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

From: John Romine
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Understanding nmh (aka. What\'s the goal)
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2010 16:06:50 -0800

>MH was written by and for people who have a deep understanding of how email
>works, and who want to exploit the capabilities of email to the n-th degree.
>These people also tend to be pretty hard core about the fundamentals of
>software engineering, one of which is avoiding change for changes sake.

I agree that was true maybe 20-30 years ago, but I am wondering:
What does Marshall Rose or John Romine use as an email client today?
Maybe they still use mh or nmh, but it sure wouldn't surprise me
if they don't (if we've lost Jerry Peek, then the game really IS
over).  Hell, I met Brent Welch, the author of exmh, a few months
ago at a conference; he told me that while he still wants to support
exmh, most of the time his email client is PC-based...

Well, since you asked, I am still using MH 6.8.4 on Solaris, often with
exmh.  I'm also running vintage MMDF as my MTA :-).

However, I'm also using Gmail, particularly because of its threading and
spam-rejection, and also because people mail me documents so often
(and Gmail provides a good in-browser preview).

Back when MH was under active development, we tried hard to maintain
backward-compatibility, particularly in minor releases.  However, we
would easily generalize an existing feature, or possibly add a new feature,
as long as the default behavior didn't change (i.e., we didn't break things).

This was important because incompatible changes affected our users'
productivity (and also created a huge support load), and that's not
a kind thing to do without a very good reason.  In those days,
many people would be logging into a single server, so they didn't
have a choice not to upgrade.  Installing an incompatible change
meant spending a lot of time fixing things for our users, or training
them on a new way of doing things.


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