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Re: Email programs that work.

Derek Martin wrote:
> But it IS there... so what's the problem?

    The presumption that it is.

> A simple minimal ESMTP
> engine might be more convenient -- and numerous solutions for that are
> available for mutt -- but being able to choose to use a full-fledged
> MTA like sendmail offers the user (or system administrator) a great
> deal of power.

    What you're missing is that by simply putting "localhost" those people
lose nothing in the deal.  Not a damn thing.  It isn't an either or situation
by a long shot.

> In some ways, it's a benefit: numerous SMTP engines already
> exist, so not including one makes Mutt easier to debug and maintain,
> which make its overall code quality better.  This is the Unix
> Philosophy. 

    Everyone keeps saying this without thinking it.  Then why is it there are
hundreds of other clients for dozens of other protocols which don't have a
similar breakdown in "transport" versus "viewer" and noone complains they are
so complex.  Sorry, whenever people use this cop out it is because they just
don't want to think it through.  They think that somehow mail is the only
protocol in the whole internet which must be broken down.  It is a religious
argument, one backed more by faith than thought.

> It also provides the flexibility of allowing the user or
> system administrator to choose the SMTP engine they prefer, rather
> than forcing you to use theirs, which you may not like at all.

    Again, "localhost" and you lose... nothing.

> I happen to agree that Mutt should have a minimal SMTP engine, to make
> this easier for inexperienced and/or braindead users.  But oh, wait...
> there's a patch (kind of like add-ons for Tbird) that does exactly
> that.  So I guess this functionality really isn't lacking in Mutt,
> after all (using your own logic)...

    Not quite.  A patch involves patching and recompiling mutt.  The
extensions to Thunderbird come with their own installer.  There's a world of
difference between having to install a compiler, patching source and spending
however many minutes to recompile versus clicking on a link in a browser,
downloading an installer then clicking on that installer in Thunderbird.

> Even still, here again you're just making a mountain out of an ant
> hill.  When you install Debian, it installs a MTA for you, and the
> installer asks you a couple of very basic configuration questions
> which are sufficient to meet the needs of the vast majority of basic
> users. 

    And, oddly enough, those questions fail more often then not.  Know how
many times the exim4 scripts worked for me?  0.  And I have a simple setup.
"Internet host"

> Fetchmail does a fine job of retrieving the mail.

    No, it doesn't.  Since it has to feed it through an MTA and does no filtering.

> As far as procmail being line noise, that's just poppycock.

    No, it's not.  Compared to exim's filtering it *is* line noise.

# Debian-user# Debian-user
if $h_List-ID: contains "<debian-user.lists.debian.org>" then
  save Mail/debian-user

    What does procmail's filter start with?


    Yeah, how could anyone mistake that for line noise is beyond me.  Clearly
it means.... uh... it means...  colon zero?  No, wait...

  If you
> want to feed it dumb regular expressions like "joe@foo.bar" that will
> mostly work, certainly enough for someone like yourself who apparently
> only wants simple-minded filtering.  But by using regular expressions,
> it offers the user so much more power to filter on very complex rules
> and criteria.  You can't be bothered to take an hour to learn how to
> write regular expressions?  Your loss...

    Isn't about regular expressions, bucko.  Let's see, pushing 10 years of
experience in Perl (which looks like Line Noise), 3 of which professional at a
major ISP.  5+ years in Python.  My favorite tool is Regex since I do a ton of
text processing.  Regex isn't the problem.  It is the syntax outside of Regex
that's the problem.

> Regular expressions abound in the Unix world.  They are so incredibly
> useful that if you take the time to use them, you will not believe how
> much easier they can make your life.  Tools like grep, sed, perl, etc.
> become like instruments with which you can play masterful music.  

    Really.  And you presumed I didn't know Regex because....... oh, you just

> Well, the numbers are silly, but the point is Mutt will not break
> until long after any of your favorite GUI programs will. 

    Which is long after my needs and that of pretty much every person in

> Please try
> to remember that Michelle is not a native English speaker, and is
> trying to make his points as best he can in a language which is not
> his first.  Actually I think he did a fine job.

