to sync, stuff just did work. Thanks offlineimap.

So, yesterday, I wondered if I could quickly turn my do_the_internet in a real bash script. It took a bit more time than expected, as you could guess, but was quickly functionnal. I even started to happen stuff on it.

Today, I commited it in a git repository:

The power of interfaces

When I switched from (a great online RSS reader) to newsboat, something happened. Suddenly, I didn’t feel the need to check RSS several time a day. Online, a tab was nearly always opened in my browser. And, if there was something new, I felt the urge to read it quickly. With newsboat, I don’t feel the same urge. My script tells me that there are some stuff to read and it can wait.

Same happens with emails. Today, when testing my script, I received one email in my inbox and one in my News folder (for newsletter and saveforlater). Just seeing the titles was enough to realize that I didn’t care to handle those email right now. I felt in control.

Reading and writing emails

I’m still looking for a good workflow to read, archive and send emails on the command line. I can easily send a markdown file as an email but that’s not always adapted. I would like to read the "news" folder more like RSS, opening urls (well, saving them to urls.txt which is then sent to and archiving with a shortcut.

Himalaya could be a good candidate to play around as soon as it receive Maildir support. I’m also hoping it will soon be packaged in Debian or in a repository (I do really sucks at packaging).


Last but not least, you may realise that something is missing from that script: Gemini! Indeed, I’m still scratching my head about that. I would like something like an RSS reader to get my favourite capsules and allow to read them offline. Ideally, if I follow a link which is not there, it should sync for the next time. Something like the AV-98 tour but offline.

I like AV-98, by the way. But I use Lagrange to subscribe to feed. Once again, I feel in control in AV-98 while, in Lagrange, I feel like I’m compelled to click, to read. Nothing beats the wonderful "end of tour" message in AV-98.

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