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[Pan-devel] My list of present problems with Pan.

From: SciFi
Subject: [Pan-devel] My list of present problems with Pan.
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2011 20:13:48 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Pan/0.135 (Tomorrow I'll Wake Up and Scald Myself with Tea; GIT d8bfcda (; x86_64-apple-darwin10.8.0; gcc-4.2.1 (build 5666 (dot 3)); 32-bit mode)


I should probably post the concerns I'm still having with Pan.  I sent this
to imhotep82 (Heinrich Müller, before he became judgefudge), and to
lostcoder (K. Haley) some months ago.  These will likely apply to whatever
platform I end-up building.  My current Pan build can be seen with this
post's headers under User-Agent (I'll send judgefudge the patches that
"enhance" that string, soonish).



a)  For Pan's HTML highlighting feature
(View->Body_Pane->Highlight URLs)
we need the Tilde character '~' to be accepted as part of the URL
(sometimes I call this a 'squiggle' <g>).  Presently, Pan is stopping the
highlighting/copying at just-before this character when it's part of the
honest-to-goodness URL.  All unix-type servers use this character to denote
a user's "home folder" no matter how it is structured on that server.  We
see these kinds of URLs all over the developers lists at Gmane and in the
world-wide Usenet.  For now, we must do the drag-copy of the URL and
manually paste it into our browsers.  There are several more characters
that ought to be acceptable -- look at the way Gmane scrambles the URLs and
email-addys, such Pan-highlighting does not seem to include '+' and '-',
either; but don't take this as a sole-missing list.  ;)

b)  Some other characters are being accepted by Pan's Highlighting code,
which should *not* be accepted.  For example, when someone uses parentheses
for the URL such as ( , the trailing right-parens ')'
is being highlighted as if it is part of the URL, and being passed to the
browser as well (which likely gets a 404).
(I know this logic could make one go crazy trying to code-around it, but
that's why we have open URL/URI type libraries, isn't it?  <g>)



Every time I start-up Pan, the Header pane itself is initially "too wide"
with its scroll-bar opening to the right-side.  In my setup, it's the Bytes
column's numbers are barely visible, it's been scrolled-off the view that

I happen to have turned-off the Score column in the Preferences->Headers
dialog (that's the only item un-checked there).  I've re-arranged other
columns so that Bytes is at the bottom (far-right) of the view there.  It
turns out that this dialog wants to sort the un-checked Score line to the
bottom of that list, underneath Bytes, no matter what (might be an
important fact to note here).

After first starting-up Pan, to make something show-up in the Header pane,
I must open a newsgroup with articles in it.  Then I can re-adjust the
Header pane columns (all over again).  I must move the Headers horizontal
scroller all the way over to the Right, and "tighten-up" the Bytes column
(move its right-most line over to the left).

For the rest of the duration running Pan, this will not need any further

If I quit Pan, and re-start it later, I must go thru this ordeal all over

Something, somewhere, is not saving the re-adjusted value of some columns'
locations:  If I edit the preferences.xml file before starting Pan, and
subtract 10 or 20 from the current value of
'header-pane-bytes-column-width' there, it seems the next startup will
behave.  But if I need to quit & restart again, that line in
preferences.xml is back to its unedited (too-large) value.

At first I thought the 10 or 20 point changed value was because it isn't
subtracting the Width of the Headers Vertical Scroller gizmo there -- to
me, this looks about correct.  But I also notice that the UN-checked Scroll
column has been shoved over there, too.  So bottom line is I don't know
what's actually going on here.

This has occurred so long over the years, no matter what version of OSX X11
Xquartz glib gtk+ etc I was running, nor related to the platform (both ppc
& intel are doing this).

