[maemo-users] Diablo's Modest/Email

From: Mark wolfmane at gmail.com
Date: Thu Sep 11 04:32:30 EEST 2008
On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 4:57 PM, Theodore Tso <tytso at mit.edu> wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 09, 2008 at 03:58:26PM -0600, Mark wrote:
>> This sounds like going to a whole lot of work to do something that
>> I've been doing for years with POP3 without any additional server or
>> software...
> It's actually very hard to do this robustly using POP3 because you
> don't have stable identifiers for e-mail addresses.  Qualcomm dealt
> with this problem by adding a unique ID into the mail headers (thus
> modifying the message), but (a) not all POP servers do this, and (b)
> it means you're modifying the mail message, which is aesthetically
> unclean.

Baloney! You really don't know what you are talking about. Unique
message ID's are part of the internet mail standard. I've never seen a
message that didn't have a unique Message ID. If the sending server is
so naive as to allow messages to be sent out without one, the
receiving server itself adds it. It's necessary for all sorts of
operations that don't have anything to do with the email client. Yes,
Eudora had the power to do lots of things that no other email client
did. It's a shame that Eudora is no more, and the modified Thunderbird
open source replacement is a mere shadow of the former version. But
once again, that's completely irrelevant.

See http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2822.html

> The problem with not having a unique message identifier is that if
> some other application deletes a message, it's very easy to confuse a
> mail synchronization program.  So such schemes tend not to be very
> robust.

If you've routinely dealt with a lot of messages that didn't have
Message IDs, then either your server (or some specific server in the
chain) was stripping them from the headers or that particular field
was merely hidden by whatever you were using to display the message.
Email with missing Message IDs is very much the exception rather than
the rule.

> Otherwise, you can always get
> together with other folks to sponsor someone to write a feature, or
> you can implement the feature yourself.  Open source is not about free
> features that people can get just by whining about them.

You're absolutely correct! But open source isn't about contributing
worthwhile software to the world, either. Open source is about one
thing, and one thing only: ego massage. Heaven help the poor slob who
fails to grovel at the feet of the Almighty Developer!

> It's about
> having the freedom to change it --- either by yourself, or by paying
> someone to do it for you.  It means you're not beholden to a single
> source supplier to make those changes.

Get real! Most people don't have the ability to change it themselves,
and if they're going to pay for software, they're going to buy
commercial software that has fewer bugs and more features.

> As Bob Young once said, proprietary software is like buying a car with
> the hood welded shut, so only the dealer can work on it.  Open source
> allows you or someone you pay, like a neighborhood mechanic, to work
> on the car, not just the dealer.  But that doesn't mean you get your
> car fixed for free!  And as much as you threaten a car manufacturer
> that you won't buy a car unless they provide free car customization
> services, just try it and see how far you get.

Nice fantasy, but very far removed from reality, and ignoring the real
issue. Nobody is going to buy a car without an engine, or even without
windows or door handles. Those realatively small, but critical, items
of functionality are often missing entirely from open source software,
and the developer(s) invariably accuse the end user of "whining" or
being "rude" when they mention that the fact of the missing
functionality makes the app useless, or at the very least highly
inconvenient, for them.

> Similar, with open source, by itself it does not mean the software is
> better, just that over time it is likely to get better as more people
> work on it, not just the company who owns the software.  So yes, Open
> Source is not a magic bullet.  But I'd much rather have an open
> platform than a closed one.

Once again, nice theory, but very far from reality. In reality, *very*
few open source products approach anything like the reliability,
usability, versatility or feature set of their commercial competition.
Yes, a few projects beat their commercial rivals, but that's about
0.0000000000000000001% of the open source stuff out there.

The principle at work is that a commercial product *has* to be good to
survive and make a profit, whereas open source can just throw any old
thing out on the Internet. Contrary to popular opinion, there actually
is very little competition or innovation in open source, because the
developers just do whatever they want and completely ignore other
people's wants/needs.

> Actually, Nokia has been very clear that the only thing the N800 was
> ever meant to be was an Internet Tablet.

Sure, once you've already bought the thing and it's too late to get
your money back! I've never seen anything at all at any point of sale
anywhere that indicates the tablets are anything less than complete,
usable consumer devices. Any assertion to the contrary is a lie.

> So web browsing really was
> its primary goal.

... and it doesn't even do that all that well, because the browser has
some very unnecessary limitations and doesn't support extensions.

> Communication progams were always secondary,

... which is clearly false advertizing. It is not only advertised -
but named - an "Internet" tablet, NOT a "Web Tablet". Calling it an
Internet Tablet incontrovertibly implies that it does lots of things
besides Web browsing.

> and PIM functionality, not at all.

