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Re: smtp crap

From: Tim Cross
Subject: Re: smtp crap
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 11:23:50 +1100

On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 4:58 AM, Drew Adams <address@hidden> wrote:
>> From: Stefan Monnier Sent: Monday, October 10, 2011 2:38 PM
>> Editing the From is indeed a bug that we have to fix before
>> the release.
> Still not fixed.
> And the UI is now worse than before.
> http://debbugs.gnu.org/cgi/bugreport.cgi?bug=9877
> Users reporting a bug with `emacs -Q' should not have to specify ANYTHING 
> about
> email methods.  This is nothing but a regression - reporting a bug with `emacs
> -Q' has never been a problem in past releases.  Why burden and confuse users
> now?

Actually, this isn't strictly true.

Anyone who uses emacs as their mail client and uses a remote mail
server rather than a local server, has NEVER been able to submit a bug
report easily when running emacs -Q or any invocation of emacs which
does not load their local configurations for that matter).  The usual
workflow is to save backtraces and other bug report relevant data into
files, quite emacs, start emacs without -Q and then do the bug report

I think this is very much the central issue. If we accept that

     1. Few systems have a correctly configured local MTA
     2. Increasingly systems are mobile and need to use remote
authenticated MTAs
     3. Some (many?) users don't want to use emacs as a MUA
     4. When submitting a bug report, many users are not interested or
willing to configure mail just to submit the          report. In some
cases, they may not even understand the issues involved to provide the
necessary information.

then perhaps we should also consider that it might be time to add an
ADDITIONAL way to submit bug reports that can avoid the complex,
fragile, error prone and frequently frustrating approaches that have
been proposed simply to maintain a mail based submission mechanism. By
all means, continue to support submission of bug reports by mail, but
ADD another mechanism which is able to work more reliably on systems
which may not have email configured or use a configuration which is
not available. Allow the user to select the method they want - if they
select email submission and emacs needs to ask them a bunch of
configuration questions, thats fine as they chose that route.

Note that the suggestion to add another mechanism, such as an http
based gateway has been rejected in the past on a couple of grounds. It
has been suggested that RMS doesn't want this, though from looking in
the archives, I would suggest he was actually more concerned about the
loss of email as a way to submit bug reports, not that it can/should
be the only way to submit such reports. Also, it has been suggested
that this cannot be done because the bug tracker won't support it -
this too is nonsense. There are plenty of http -> mail examples out
there which could just as easily be applied in this situation. Note
that I'm just using http as an example, other possible solutions exist
and should be explored. My only suggestion is that many of the issues
which have been raised wrt changes in the default mail configuration
can be avoided simply by providing another means to submit bug


Tim Cross

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