[Mailman-Users] Re: BIG FAT MESSY...and the problem with users.

Dave Sherohman esper at sherohman.org
Sat Dec 9 22:07:38 CET 2000

On Sat, Dec 09, 2000 at 01:55:24PM -0600, Fred Craven wrote:
> And please suffer me the 
> privilege of speaking from a users perspective. From what I have 
> read, seen, and experienced: programmers disregard the user's 
> experience and needs as much as users disregard the programers needs.

I don't want to restart a battle that has, apparently, already been settled,
but there's one additional point that I haven't seen brought up:

Some programs are not directly involved in the "end-user experience".  Server
functions that pass data from machine to machine without user interaction (or
even user awareness) make up most of this class of software.  Mailman falls
into this category (aside from the web interface, of course, but that's for
managing the program, not part of its core functionality).

The "user experience", in this case, is provided by the mail client, not by
Mailman.  If unwanted headers are being displayed, that is a problem with the
client.  (Considering that the standards allow anyone to add any arbitrary
headers they like, I would think that MUAs should default to hiding all
unrecognized headers anyhow, but I digress...)  In this case, the headers are
called for by the relevant standards.  The client is noncompliant and,
therefore, definitively broken.

Now, I think an optional "broken client compatibility mode" switch would not
be a bad thing, but it's not a necessity that the server provide it and it's
certainly not appropriate to reprimand the server's developers for not
providing it.  If you want to complain about what happens when you use a
broken client, the producer of that client is the only one who can fix it, so
they should bear the brunt of your complaints.

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"So does syphillis. Good thing we have penicillin." - Matthew Alton
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