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Re: [Pan-users] Oh, for draft folder!

From: Heinrich Mueller
Subject: Re: [Pan-users] Oh, for draft folder!
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2011 21:58:38 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20110621 Thunderbird/3.1.11

On 06/26/11 06:20, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
Duncan wrote:

This is what I consider to be acceptable behaviour:

(1) Auto-save is independent from manual drafts, and the locations should be different. Auto-save files can have arbitrary file names, manual save drafts must be given human readable names. Drafts functionality, as it currently exists, should remain.

(2) When Pan starts up, it should inspect the Auto-save location for any files. If it finds any, it should automatically restore them into a Post Article dialog box. There is no need to ask the user whether or not to do so, just do it.

(3) While any Post Article dialog is opened, Pan should auto-save the contents of each dialog (including any custom headers) every few minutes, with no interaction with the user (unless the disk is full, in which case it is acceptable to notify the user that auto-save has been *temporarily* disabled and continue working without it). For performance and battery life on laptops, if the contents haven't changed since the last auto-save, don't do anything.

(4) If the user closes the Post Article dialog without sending, the auto-save file should be silently deleted.

(5) If the user sends the post, Pan should save the post in a Sent Posts location, then delete the auto-save file. Pan may choose to move the auto-save file to Sent Posts instead.)

(6) Sent posts should not be treated as downloaded news posts. It is a record of what you sent, that is all. Whether or not the user then downloads a copy of their post from the news server has no bearing on whether or not they have a copy of what they sent.

(7) It would be nice, but not essential, for the user to view these posts in Pan itself.

(8) The naming scheme used in Sent Posts should be human readable. For example, Pan might choose to dump all sent posts in one directory, with the date/time stamp as name, and a counter for uniqueness:

Sent Posts/
+-- 2011-05-13-15:23:09-0001
+-- 2011-06-25-23:58:34-0001
+-- 2011-06-26-00:02:05-0001
+-- 2011-06-26-00:17:41-0001
+-- 2011-06-26-00:17:41-0002

An alternative might be to use sub-folders, based on the date:

Sent Posts/
+-- 2011-05/
    +-- 13-15:23:09-0001
+-- 2011-06/
    +-- 25-23:58:34-0001
    +-- 26-00:02:05-0001
    +-- 26-00:17:41-0001
    +-- 26-00:17:41-0002

Or to indicate the newsgroup sent to (but how to handle cross-posts?):

Sent Posts/
+-- alt.books.pratchett/
    +-- 2011-06-26-00:02:05-0001
    +-- 2011-06-26-00:17:41-0001
+-- comp.lang.python/
    +-- 2011-05-13-15:23:09-0001
    +-- 2011-06-25-23:58:34-0001
    +-- 2011-06-26-00:17:41-0001

or some other scheme. (My personal preference would be date-based, but that's just me.)

I agree with all of that. I'm thinking about implementing that...

So now pan doesn't know the message-id for a message it posts, and thus has no way to verify whether it posted successfully or not.

Does anyone think that Pan needs to verify if messages post successfully? It doesn't do so now, and it never did. I suppose it would be nice to get the equivalent of a bounce "your email could not be delivered" message, but as I understand it, that's not how Usenet works.

With my additions pan does save the success/failure messages of posts in the log but doesn't do any retries besides for the obvious network errors. I think we would get crazy if pan shoved thousands of failure messages into our faces. But if you browse through the log, you can find the missing parts/posts. Pan does know the message-ids if you append the header in the extras tab which also now works for binary posts. Besides that, the server returns a fail/success message for every post. Pan even does a verify for normal posts.
But it did have the local copy if the server didn't take it, and if the user somehow became aware of that fact, the local copy could be reposted.

Or even just for archival purposes. Or for reference purposes, e.g. I often want to refer back to some post I made five years ago, when I posted some nice code snippet, or used a particularly good turn of phrase, or linked to a url... whatever. I should be able to grep my Sent Posts folder to find it, without having to keep local copies of usegroups going back five years, or without having to remember to manually save each and every post before sending.

Yep, totally agree. Nice idea.

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