[rescue] Corrupted list messages

Jonathan Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Thu Sep 30 10:22:55 CDT 2021

On Thu, 30 Sep 2021, Liam Proven wrote:

> It is always preferable to know what one is criticizing before one
> judges it.


> They are not all alike.

True enough.

> I am sending a properly bottom-posted, trimmed, plain-text email from
> Gmail's web interface.

I'm glad it works for you.  I also have an awful gmail account *solely*
to deal with mail that Google occasionally refuses to deliver to me or
accept from me.

> I am 53 years old and I have a 2 year old daughter. Life is much too
> busy already to waste time and effort maintaining and running my own
> email server.

The five minutes or so per month really cuts into my schedule, so I get

> * Do not assume that because someone uses Gmail they are technically
> naC/ve or incompetent. They are not necessarily.

People have all sorts of reasons for the choices they make, but you
cannot deny that the services *exist* primarily (if not solely) to
service a market of people who give not one thin damn about anything
that makes the network run.

The proliferation of "Emoji" and how every mobile-oriented messaging
service (including GMail) crows about their support for the latest way
to send predefined multibyte pictures is about the clearest evidence of
that which I can imagine.

> * Do not assume that because someone does not run their own email
> server, they cannot.

Has anyone in this conversation stated anything like that?

> * Do not assume that your reasons for your choices apply to everyone.

Has anyone in this conversation stated anything like that?  If anything
else, there's bemoaning that we're the minority and wish other people
would pick providers who play well with others or at least pick minority
players so that standards aren't dictated to the rest of the network by
four or five companies.

> I have tried Mutt/Neomutt and I was using Elm, a forerunner of Alpine,
> in the 1980s. They were fine in their day but not now.

Alpine still works fine for me--even at a scale of hundreds-to-thousands
of message per day.  I'm sorry it doesn't work for you.

> * Do not assume that all Javascript email clients are rubbish.

No assumption necessary.  Javascript is an awful language and their
runtimes are bloated security nightmares caused by learning all the
wrong lesson from the Flash disaster.  The UX/UI is dictated, not
opted-into (how do I go back to the GMail interface from N years ago?).

Just from a power-consumption point of view, who much waste goes into
interpreting a poorly-designed language just to draw some text on a
screen?  I'd honestly like to see a comparison of the marginal power
cost of GMail running in some modern gigantic web browser--because I can
see the power draw spin up even on something as relatively modern as a
Haswell CPU--versus alpine running on something older and less

They may be differing degrees of awful (even approaching useful), but
they're always going to be bookcases made of mashed potato.

> I use what I use after _extensive_ evaluation of over a dozen local
> clients and online services. This one serves me very well.

I'm glad it works well for you.  Would you please pass on a word to them
that it'd be really nice to not randomly deny my mail, when I've sent it
spam-free from the same IP address for about five years?  Or, even
worse, to stop slandering me by marking my messages as "spam" when
they're sent to one person as part of an ongoing conversation?

> I do, however, feel that after 50 years of email, all systems should
> at the very least be able to receive and pass on 8-bit character sets
> properly, including at least UTF8-encoded characters.

I agree, and what this list does is a hack that was possibly appropriate
when put into place some 20+ years ago.  Unfortunately, Bill's not here
for us to have that debate with him, and I gather that Matt tries to
keep things hands-off because he's already taken on the thankless work
of keeping things running for us.  Unless or until he deputizes any of
us to help him carry on what Bill set up, the reality of this
configuration is effectively immutable.

> Some of the more dogmatic members of this thread would do well to
> remember Postel's Law.

Postel's Law doesn't account for underhanded behavior.  His was a day
when we were all just trying to be nerds and build cool things.  If
anything, Postel's Law needs a coefficient of reputation: how liberal of
a receipt has the sender earned?

Jonathan Patschke
Austin, TX

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