Extensible software

Gary Lawrence Murphy garym@canada.com
23 Apr 2002 10:36:42 -0400

>>>>> "L" == Luis Villa <louie@ximian.com> writes:

    L> If you're lumping Evolution in with the other two you clearly
    L> haven't used it much ...

Well, you go on to say that it's still way sub-GNUS, so yes, in that
respect I do.  And I did try to use it.  I've tried just about every
GUI mail/news program since ToolTool.  I always end up back in GNUS.

My biggest complaints?  

(1) It's impossible to modify (short of hacking the source code) to
meet my changing requirements. How do you voice-enable/tts Evolution?
How do you pre-process on the print function?  How do you have
Evolution monitor your writing and concurrently show a list of
archived messages on the same topic as the last paragraph? How do you
make signatures and Bcc lists adapt to the context?  How do you insert
source code, spellcheck a word, translate to/from French or Spanish?
How do you access your email over a Windows terminal from an
ill-equiped Internet cafe?

(2) it's only integrated with the rest of my life via cut and paste.

Please understand, this is not to single out Ximian: Up until Mandrake
8.2, my laptop used Ximian Gnome and I was quite happy with it (once I
dropped Evolution and weeded out that bloated file manager browser
swiss army knife). I also _believe_ in what Ximian wants to do.  

No, it's not Evolution per-se, but a general problem with the modern
not-Microsoft obsession to be "acceptable to the masses" by becoming
"as bad as Windows".  Evolution loses what we meant in 1984 by "small
tools" and the whole innovation and intrisic meaning of Unix.  It
loses the intrisic "access from anywhere" meaning of X11 and termcap.

I did a collaborative event in 1994 with Zane Vella's CitySpace, a
shared VR space designed by school children.  Zane would tell the

      "When anyone offers you a virtual reality, ask them how you can
      /extend/ their reality; if they say that you can't, you should
      walk away."

That is excellent advice for /any/ computing system. So ...  How do I
extend your Evolution reality?

    L> Granted, I'm obviously biased, but no gnus user I know from
    L> school who has switched to Evolution has gone back to gnus. 

Well, everyone at this office has ;)  

Ok, I will grant you that Evolution was not as bad as most others I
cited, but then it's also true that Larry Ellison is not as bad as
Bill Gates.

Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@teledyn.com> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems: http://www.teledyn.com
"Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)