GNUS Date Hacks

I’ve used GNUS for a long time…since my sophomore year in undergrad, I think.  I like it a lot, and have only cheated (er, experimented) a couple of times with various other mailers.  Even though I have used it for a long time, I don’t really consider myself a power user.  I mostly use the default configuration, with a few tweaks here and there (my .gnus file is only 177 lines).

Recently, we had some fantastic mail relay delays at work, on the order of days for some desintations.  By default, GNUS shows the date in the article buffer as local to the sender.  This can be nice, because you can see that someone in India was up late working on something, but it usually makes it hard to determine when it actually happened with respect to my local time.

These delays led me to look into getting GNUS to show my local time on messages.  The following in the dotfile fixes it:

(add-hook ‘gnus-part-display-hook ‘gnus-article-date-local)

While I was poking around, I found the date-lapsed option, which you enable with the following:

(add-hook ‘gnus-part-display-hook ‘gnus-article-date-lapsed)
(setq gnus-article-date-lapsed-new-header t)

Be sure to put that before the date-local call, otherwise you won’t get the behavior you expect.  The date-lapsed bit provides a really nice time-since-this-was-sent reading, which looks like this:

Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 13:40:43 -0700
X-Sent: 9 minutes, 25 seconds ago

How cool is that?  Now I can keep tabs on how out-of-touch the slow IBM mail servers are keeping me!

Category(s): Linux
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