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[Nmh-workers] Understanding nmh (aka. What's the goal)

From: markus schnalke
Subject: [Nmh-workers] Understanding nmh (aka. What's the goal)
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 17:20:07 +0100
User-agent: nmh 1.3

Hoi nmh community,

our relationship is a bit special. I came in February and it resulted
in a big discussion on MTAs and the like. I came again recently, had
been active, proposed improvements, but feel like running agains

The point is, we collide at any point. It's the community on the one
side and me on the other. At least this is how it feels to me. I
realize that my opinions and point of view is quite different from
your's (at least of those who speak up).

The main topic of our disagreement is compatibility. I like to point
this out here, quoting replies to my proposal:

Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] [patch] snapshot of my MIME handling improvments
[2010-11-12 17:55] Jon Steinhart <address@hidden>
> I have difficulty seeing this as enough of a savings to be worth breaking
> backward compatibility.  If you really have to do this then you should
> provide an upgrade script so that users don't get their stuff broken when
> they upgrade.

(On the former sentence, see below. On the latter sentence, I agree.)

Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] MIME questions, and followup to my earlier email
[2010-11-12 19:50] Jon Steinhart <address@hidden>
> On my earlier email, I guess that I'm unhappy that meillo is making changes
> that break things, even if those are minor things.  Comments on my proposed
> MIME-reading changes indicated that they should be optional for compatibility
> reasons.  I took that approach when I implemented the MIME-sending changes.
> I think that we should only break existing code for clear and compelling
> technical reasons.

It seems to me as if you would be doing compatibility for
compatibility's sake. This is sticking to old cruft. Caring to much
for some old userbase likely keep you from getting new users while old
ones slowly vanish. This also includes frontends. It is a dead end.

I value clearer and simpler solutions above compatibility in any case.
I understand the importance for compatibility in case of a backend,
but it should never be for it's own sake, but this is what I feel here
again and again.

Is nmh just good enough for you and therefore better not changed? Is
updating your setups once a year more effort than the improvements of
modernization? It could be and I would understand. The point is:

What is the goal of nmh?

That's what I don't understand. No matter what I try to do, I conflict
with you. This indicates that we probably have too different views of

With pleasure I see the discussion of nmh2 which could finally be a
step in my direction. But before I cheer too much up, I'd better know:

What's the goal for nmh2, if it should come to happen?

Having the goals clearly stated would allow me to figure out if it's
worthwhile for me to try to add value to this community and project.
If someone has personal opinions on this subject, I welcome them too.

Nmh is clearly your project and not mine, besides being Free Software.
I don't want to sail in your waters if you don't like.


In any way do I appreciate the new activity on the project. :-)

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