[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Nmh-workers] Items for nmh 1.7

From: Ken Hornstein
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Items for nmh 1.7
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2014 21:21:11 -0400

>> So you want the default behavior of mhl to simply dump out the complete
>> body of a message, without doing any MIME decoding at all?  That just
>> seems lousy to me, and also incredibly non-useful.  Are people depending
>> on that behavior?
>Well yeah, I think that people should have to flip a switch to get the new
>behavior.  Avoids the "breaking things" surprises.

The problem I have with that is ... it just sucks.

I can't imagine that anyone thinks the current behavior of mhn on MIME
messages is reasonable.  Based on previous experience, I am sure someone
relies on mhl _not_ doing any MIME parsing, but I can't accept that as
a reasonable default.  Can you really imagine a new nmh user (okay, we
don't get many of those, but pretend that we do!) sitting down and coming
to the realization that to handle pretty much any modern email messages,
they have to configure something?  That just sounds terrible, and I can't
really defend that behavior.  That's why now mhshow will now do character
set conversion by default, as opposed to having to configure every single
character set you wanted to convert manually.

Yeah, it may break something; I've written about the balancing act we
have between trying to maintain backwards compatibility and moving nmh
forward.  I just don't think having out-of-the-box behavior that is simply
wrong when it comes to MIME messages is reasonable in this day and age.
But I'm willing to hear from opposing viewpoints; where we draw the line
between backwards compatibility and moving things forward (but possibly
breaking things for people) is something that needs to be decided on a
case-by-case basis.  So I am interested in hearing what people think
about changes, and I believe that for every change that I knew would
break something for someone I did solicit feedback here.

Unfortunately, the situation we're left with is that nmh really has it's
roots in MH, but unfortunately development stalled on MH at a crucial
time when MIME email was starting to take off.  The code was reorganized
and mhn was split off into a bunch of utilities, but hard decisions
about what to do with MIME email never got made, and in the intervening
decades people developed their own workarounds to deal with the lousy
MIME support.  This is what we're grappling with now.

>Well you're right, I don't.  And you are a smart-ass :-)  I have thousands of
>packages installed on my system that get auto-updated daily.  It would be a
>full time job to look at the release notes for every update.  Not gonna happen.
>So in general I prefer packages that fix bugs and add features without breaking
>things because I'm trying to get other work done.

But see, this kind of proves my point.  Wouldn't it have been nice if repl
just started dealing with MIME email out of the box, rather than you having
to configure it?  But a huge change like that would have broken something
for someone.


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]