VM

What is the state of emacs vm?

Asked by Jeff K

I have been using vm since at least the early 1990's and have even contributed back in the distant past.
I still use it every day as my main email reader but it seems to have some compatibility issues with the latest Emacs version -- particularly with bbdb.

Is anyone working on it now?
Am I the only one still using this amazing email reader/writer?

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Ulrich Müller (ulm) said :
#1

I try to summarize the main problems as I see them:

First, VM is a very old codebase and it was originally written for XEmacs. GNU (FSF) Emacs has moved on, and keeping compatibility is getting increasingly harder. I think I last tried VM with GNU Emacs 25 some years ago, and even with that version there were significant problems. (IIRC it could no longer cope with PGP signed e-mail because of some incompatibilities.) Now the last GNU Emacs release is 29.1 and 30 is on the horizon. Presumably the code should also be switched to lexical binding. I remember that there was some discussion in the past whether XEmacs compatibility should be dropped, but I don't remember if there was any conclusion of it. IMHO staying compatible to XEmacs when OTOH the code needs to be modernized for GNU Emacs 30 is almost impossible for a large package like VM.

Second, there's currently no active maintainer. The last release 8.2.0b was in 2011, and the last commit to the trunk was in 2019. I used to contribute but stopped around 2011 for lack of time. (Meanwhile, I've moved to GNUS which admittedly takes some getting used to; I know that others have moved to Wanderlust.) Without a dedicated maintainer willing to take over, the package is essentially dead.

Third, VM using Bazaar/BZR/Breezy for version control when the rest of the world uses Git doesn't help to attract any contributors.

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Göran Uddeborg (goeran-uddeborg) said :
#2

Just to chime in a little, no, you are not the only one still using it. I do, I package it for Fedora, and I try to make minor tweaks to keep it run under recent emacses. But as Ulrich says, it is becoming increasingly harder, we would need someone who could give it more attention.

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