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bug#11359: 24.1.50; Difficulty using report-emacs-bug with mew

From: Harald Hanche-Olsen
Subject: bug#11359: 24.1.50; Difficulty using report-emacs-bug with mew
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 20:01:00 +0200 (CEST)

Executive summary: I see now how this is supposed to work, but I think
the documentation is insufficient, and the experience was utterly

[Glenn Morris <address@hidden> (2012-04-27 16:01:42 UTC)]

> Harald Hanche-Olsen wrote:
> > (when (locate-library "mew")
> >   (autoload 'mew "mew" nil t)
> >   (autoload 'mew-send "mew" nil t)
> >   (autoload 'mew-user-agent-compose "mew" nil t)
> >   (define-mail-user-agent 'mew-user-agent 'mew-user-agent-compose
> >     'mew-draft-send-message 'mew-draft-kill 'mew-send-hook)
> >   (setq mail-user-agent 'mew-user-agent))
> >
> > I think this should be sufficient for report-emacs-bug to understand
> > that emacs has indeed been configured to send mail.
> I disagree. All that does is specify which package you want to use to
> compose a mail. It does not show that Emacs has been configured to talk
> to a mail server. It may happen that the old default settings happened
> to work on your system, but in general there is no way for Emacs to know
> that they work, so now it asks, once. The relevant variable is
> send-mail-function, and there is no setting for that shown above.

Ah. I see. But then define-mail-user-agent seems incomplete. At the
very least, maybe the docstring for define-mail-user-agent should
mention send-mail-function? Also, section 35.6 of the info file
(Mail-Composition Methods) does mention message-user-agent, but not
send-mail-function. In fact, send-mail-function is mentioned only in
35.4.1 (Mail Sending), which is a subsection of Mail Mode. That does
not seem appropriate for a variable which is also important in
connection with other mail user agents.

> Just answer the question the first time, and all should be fine.

Except I didn't understand the question and the alternatives which
were as follows::

 Emacs is about to send an email message, but it has not been
 configured for sending email.  To tell Emacs how to send email:

 - Type `mail client' to start your default email client and
   pass it the message text.

 - Type `transport' to invoke the system's mail transport agent
   (the `/usr/sbin/sendmail' program).

 - Type `smtp' to send mail directly to an "outgoing mail" server.
   (Emacs may prompt you for SMTP settings).

 Emacs will record your selection and will use it thereafter.
 To change it later, customize the option `send-mail-function'.

When I saw this, I figured (wrongly, as it turned out) "default email
client" referred to an email client external to emacs. I don't have
any such client configured.

In other words, the confusion was total, and I ended up bailing out.

(I have now done the experiment, after altering the to address to
avoid spamming the bug tracker. The first alternative did in fact
work. Oddly enough, it set send-mail-function to mailclient-send-it,
and the message did in fact get sent, even though the file containing
the definition of mailclient-send-it did not even get loaded.)

- Harald

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