It's just an irritating lil adjustment I have robotically been doing for so
long.  ;)  I thought khaley had tackled some kind of adjustment-bug in
these columns, but I guess it didn't touch this particular one.  ;)


3.  Some of the IP-Number Displays still don't show the Port Number, mainly
in the pop-up "yellow boxes", but in other areas also such as in the
Posting Profile preferences at "Post Articles via:" drop-down list.
My explanation:
I use stunnel going to/from every NNTP server anymore.  All network paths
in Pan need to be set to '<port>' for the corresponding entry in
my stunnel.conf file.  I had been adding several lines in my /etc/hosts
file to give various pseudo-hostnames to, just so I could get Pan
to show each choice in a different way.  I don't know why, but OSX seems to
want to go outside the box, still, to try finding the route for those
pseudo-hosts, or some crazy related notion (blame Apple again for
messing-up the standard *ix methods).  So I've gone back to entering
precisely '' inside Pan, but now I've lost being able to discern
which line mean which path thru stunnel.  See?  ;)


4.  I would love to see some visual indicators for some text-formatting
settings being used.  I need to see whether word-wrap is in effect, for the
main issue here -- there are posts that don't much give a clue, because
they would look "ugly" either way.  ;)  Things like that.  I would pick the
area on the main Pan window to put these indicators/selectors, after the
various "Match" icons and a separator-line thingy.


5.  Before accepting a "version 1.0" of Pan, I have written requests over
the years to have more "multi-threading" incorporated into the program.

a)  For example, when I open a newsgroup known to be huge with binary
files, everything is IMMEDIATELY STOPPED from going forth, _including_ the
download decoding queue which I thought was already a separate thread -- I
can see such stoppage by visual observation of my modem's lights: they stop
blinking while a newsgroup is being opened.  When the newsgroup is finally
opened, the other functions continue from where it/they were stopped.

b)  Another example is that when fetching new headers, again everything is
*stopped* while the headers are being sorted/stored into Pan's own local
files.  I know this needs redesigning, because all headers seem to end-up
going into a single file for that newsgroup, but I use at least two
different (pay) servers (set to 'primary' & 'fallback'), both which will
cause this freeze when the new-header list is finished for that server i.e.
I will have _two_ freeze-ups per each group.  This also is very plainly
observed -- no mouse-clicks, no keyboard shortcuts, etc. will come forth
_until_ the action(s) causing the freeze is exited.  (Other o.s. tasks are
not affected, this stoppage-ness is strictly under the particular Pan

c)  I'm sure I've reported more needs for "multi-threading", some may have
been opened as official bug-reports and carefully documented already.
Otherwise, I've lost my listings -- I'll probably need to go thru the
mailing-lists and read my archived posts one-by-one and re-generate these
points.  :(


6.  I'm still having my problem in the GUI when I highlight any text for
preparation for copy-&-paste operation.  I reported it here to the pan-user
list some months ago:
and/or archived at Gmane:
which include a PNG screengrab to show what I'm talking about.
This only happens on GTK+ type GUI windows when the text is allowed to be
marked for copy+paste.  In stark contrast we get regular reverse-video'd
highlighted bytes on plain-ol' xterm windows.
But I am not going to worry about it much, now that I've decided to jump
off this fruity ship.
FWIW and FYI I do have the XQuartz version 2.7.0b2 installed now
compared to say version 2.6.3 with none of these GUI problems as I remember
I'm quite sure the basis is in the deep-down GUI libraries updated by
XQuartz, probably a mis-match between them and the Glib/Gtk+ libs, which I
haven't updated in over a year (there's tons of stuff to go thru there; I'd
much rather spend time building a 100% open system and ditch this fruit).


I think that's about all I can remember at this point.
If I knew C++ as well as I do C (and other arcane languages), I would love
to help if I could.
I know this is a hobby, and things get done if someone is interested enough
to pursue it.
Right now I am feeling rather tired (medical), so I should go lay down.

(BTW I have purposely not updated my base OSX system with their latest
updates, which came out just last week, as they have been causing problems
with various people around the planet, sadly [and were not even a week old
after SJ's passing].)

Thanks for all your time & trouble.

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