Birthday tomorrow so doing laundry and stuff today instead. Noticed in the process that I need to find a dentist soon because my wisdom teeths are beginning to become a nuisance and I'm getting crankier and crankier the more my body deteriorates. I think I'm ready for my cane soon :-)
Thought of the day: email. What thomasvs wrote made me think about a discussion I had a few days ago. The topic of the discussion was email and, in particular, how clueless users are trying to make it do something it was never intended to do and administrators are trying to make them understand why it was never intended to do so.
It struck me then that noone, to my knowledge, had decided to implement email using XML. This seemed odd to me since everyone and their grandparents seems to want to do everything with XML these days. So I had to look it up. It turns out that Graham Klyne wrote a draft for the XML emails in January. I'm not the least bit surprised at this.
The second topic of discussion was the large attachements that users like to send and that's causing all sorts of grief. I think that we have to accept that users will keep sending messages as attachements, no matter what we think of it. The reason is that it's a fairly natural process to do so. The problem is not the emails themselves it seems, but rather the framework that has been built around the email services. The nature of an MTA is to be dumb. It will accept a message, forward it somewhere or deliver it and then forget it ever saw it.
Now, imagine for a change that the MUAs and MTAs were a bit smarter. Imagine that MUAs had a reliable way to tell the MTAs that "to this message, the user wants to attach this, this and this file." The MTA could say, "send them to me" or "no, I already have those". When forwarding to an MTA, the exchange could be something like this:
Sender: Here is message A. Message A has attachement B. Receiver: Okay, I've got message A. Please send attachement B. Sender: Here is attachement B to message A. Receiver: Okay, I've got attachement B to message A. Sender: Here is message C. Message C has attachement B. Receiver: I already have attachement B. Sender: Here is attachement B to message A. Receiver: I told you I already have attachement B. For your crimes you shall not be allowed to eat tonight, nor shall you be allowed to send any more attachements for three days and you must remain in your address space where you will contemplate the errors of your ways until the full moon rises again. Now begone!Okay, so it's not a very likely scenario, but still. It's not the users fault that they want to use the features of their software. It's the industry that has adopted features without understanding their implications on the underlying framework. I hope this changes in our lifetime.