Re: MHonArc vs. Hypermail

1996-03-08 17:59:26
I have a need to set up WWW archives for several mailing lists and
I am trying to decide between MHonArc and Hypermail.  Is there
an existing comparison of the pros and cons of the two?

Nothing public.  Since I would have an inherent bias in the
comparison, I've been avoiding making a public comparison of the
2 programs.

A quick look at the documentation for both results in the
following tentative list of differences:

    MHonArc                    Hypermail
    -------                    ---------
    Perl                       C or Common Lisp
    Unix or DOS                Unix
    MH or Unix mailbox format  Unix mailbox format
    MIME support               No MIME support
Neither one has built-in support for a search index.

Which have its benefits.  This allows you to hook in a well developed
search engine instead of relying on what the mail converter programs
may give you.  See
<URL:> for
example of hooking an independent search engine into a mail archive.

Both permit
incremental updates.

I believe there are subtle differences in how each one provides
incremental updates.  Since mhonarc performs archive locking, you
can set things up to have an archive updated as mail arrives.  I
do not know if hypermail helps prevent multiple processes writing
to the same file(s).

Since I am working in a Unix environment, am comfortable with either
C or Perl, and don't need the MH-style mailbox format, it seems that
the only significant difference in my case is that MHonArc supports

MIME support is a critical feature for some users.

Or have I missed something?  Surely Hypermail must do something
MHonArc won't do, as it also seems to have its adherents.

Hypermail has been around longer, but has seen little change over
time.  Since Hypermail has been around longer, it may be a burden for
some administrators to move to a different program when the size
of the archives are large.

One of the big wins with mhonarc is that it is customizable.  Hypermail
imposes a particular look to the files it creates, while mhonarc allows
you to modify the look to fit your particular needs.  Also, mhonarc
allows you to hook in your own message filters to extend mhonarc's
capabilities, or to override them.

It is hard for me to go any further since I have never used hypermail.


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