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Re: Changing the default for `send-mail-function'

From: chad
Subject: Re: Changing the default for `send-mail-function'
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2011 12:39:33 -0700

On Jul 6, 2011, at 7:33 AM, Richard Stallman wrote:

>    In the end, Richard has an idea he wants to try, that covers
>    relatively rare edge cases.
> Multi-user machines that various people log in on are not "edge cases".

Maybe.  They are certainly vastly more rare than they were when I
first met you, ~20 years ago, at LCS. Since then, basically all of the
universities, companies, projects, and organizations that I know about
have moved such multi-user machines to niche legacy support - dial-up
systems and the like. Instead of multiple people sharing a large
machine, far more common is to have multiple machines sharing a user:
work machine, home machine, laptop, tablet, cell phone - all capable
of and regularly used for sending email.  In research and corporate
environments, individual users running programs on hundreds or
thousands of machines is far more common than individual machines
running hundreds of users.  I wouldn't be surprised if the gnu.org
login servers were in the top 100 by usage of such machines in the

Once you get past the preponderance of more-machines-than-users, and
narrow it down to machines where emacs is supported, desired, and
installed, you're still going to find that most of them intentionally
disable local mail delivery; it provides little service and has a high
potential nuisance factor. Most installations both large and small
want to channel mail through centralized systems; most of their users
want exactly the same thing.

In the end, the cases where users log into multi-user machines to run
emacs and want to send mail but don't have either a valid user mail
configuration or a working system mail configuration are definitely,
in my perhaps flawed opinion, `edge cases'.

I hope that helps.

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