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Re: freedomization task list [was: Re: Dangerous precedent being set - possible serious violation of the GPL]

On Thu, 9 Dec 1999, Craig Sanders wrote:
> prove it to yourself. find a 5 or 10MB mailbox file. load it up in mutt,
> and check memory usage. then load it up in pine and check memory again.

A 5 or 10M mailbox file is *impossible* on the freenet, as it exceeds
default quotas for the freenet.

> sounds like a good reason for learning vi :)

I know vi ... sort of.  But it's not on option on some systems I use (e.g.
the freenet) where you are locked into a shell (lynx is their shell) with
limited options available to you.  pico is the *only* editor I can use
on that system.

Pico is the lazy person's simple editor.  I would not recommend vi to
someone as lazy as I am. :)

> i see that as a potential argument for NOT supporting non-free software
> on debian. by the time people realise it's non-free, they're hooked and
> it's too late.

Oh, certainly.  I'm not saying we should support it ... and I'm not saying
it's a good thing that I'm hooked.  I'm trying to argue, however, that
there is a large user base for certain pieces of non-free software, and
that there are good reasons for that.  This stuff hangs on with tenacity
until a good alternative is provided.  Editors, mail clients, and web
browsers, stuff that people use *constantly*, are the prime candidates
for this sort of "attachment" developing.  I'd like Debian to provide
"rehabilitation" for sorry sods like myself who still (ashamedly) use
non-free software.  Therefore I am in favour of a pine/pico clone, as
I think it best addresses my issues, and the issues of my users.

> ditto for my initial attempts at switching to mutt. however, i
> persevered and it paid off. now my expectations of a mailer are greater
> and i wouldn't even consider going back to pine - pine just seems
> clumsy, inadequate, and slow compared to mutt.

Hm, well maybe I'll give it another go, and if I succeed, I'll try to
convince my users to switch.  Still, it means now having to deal with two
mail interfaces (the freenet is still on pine/pico) instead of one.  Who
knows ... maybe I can convince the freenet to switch too! (I can dream,
can't I? ;)

> it'll be hard at first, but definitely worth it.


> joe or jed are pretty good for simple yet reasonable editors.

are they good performers on very small systems (e.g. my 386sx/20
with 8M?)

> vi is hard to learn, but easy to use once you've learnt it, and vi *IS*
> the universal unix editor....if a unix doesn't have vi, then it's not
> real unix.

well ... that's a hard sell to my users, which include my wife and four
kids.  I don't think that's a real option for us.

> mutt's "set edit_headers" gives you much better than pine's integration
> with pico. you can edit ALL headers with your favourite rather than
> just those that pine allows by default, or those that you've had the
> foresight to add to your ~/.pinerc for ^R ("Rich" headers mode)

Wellll ... I mean hot-keys to include attachments from the file browser
and pick nicknames from your address book by browsing it.  I don't think
mutt has that level of integration with the editor (although I understand
that this sort of thing is available from *outside* the editor within

> mutt uses less memory than pine. OTOH, vim uses more memory than pico so
> it evens out.

Well, I'd be looking at ae/joe/jed as alternatives.  I'll have to see what
works best (and try different things on my users).  Still, a pico clone
would be ideal, as my users are less inclined than I am to change.

> fair enough. most of my friends who use my system wouldn't even think of
> using vi...and most of them use pine, some use elm or mutt with either
> pico or joe. i don't push them to change their evil ways (however, i do
> remind them occasionally that there are better tools available)

Well, I do have the option of just being Draconian about it and deleting
the evil non-free stuff from all of my systems.  It would be less painful
with a pine/pico clone, though.

> OTOH, my partner picked up vi pretty easily. she uses mutt or pine
> depending on whether she is at home or at work.

Really?  My wife is completely non-techie.  I'm not sure she'd do well
with vi.  Also, she is a freenet user too (on two freenets that use
similar software), so she'd have to face the same problem I do of
switching between pine/pico and whatever we use at home.

> IMO the best way to do that is to improve the pine emulation that mutt
> already does, so that it is GOOD ENOUGH for people like you.

OK ... that would be a start ... but there's still the editor issue.

> can't see much (if any) point in cloning pico, though - joe or jed or
> even ae are more than adequate substitutes for pico.

If joe, jed, or ae can be made to emulate pico, and if mutt can be
integrated with one of these editors to provide the hot-keys we're
used to in pine, I think we'd be perfectly satisfied to switch.

    nSLUG       http://www.nslug.ns.ca      synrg@sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
    Debian      http://www.debian.org       synrg@debian.org
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