freebsd vs. netbsd

Polytropon freebsd at
Thu Jun 11 12:50:50 UTC 2020

On Thu, 11 Jun 2020 08:24:43 -0400, Jerry wrote:
> On Thu, 11 Jun 2020 07:56:58 +0200, Polytropon commented:
> >On Wed, 10 Jun 2020 23:13:10 -0600, @lbutlr wrote:
> >> On 10 Jun 2020, at 23:06, Polytropon <freebsd at> wrote:  
> >> > However, I assume that the use of "reply to all" is so convenient
> >> > it is often preferred to "reply to mailing list", that's why
> >> > sometimes replies are send "twice"…  
> >
> >Attention! Here we have a severe case of "MUA ate my homework"!
> >
> >Your MUA did modify (!) my original message, so the quote is no
> >longer correct (as it imples something that I didn't write).
> >
> >Aspect 1 is no big problem: It removed my newlines and put
> >everything into one long line. This is no big deal with
> >regular text ("paragraph text"), but would be with code,
> >or something laid out to be a table or a diagram in text.
> I think that could also be attributed to the fact that many users
> configure their MUSs to use a specific font and/or font size that
> affects the final display of the received email. I prefer a larger font
> myself since my eye sight isn't what it was 20 years ago.
> >Aspect 2, and that _is_ a problem: I wrote "...", which is
> >three periods, and your MUA turned it into "…", which is
> >an UTF-8 ellipsis.
> If UTF was used to begin with, that problem would evaporate.

But it wasn't. It started (at least here) with ye olde
boring 7-bit ASCII.

> >Aspect 2a, a sign of inconsistency, is that your MUA did
> >not change my " double quotation marks (inch symbols) into
> >correct typographical quotation marks. And how could it?
> >Which rules would apply? I'm in Germany, so our quotation
> >marks are "two down" and "two up", while in English, you
> >usually how "two in" and "two out", something like this,
> >incorrectly simplified:
> >
> >	,,The german style.''
> >
> >	``The english style.''
> I believe the 'American' style would be:
> U+201C and U-201D : “American style”
> In any case, I have not seen your 'magical character transpositions" in
> my everyday use. Perhaps it is a systemic problem with your MUA.

Note: I was replying to @lbutlr whose MUA malquoted my
initial message, i. e., it said "Polytropon commented"
but I didn't use the characters the header claimed I
did - it used "…" in _my_ message where I wrote "...".
So it's not _my_ MUA which has a problem.

Check the headers and you'll find this confirmed.

If I wish to use "..." instead of "…", and I use "those"
quotes instead of “those”, then I do so for a good reason.
I don't have to explain or justify that reason. I just
depend on the MUA to keep my intention, and Sylpheed
did. However, @lbutlr's MUA did something nonstandard
(i. e., modifying original message content in a very
selective and inconsistent way). If I intend something
to be typographically perfect, I don't use email for
that, because it just doesn't work. (Similarly, the
web isn't "pixel-perfect" - you can try to get near
that goal, but you won't always arrive there.)

Similarly, if I include things like µV or kΩ or maybe
even Яблоко, no MUA, on _no_ side of the conversation,
should change that into something else _and_ claiming
that it's what _I_ wrote.

Oh, and yes, “American style” is the correct form I
wanted to mention. The German ones are „those“. But
you can also have one of the «other» ones. :-)

If MUAs start changing original message content and
attribute that to the original author, what's next?
Changing words?

> >And there are of course differences in AE and BE. You can
> >also see that I used tabs and empty lines for format my
> >reply. If a MUA eats those, big problem.
> >
> >A typographically skilled person will even say that using
> >something like “that“ is wrong (uses same symbol for start
> >and end of quoting).
> >
> >Similarly, MUAs could mess with the use of dashes ("-" or
> >"–") or apostrophes ("'" or "’").
> >
> >All those considerations of course lead to breaking my
> >carefully crafted message in plain ASCII (not even using
> >ISO-8859-1) and lifting it into the UTF-8 multibyte universe
> >with all its unsolved questions. ;-)
> I use UTF-8 and find it solves problems, not creates them.

Depends on which side of the program you're sitting at. ;-)

> >Oh, and MUAs don't have to be smart. It's much better if the
> >people using them are smart. That's fully sufficient. :-)
> And rarely seen in the wild. :)

That must be the "shortage on IT experts" everyone is raging
about... ;-)

> >If I remember correctly, "reply to all" has never been a real
> >problem on the FreeBSD mailing lists. Users can set up filtering
> >rules to remove duplicate messages they might receive during a
> >thread, or remind their counterparts to pay attention to use
> >the "reply to mailing list" button.
> Unfortunately, some sneaky 'repliers' include the intended recipient's
> name in the "To:" field that complicates filtering messages.

Yes, that is the kind of problem I was talking about.
It's not just the correct construction and preservation
of headers like From:, To:, Cc:, and Reply-To:, it's
also the "metadata" of thread-keeping (references).

> >Sadly, Sylpheed has a prominent "reply to all" button, whereas
> >"reply to mailing list" is a drop-down element next to the
> >regular "reply" button. So you can guess which one gets used
> >the most.
> Claws-Mail allows a user to create custom folders with predefined
> "To:". "CC:" and "Reply-To:" fields, among others. That totally
> eliminates all the guess work, assuming the end-user bothered to
> properly configure it.

Nobody configures MUAs these days. In a web-driven world,
users tend to keep using the defaults of the provider.
The same applies to application MUAs where the defaults
aren't checked and adjusted to match real use cases.

That's why default settings are so important: They can
change whole generations' views about what's "normal" and
what's not...

Nobody expects the spanish inquisition. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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