    Did I comment on his language once?  Nope.  I didn't assume anything, like

> Here again you display your unwillingness to learn how to use your
> tools.  Mutt's various hooks offer immense power;

    Here's your assumption again.  I am well aware of how the hooks work.  I
really dislike the fact that there's no inheritance.  Amazingly enough if you
look at Sylpheed-Claws they get it right.  The folders inherit the default
settings from the parent folder but can be configured in a variety of ways;
almost as much as mutt offers.  In that way one *can* set up the folders
individually, one just doesn't *have* have to set up the folders individually.

> they can give you
> the same functionality as "personalities", though you need to think
> about it a little differently.

    Personalities are the bane of mail.  Eudora and Pegasus mail should be
shot for using Personalities and ingraining that flawed meme on the collective
Internet mind.

> It's a LITTLE more complex to set up than
> filling out a "personalities" dialog in some GUI, but in return you
> get an ENORMOUS amount of additional power.

    No, it's more complex because of the lack of inheritance.
Congratulations, you're not catching to where I've been for years.  Tell me
how exactly getting defaults from a parent folder causes problems so long as
the folders themselves are individually configurable.  Remember that the
simple case should be made simple and the vast majority of people, when they
create a new folder, would like the same settings as whatever that folder is

> Sorry, but no you don't.  folder hooks match patterns of folder names,
> so you can have a folder hook matching Mail/account1/.* and all mail folders
> under that will match.  There's your inheritance.

> Man, it sucks to be wrong, after being so adamant, doesn't it?

    Ahhh, yes, the old "filter out and screw up from there" routine.  Don't
buy it.  I mean why have to filter things out when it should be done from the
onset.  Sucks to think you're right and slip up, huh?

> I've thus far resisted the overwhelming temptation to call you
> names... but frankly I think you deserve to be called names.  You are
> being extremely arrogant, and you're just plain wrong.

    Sorry, but when someone lies I call 'em on it.  What, people can only call
other people liars when the accused's last name is "Bush"?

>> As pointed out you can't do SMTP, you need to configure multiple
>> things externally so my second case is what you do.

> 1. Yes, you can do SMTP with the ESMTP patch.

    Recompile, non-consideration.

> 2. Yes, you can do SMTP with sendmail, or a different MTA, if you
> prefer.

    Which can be done with "localhost" in the smtp setting.

> 1. Use different configurations of Mutt on different machines (maybe
> log in remotely over VPN to a machine at work, or whatever)

    Yeah, that works.  Memory footprint goes up and now you have multiple
windows to have to track instead of one.  We're talking about a single client
here, not multiple.

> 2. Mutt's configuration can be entirely generated by a program.  Use
> such a program to generate your config based on where you are.  I have
> done this.  Er, I mean I am doing this.

    Wow, and did you know you could edit Thunderbird's by hand!  Catching up!

> 3. Use a boot script to reconfigure your laptop's MTA based on the
> network configuration (IP address, hostname, etc.) it gets at boot
> time.  I have done this in the past as well.

    Yes, because that's far simpler than a single line in the account's setup.
 Plus this does not address the problem of home mail going over work's MTA or
vice versa.

> 4. Configure your MTA to relay mail through your work server if you're
> using your "work account", using mailertable or some such mechanism.
> Sendmail is unbelievably powerful, and can do virtually anything you
> can think of if you take the time to learn how to do it.

    Which I have.  3 years as a mail admin, thanks.  My point has never been
that it isn't possible.  My point is that it is not even remotely as simple as
people claim and that there are problems involved with the process.

> So, now will you please shut the hell up about how bad mutt is?  Every
> single thing you have said about mutt is either dead wrong (mostly),
> or not a huge problem for any reasonable human, or is designed that
> way intentionally to give the user more power and flexibility than you
> apparently can handle.  Mutt is largely for power users of e-mail,
> which you obviously are not.

    I'm all for more power in the end user's hands.  I'm just for more power
in the end user's hands while providing them a simple and sane way to do the
most common things QUICKLY AND EASILY.  It shouldn't take several hours to be
able to send an email or months to set up a decent way of reading mail.  That
should be minutes after install.  So no, I will not "shut up" just for your
convenience.  Don't like the facts, tough.  They're immutable.

         Steve C. Lamb         | But who decides what they dream?
       PGP Key: 8B6E99C5       |   And dream I do...

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