[Python-ideas] New Project to Capture summaries from this

Stephen J. Turnbull turnbull.stephen.fw at u.tsukuba.ac.jp
Sat Mar 30 14:06:47 EDT 2019

Chris Angelico writes:

 > Have you ever actually convinced someone to move off Gmail onto
 > some other client?

No, but then, I never tried.  I have gotten a couple score people to
seriously try about a dozen different MUAs over the last three decades
though.  It's not impossible.  But that's really not relevant.  I'm a
mail person, I develop Mailman.  I'm well aware that the answer is
never the logical, obvious, and invariably effective when tried "get a
better client", it's always "impose my preferences on everybody I
might correspond with."  Nobody is contesting that.

What's relevant is that sticking to a crappy mail client is a personal
choice.  Sticking to the user interface of a web forum is not.

 > That's half of my point (the distinction between "suboptimal
 > clients" and "suboptimal services"), but the other half is that
 > every time someone says "sorry, you chose Gmail", there's a lengthy
 > discussion that ends up NOT showcasing any sort of perfect
 > alternative - and often not even any *better* alternatives.

"Perfect alternative" is a strawman.  There's no perfect alternative.
People use email in different ways; different MUAs are suited to
different user habits and different mail streams.

As for "better" alternatives, there as many MUAs better than GMail as
there are programming languages better than original Dartmouth BASIC.
They're just not GMail, and will require jumping through hoops to get
personal archives moved over, or setting up GMail as an IMAP server,
or using different clients for different purposes, which aren't
acceptable to most people.

Still, that's their choice.  And their life won't be worse than it is
now.  Those of us who have exercised choice and invested in productive
use of email will lose both productivity and choice, for questionable
net benefit to the project, even assuming that those who prefer
Discourse or Zulip or whatever get the benefits they expect.


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