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December 6, 2001
From: Eric Kidd <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Evolution notes Date: 29 Nov 2001 12:24:18 -0500 First, a minor nit: "There does not, however, appear to be any straightforward way of creating a contact entry from a mail message; one must start from the beginning and type it all in." Right click on an e-mail address and you'll be pleasantly surprised. :-) Now, on to some arguably more substantial thoughts. I've abandoned a highly customized Mutt setup (among other things, I'm the author of Emacs mutt-mode), and switched to Evolution. Why? The Drawbacks of Mutt --------------------- * Mutt can't handle big folders efficiently. I have some mail folders with 25,000 messages or more, and mutt insists on rebuilding the indexes every time I switch folders. And since mail files tend to be highly fragmented, this can take close to 30 seconds on a 1.4 GHz box. * Mutt is inherently modal. I can't, say, compose two messages at once, read a third, and poke around in a mailbox at the same time. * Mutt can't search message bodies. * Mutt can't read the HTML-only e-mails that some people insist on sending me through Hotmail, unless I screw around with mimecap files. And even then, it's pretty clunky. The Advantages of Evolution --------------------------- * Serious support for huge quantities of mail: lightening full-text search, virtual folders based on queries, support for mailboxes with tens of thousands of messages. * Support for receiving HTML e-mail. * Excellent integration between the mail reader, contact database, and my Pilot. The main drawbacks of Evolution are poor integration with the traditional Unix environment, and mediocre PGP support. In particular, evolution (1) is bad at noticing PGP errors, (2) doesn't support rules like "always encrypt mail to so-and-so" and (3) replies to encrypted messages with quoted, unencrypted bodies by default (a *serious* security hole that it shares with Mutt). I hope some of these bugs get fixed in 1.x. But it's a dynamite mailer in many ways. Cheers, Eric
From: tom poe <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: SVG and ADOBE Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 21:19:34 -0800 Hi: Just saw the announcement for Mozilla and Adobe and SVG. Criteria for Letters to the Editor: Short, to the point, and possibly well-written. These criteria don't leave much room for "What the h%^& is our W3C.org standards committee trying to pull?" rants. By all means, folks, go over to Adobe and download their proprietary product so you can view Open Source Standards on Linux, because our W3C.org standards committee thinks SVG should be a proprietary standard for all. What happened to Batik? Oh, that's right. Adobe views Batik as second class citizens, and has no interest in Open Sourcing their work in collaboration. Maybe someone has a clearer understanding as to why anyone would want to use proprietary products as a standard for Open Source. thanks, Tom
From: Christopher Browne <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: SourceForge Concerns Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2001 14:02:22 -0500 The concerns about Sourceforge.net are hardly new; people have long expressed all sorts of paranoia about all sorts of unfortunate possible scenarios. I'm not overly concerned, but commend that people make sure that they're not putting "all their eggs in one basket." There certainly are a number of negative outcomes that could lead to significant inconvenience. I always like to characterize it with the idea of a large meteoroid striking Silicon Valley, as that takes a certain amount of "sting" out what might otherwise become accusations. (The Python people have their classic line about Guido getting hit by a bus; same sort of story; I guess I am more into bad Sean Connery movies :-).) Whatever the potential reasons for a loss of service, it is very important for people to have some backup plans should a "Big Gulp" happen. It is already highly likely that interesting CVS archives will be widely mirrored, simply because ocean-crossing links can be slow. Those that are running projects that they consider important should certainly seek to mirror the code elsewhere. The following are a whole bunch of possible alternatives: Savannah, GBorg, Berlios.de, Tuxfamily.org, Serveur Libre, SunSITE.dk, Vhffs, Subversions - GNU Project, SEUL: Hosted Projects, freepository, Lusis.org, SourceFubar, tigris It would seem logical for those projects that are actually active (most Sourceforge projects are NOT active) to consider mirroring at one or another of these sites. Note that such mirroring is also systematically useful for keeping the folks at Sourceforge.net from being tempted to "do ill." I remember many arguments taking place yesteryear with just _extreme_ paranoia that Red Hat (the typical "punching bag" for paranoid concerns) might be just about to do something horribly proprietary. The presence of alternatives that are conspicuously free of "we might try to take this private" interests represents a powerful quencher of temptation. Debian is a crucial alternative, in the distribution arena; even if you never use it, the fact that it's out there helps to keep Linux distributions freely available. If you care about your project, mirror it, and the risks dissipate. -- (concatenate 'string "cbbrowne" "@ntlug.org") http://www3.sympatico.ca/cbbrowne/linux.html Any programmer who fails to comply with the standard naming, formatting, or commenting conventions should be shot. If it so happens that it is inconvenient to shoot him, then he is to be politely requested to recode his program in adherence to the above standard. -- Michael Spier, Digital Equipment Corporation