Extensible software

Luis Villa louie@ximian.com
23 Apr 2002 11:07:55 -0400


On Tue, 2002-04-23 at 10:36, Gary Lawrence Murphy wrote:
> >>>>> "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.

Fair enough :) 

> (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?

All reasonable. There is no good answer to those questions when asked of
Evolution.

Of course, there is no good answer to [virtually[1]] any of those
questions, if you're asking them of (1) a program that isn't emacs
and/or (2) if the question is being asked by someone who isn't a lisp
and/or shell programmer. So... for 99.9% of the planet, it isn't a very
useful question :)

[1]of course, pine/mutt/any other terminal-based program can answer the
remote-access question. As to other questions: the gnome2 port of
evolution will be voice/tts enabled [as will all of GNOME2[2]], and the
same technologies that allow that will also allow for answers for a lot
of the other questions you ask. This does not really answer your
question in a meaningful way, granted, but it's just something to be
aware of.

[2]http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gap/

> 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.  

Thanks :) I'm currently working my ass off to make GNOME2 even better...
we'll see how that works out :)

> So ...  How do I extend your Evolution reality?

Having already said the answer to your question is 'basically you don't'
let me flip the question: How do I extend your gnus reality without
years of training and experience in lisp and other unix arcana like
shell and pipes? 

This is an honest question- if I felt the 'small tools plus a little
shell to bind them together' unix philosophy was ever something my
mother could grasp or appreciate, I'd push it like hell, both in the
GNOME community and elsewhere. But I honestly don't see how that can
happen.

>     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 ;)  

I'll add that to my data set then :)

Luis