The proposition: systematic variables naming scheme

Some mutt config vars need more intuitive names. Some vars are already going to be changed. While changing a set already, which will happen anyway, you might as well go through all of them and do it right.

The idea is to prefix all variables with category names, so that -- after sorting them alphabetically -- the manual provides faster access to related variables when users have to examine several causes/ solutions for problems.

Also, insert "use_" for all optional features controlling variable names (example: use_from, use_my_hdr), and "_cmd" for external commands.

The drawback: onetime config file upgrade, temporary confusion by old docs

This project would change most of currently present variables' names. Once the transition time has passed (a _long_ time!), meaning old variable names would not be valid anymore, every user would be required once to adapt their muttrc config files to the new names.

The official documentation will change immediately to use the new names. Old uses and references from examples and guides on the net will cause confusion until they are fixed.

The benefit: easier to find solutions

... comes through both the proximity in the manual and TOC as well as range of related names by the category prefix (and naturally from easier to recognize intuitive var names):

  • for newbies (and forgetful oldies) to find them on their own.
  • for helpers to point newbies into the right direction.
  • get new ideas to improve personal setup by finding related causes and solutions for problems.
  • better guess/ understanding of examples without having to check manual.

Technical solutions to "ease the pain"

Every change should be made as painless as possible. The better the support, the better its acceptance and success. To make a smooth integration in the release process stuff must be prepared ahead of time. Review and improve the 2 lists to make it happen pleasantly. Please carefully read and edit(!) these related pages:


var-names suggestions: updates for most recent versions are especially welcome!


action plan of what should be done before the change can happen.


Decide just for yourself, you personally, individually whether you can take this one-time pain! Please carefully read and edit(!) these related pages:


of what this project (and vote) is about and what it is NOT!
A collection of pro's and con's and negations/ invalidations to help you make a well reasoned choice.


about preference to support NEWBIES or OLDIES.
Can you get over changing your config once in favour of newbies?

For all those pages applies: edit/ add as you see fit.

Note: there is no code-change involved with this, it just changes the user-interface of the muttrc and the manual order (content and TOC controlled by init.h). Historians can have a look at the #1263 for the origins.

Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on Feb 5, 2012 10:42:18 AM