Obviously! Which together with the extremely incomplete Internet
functionality are two of the many reasons they're never going to catch

> They've always been very clear about that,

Hogwash! They're only clear about it *after* the sale.

> and you can see it in how much they bothered to spend in
> development dollars improving the mail application or the instant
> messaging application.  The advantage with Open Source is that it
> allows the N800 to be expanded beyond what Nokia was willing to invest
> development dollars to improve.  So there is at least a *chance* that
> the PIM functionality will one day get better than what the Palm Pilot
> offers,

First it has to *get* real PIM functionality. It doesn't come with
*any* out of the box, and the apps I've tried so far are so much work
to import data that I can't use them. Every method I've used to try to
import data into the available PIMs results in so much mangled or
missing data that I may as well enter everything by hand, and even if
it had a real keyboard that isn't going to happen.

If you ignore the import and export issues, the available PIMs are
actually pretty good, but without data, what's the point?

> as opposed to "not at all" which would appear to be the case
> with (a) any Symbian based cell phone, or (b) any other closed-source
> platform.

Boy, do you have that backwards! Palm is closed-source, and their PIM
is better than anybody's. Even my "dumb" cheapo Motorola phone (with a
totally closed-everything platform) has a decent PIM, far more
functional than anything on the tablets. And don't get me started on
Symbian - Psion crapped on all its customers and orphaned its hardware
just when they had the chance to make real inroads into the handheld
business. As for the Symbian OS, it started out as EPOCH, and still
supports a PIM that rivals Palm's. If the phone manufacturer's don't
support it, that's a crime.

The unfortunate truth is that Nokia intends to orphan the Tablets much
like Psion orphaned its devices. They are totally refusing to take
responsibility for their creation.

> If you're not happy with that set of priorities, then maybe you
> shouldn't have purchased an N800 in the first place.

No shit! Once again, thanks for letting me know long after it's too
late! Since I'm out the money, and the hardware itself is actually
quite good, I think I'll stick to my guns and see what use I can get
out of the device, thank you very much...

> I'm sorry you
> feel that open source developers or Nokia somehow owe you to implement
> whatever functionality you happen to want, but unfortunately, it
> doesn't work that way.  I have may pet favorite enhancements that I
> wish Apple would implement for the ipod, or Canon in their digital
> SLR's.

With an iPod or a camera, you know _exactly_ what you're getting
beforehand, and they are NOT mobile computing platforms billed as
being flexible and upgradeable. Your attempt at an analogy is utterly

> But having proprietary software doesn't mean I get my favorite
> features, even if large web sites like Luminous Landscape has been
> whining about certain features (like an easy way to implement mirror
> lockup using a single button push, instead of several button pushes to
> navigate through multiple levels of menus) for years.

...and buying a Mustang and demanding that Ford upgrade it to a Shelby
GT500KR isn't going to work, either. Duh! When you buy the Mustang,
you know _exactly_ what you're getting. And you really _are_ "whining"
about the mirror lockup if you already have the feature but aren't
happy with how it is accessed. At least the feature exists. That's
very different from, say, buying an "SLR" expecting to have manual
exposure control and finding out the hard way that it's automatic
only, or is one of those cheapo hunks of plastic that has a fixed
shutter speed and aperture...

...or buying an "Internet Tablet" only to discover that it's really
only a "Web Tablet", and not exactly impressive even at that...

>> If you want anyone to use your software and are using them for alpha
>> and beta testers, then you *have* to expect some feedback. If you
>> don't want feedback, don't distribute your software. It's that simple!
> It's not the feedback, it's the attitude.  Sometimes asking
> nicely will get you much farther than asking with a snarl.

Maybe sometimes, but never in open source. A "no" is a "no", and I
have yet to see a developer implement *anything* that I've ever seen
anyone ask for, in any manner whatsoever. The answer is always that
the developer doesn't think the feature (or bug fix) is necessary, or
doesn't fit with their goals somehow. Anybody who is successful in
getting something changed has to do it him- or herself, and that
frequently results in a completely new, and just as incomplete, app.
It's NOT "competition", because they totally ignore each other and
just do their own thing.

Sure, if one of your own is "direct", he's a hero, but if someone,
anyone, who has an opposing point of view he's an ungrateful S.O.B.
Your hypocrisy knows no bounds.

> With that kind of attitude,
> you'll probably be generally very unhappy in life, regardless of
> whether you use open source or proprietary software.

Sigh... the typical resort of someone who is unarmed in a battle of
wits (and especially facts): character assassination. Can't beat 'em,
cut 'em down... Real mature...

But since you mention it, if I'm unhappy, it's because I truly care
about the world and all the people in it; and if you aren't, it's
because you don't. I'd much rather be unhappy and aware than happy and

> Best regards,
>                                                - Ted

Just as insincerely right back at 'cha!


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