|Help for Alpine - Scores|
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This is one of the most powerful and at the same time most ignored configuration options in Alpine. This configuration option was born as a need in news reading. The problem that this configuration option is trying to solve could be described as trying to configure everything that can not be configured when reading e-mail or news.
Say you are reading a high volume mailing list (newsgroup), like comp.lang.c. You can use scores (and then sort by scores) to put the most interesting threads to you in the very top (or bottom) of the index. In some way you can use scoring to sort your folder by some kind of degree of "interestingness" of messages in that folder. In a way, scores are very dynamic.
Another application of scores is to use to filter messages, whenever you want to filter a message that does not match a pattern, instead of one that actually does (for example, something like "a message from a specific domain which is not from firstname.lastname@example.org). In that case you can add two score rules, one which assigns a score of 15 say to "email@example.com" and another one (after this), that assigns a score of -5 to anyone from "domain.com". In that way, messages from "firstname.lastname@example.org" get a score of 10 (= 10 + -5), and others from that domain get a score of -5 (assuming no other score rules affect them). In that way, you can use scores to filter messages by saying "save a message with this score into this folder" or "delete a message with this score". In this sense Scores is static. Also observe that Alpine allows you to filter messages that do not match a pattern.
Those are just one of the few applications of scores.
The short answer is "when they are needed". If you sort your folders by score, each message will have its score computed when the folder is opened, if you select a role depending on when its score, it will be done at the time you compose the message. And so on...
For each message all the score rules are applied to it and all the scores obtained for each message is added. If a rule fails to be applied to a message, it is equivalent to having the rule succeed on the message but only a score of zero will be given to it. Remember that each score must be an integer between -100 and 100.
Add the SCORE token to the index-display variable.
To get to the Roles setup screen you must press M S R S, you have two options essentially, you can press ?, and read help on how to set up scores or press A to add a score. Remember to give a good nickname to each score rule that you create so that you can go back to them afterwards if changes are necessary in the future.
The part that needs to be set up in the headers, status and folder section is setup in the same way than you do it for filters, and the explanation can be found here. Just change the word filter by score where appropriate.
Since scores and filters are set in a similar way, people make the same mistakes that they would do for filtering, and they can be read here.
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