Marking up email on the Web is not a pretty picture in 2008.

What I look like on a telecon

Notable mail archiving services:

Random thoughts:

  • I think the thread view is the most important feature. Google’s approach to threading mail as a bunched up conversation works quite well, though I still prefer the tree threaded structure that mutt does so well.
  • Mailman implements RFC2369, though the W3C doesn’t seem to support this, though it does use Archived-At: which is quite useful. Google doesn’t seem to employ archive links to HTML sadly.
  • I am not fond of framed views that I’ve seen some mail archiving services provide.
  • Has anyone really studied how a RFC2822 mail message should be marked up in HTML? 3.1. Formats of Archived Message does not address the problem.

Any other relevant RFCs, tools or tips I might have missed?

There’s also mod_mbox from apache:

…which sucks (there’s no search, no way to link to a thread rather than a message, browsing from message view to its thread loses context, etc). For a while some of the projects there used eyebrowse:

…which sucks harder – mails kept going missing from its index before apache abandoned it.

Comment by Baz
A few links on List Web Archive
  • Sympa - A product developed by French at the start.
  • SWAML not tested
  • Communigate - not tested
  • RESTmail - not strictly what you are looking for, but another way of thinking about it.

Another issue once, it has been archived on the Web… Search engine for mail data.

  • MASE W3C version done by Olivier Théreaux and Eric Prud'hommeaux.

Maybe a good way to think about that issue is not that much a Web archive, but more about dynamic views of the mails. Example: Show me this mailing-list, Show me the thread of this discussions. etc. (ala Spotlight in Then we enter into performance, caching issues ;)

Comment by karl []

export HM_SHOWHTML=1
export HM_DEFAULTINDEX="thread"
for i in ~/Mail/*/

        LABEL=$(basename $i)

        for mail in $i/cur/*
                echo $mail
                hypermail -L en -l $LABEL -i -u -d $WWWDIR < $mail


sudo chown hendry:www-data -R $WWWDIR


Comment by hendry []