realtime output of parallel cmds in one terminal? -- Re: mutt, neomutt, and searching emails

Zenaan Harkness zen at
Sat May 9 19:47:15 PDT 2020

On Sun, May 10, 2020 at 12:08:03PM +1000, Zenaan Harkness wrote:
> There are some ageing dinosauruses that still use TUIs and even the more archaic mbox "all emails in this folder in a single file" email storage, and to distressingly admit to the truly ancient practice of "grep"ing an mbox file when mutt's search feature is just so dang diddly ang dang SLOW on a 20,000+ email folder (and that's barely 4 years of cypherpunks!).

Anyone have experience or suggestions on reasonable ways to print/dump the output of 'multiple commands being run in parallel' to the command line/ terminal?

For example, mpop can download emails from multiple email accounts in parallel (it uses separate email UID files per account to isolate its download activity to a single email account), but how to actually do this in parallel -and- display the output of each command 'in real time' in a single terminal in a "reasonable" way?

I've a little wrapper that retries up to MAX_TRIES=7 if an mpop account download has a TLS error (gmail pop3 dl producing a lot of these the last week or so...), and 7 retries * 5 lines of text per retry (retry header, date time stamp, echo of cmd being run, and finally the 2 mpop "TLS handshake failed" error lines) is a fair few lines of output...

is it time to learn a 'full blown' TUI library?  If so, is there such a thing usable from a shell script?

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