5 Sep 2003 dwmw2   » (Master)

Wheee. At last Evolution can handle getting at IMAP servers by running a command and using its stdin/stdout, out of the box. I no longer have to maintain my own build just to have it do what pine, mutt and others have been doing for years -- just 'ssh $mailserver exec imapd' and let ssh-agent handle authentication, and ssh itself handle the magic it has to do to log into boxen on remote internal networks by running 'ssh $bastionhost netcat $internalmailserver 22' instead of connecting directly.

No GUI for it since that would apparently confuse people. In particular, it would hurt those people who:

  1. Do not understand 'Run a program to access the server' in the context of the above menu.
  2. Will therefore do something stupid like wetting themselves, rather than just ignoring it and selecting 'standard connection' or 'use SSL'.
  3. Yet do configure their own accounts in Evolution rather than just drooling on the floor while someone else does it for them.
  4. And who also manage to navigate past other options like namespace stuff, without similar breakage.

I don't personally know anyone who meets all the above criteria. I know people who meet #1 and #2 but not #3 and #4 -- and I know people who meet #1, #3 and #4 but not #2. I suspect the set of people who meet all four is very small.

But to be honest I don't care too much either because all my copies of Evo are already configured appropriately and it's easy enough to do with gconf from the command line.

I do wonder just how far we should be taking the usability crusade though.

What's next? People turning up on my doorstep, observing that the lack of doorbell is likely to confuse people and hence removing my front door?

Latest blog entries     Older blog entries

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!