I decided to subscribe to a bunch of Cocoa mailing lists, as in Mac OS X cocoa framework in preparation of the hairy ride I’d be subjected to as I try to come to grips with Objective-C and all the other technology required to master development for the Apple platform.
I use Gmail exclusively and while I love web interfaces, these things still don’t scale for large sets of data as you’re basically sending out a massive number of http requests or doing some other batch operation. That’s not to say Google does it better than anyone else. I couldn’t simply archive all the mailing list traffic as I need to ramp up my familiarity but I knew that reading my email on the Gmail web interface, despite the ajax keyboard shortcuts wouldn’t scale either.
So I went back to Alpine, the successor to the very famous unix pine email client with a more liberal license that supposedly scales better. Either way, zipping through the inbox with alpine and keyboard navigation scales for me. I just need to glance through the email quickly and then file them away with a succession of keyboard commands that will sooner or later register in my muscle memory.
With Gmail’s IMAP support I get to keep the web interface when I really need search while syncing the message state between lables/folders.