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RE: smtp crap

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: smtp crap
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2011 09:24:02 -0700

> > But MOST importantly, what about reporting bugs with `emacs -Q'?
> >
> > That is the real problem here, and the one that you keep 
> > ignoring.  Instead, you keep focusing on the problem of
> > customization, which is, relatively speaking, no big deal
> > (assuming you finish fixing the repeated-interrogation bugs).
> No, that's not the real problem.

To me it is.  It is a more important problem than how to help users configure
Emacs to use email.

> There are two problems:
> (1) What should Emacs do when the user asks it to send an email?
> (2) What should Emacs do when the user asks it to report a bug?


> This series of questions is appropriate in scenario 1, but not in
> scenario 2.

I would say that _some email configuration UI_ is appropriate for #1, but not
for #2.

But "some config UI" does not imply "this series of questions".

I don't really care too much (personally) about what UI is used for #1.  But
(FWIW) my advice would be for Emacs to (a) not _initiate_ that UI but only
provide it upon _user request_ and (b) probably not offer it as a sequence of
questions (e.g. wizard) at all, but rather as a form (e.g. checkboxes) to fill
in.  Look at how other apps help users configure email, for some inspiration...

> (Especially with `emacs -Q', which causes an already-configured
> Emacs to explicitly ignore its configuration.)

Exactly.  This is important.  It should be the starting point.

The fact that the UI interrogation-sequence-from-hell was (initially) completely
backward (see the bugs, some of which have been fixed), and that it is still,
well, weird, reflects the fact that this was NOT the starting point, even though
the configuration dialog is initiated by the `report-emacs-bug' code.

> The fact that the two scenarios are related is an implementation
> detail of report-emacs-bug.

It might be currently, but it should not be.

> The argument Drew is making would disappear instantly if
> report-emacs-bug sent an HTTP POST request, for instance.

Yes.  But in that case Drew would argue that we should still also let users
report bugs using email.  On this I support Richard's stance: users should be
able to report bugs using email.  AND they should be able to do so using HTTP.

We should make it as easy as possible for a user to report an Emacs bug,
especially using `emacs -Q'.  That should be the priority - the rest is
secondary, IMHO.  And yes, this _should_ be a no-brainer.

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