[Python-ideas] Python-ideas Digest, Vol 65, Issue 43

Mike Meyer mwm at mired.org
Fri Apr 27 21:57:12 CEST 2012

On Fri, 27 Apr 2012 21:12:15 +0300
anatoly techtonik <techtonik at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 9:25 AM, Oleg Broytman <phd at phdru.name> wrote:
> > Hell!
> Ok. Let's discuss.

Since I made the suggestion, I'll step in here.

> > On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 08:45:20AM +0300, anatoly techtonik <techtonik at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> won't install some awkward terminal
> >   "awkward" indeed! Trolling as usual, yeah?
> You won't win this fight. =)

A truism in any web discussion.

> "Awkward (Adjective): Causing difficulty; hard to do or deal with."
> I can't see that's wrong with that. You don't want to say that
> installing unknown program and learn how to work with the whole
> terminal toolchain and syncing your mail archive across nodes is as
> easy as working with GMail in Chrome, do you?

Yes, it is. The setup process is a relatively straight-forward,
one-time-per-node thing. If you're willing to do a little research
instead of expecting only using the work of others, you also might be
able to avoid the terminal toolchain issues.

The GMail web client has a number of problems that crop up over and
over again. It's mail marking facilities are subpar, making simply
reading mail more difficult than it is on other clients *every time
you read mail*.  It's mail quoting mechanism is fundamentally broken,
require hand-editing the quote *every time you reply to mail*. And, of
course, GMail can't burst a digest, meaning you either don't reply to
digest posts, fix the headers by hand, or piss other people off - all
creating unneeded difficulty *every time you reply to a digest

So eventually using only GMail in a web browser will cause more
difficulty than setting up a proper mail client. Unless you use read
very little mail, in which case - why are you getting the digests?

> >> Requirement to "use something proper
> >> beforehand" was neither a solution nor an alternative.
> >   It was not a requirement, just an advice. But that was an advice to
> > solve a real problem. Replying to digest brings a lot of problems and
> > thus prevents effective communication. Email, mailing lists and archives
> > don't make sense if they don't help to communicate.
> That's why I prefer Google Groups. You can use email, subscribe as a
> mailing list, read the web, have a searchable archive and reply to any
> thread you haven't been subscribed to. Everything from a single
> interface - no need to carry your mail archive around anymore if you
> want to search it without 3rd party services. That is my definition of
> effective communication platform. The constructive advice - research a
> tutorial how to properly integrate full sync between Mailman and
> Google Groups and ban usage of digests altogether.

Google Groups is nothing more than a web interface to a netnews
system. IIUC, one with a broken news<->mail gateway. It doesn't
provide anything that the mail list doesn't provide, except the
ability to reply from Google Groups. And that's broken because Google
Groups is broken. If you really want to use a news or web interface
and reply properly, take the time to find one that doesn't have a
broken mail gateway.

> >   And it was only AN advice, not THE advice. Another solution for the
> > same problem would be not to reply to digest. I am sure there are other
> > solutions.
> Well, sorry for my tone. It seems I've entered "that" favorite style
> again. Of course, I accept the idea that mh (which is Public Domain
> and that's awesome) can solve the problem with digest reading, but the
> story is too exotic for me, and I certainly won't sacrifice features
> of web based mail services to make sure I can properly reply to
> digests.

Nobody said you had to make that sacrifice. There aren't any features
of generic web based mail services that aren't available in proper
mail readers.  Sure, mh isn't one of those. But it may not be the only
mail reader that can burst a digest. So long as you waste effort
trying to change the world rather than changing the part you can
change, you'll never find out if that's true or not.

And of course, you always have the option of only using mh (or a gui
wrapper for same) to read digests. Treating a digest as a single
message is awkward enough that the difficulty of setting up mh and a
GUI wrapper will be lost in the noise if you read enough digests.

> I better won't reply to them at all next time, just because
> my mail agent doesn't allow. That's my personal choice, but it is also
> the choice that makes people exclude then they faced with such
> requirements.

If you chose to act in a way that makes you feel excluded, that's your
problem. Sure, it's not the one I want people following, but I'm not
going to waste time trying to change your behavior. I'll point out
your errors to help other people avoid them, but you can do what you
want with that information.

> >> I am not sure that `programs` nowadays makes any sense if you can not
> >> access your data from all the entrypionts.
> >   Do you believe - those "awkward" terminal programs works remotely
> > quite fine?!
> But I can't use them from my (imaginary) tablet version 3. =)

I could, if I really wanted to. But here you're fundamentally correct
- the mh mail readers only have one interaction with mail servers:
"Load unread mail". That makes using them in an environment where you
want to deal with mail from multiple machines problematical, at
best. That's why I quit using them.

Of course, there are other mail readers besides GMail that don't have
that problem. They also don't have the problems that GMail has. They
may well have other problems, but only you can figure out what those
are and change the things you can control to best deal with them.

Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org>		http://www.mired.org/
Independent Software developer/SCM consultant, email for more information.

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