Why don't you respect the mail threads?!

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Mon Feb 26 08:11:55 CST 2018

On 22 February 2018 at 21:57, Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:

> Liam, I wanted to say this few months ago already (back in Nov, the
> "Editor" thread - BTW, thanks for the links to editors wiki and other
> interesting pointers).

Glad it was appreciated.

> So, what I wanted to say is, this posture is
> going to backfire, I am afraid. The new crowd is coming, who newer had
> any chance to use anything resembling a terminal (including
> terminal-like experience as wobbly as given by MS Windows).

I used to think this myself, but of late, I've had 2 jobs with FOSS
companies (Red Hat and SUSE) and they're both full of 20-somethings
who use and love Vim & other shell-only tools. People working in
tiling or ultra-minimal window managers, with a bunch of terminals and
nothing else.

Unix isn't just an OS. It's a whole culture now, and newcomers earn
credit by embracing the tools and the old ways and demonstrate their
worthiness by their skill with (to them) ancient languages, editors
and so on.

Alas, now, it's _the_ culture. Everything else is ancient history,
mostly unknown. Today, there are 2 OSes, broadly: Windows, and its
fans see no interest in anything else; and Unix, which increasingly
means macOS and Linux.

[Aside: Greybeards are into "ancient" platforms from the 1980s like
Amiga OS, Atari TOS/GEM, Acorn RISC OS, and a few into BeOS/Haiku.

The stuff from before that is mostly forgotten about now. MS-DOS and
the most popular 8-bit home micros are now solely the domain of retro

But they're still millennials, so email is a slightly clunky old tool
for notifications and account verification, stuff like that. They use
chat systems more -- IRC, and an increasing presence of things like
Slack, RocketChat, Telegram, Signal and the like. There are work-only
web-based social networks where they can interact in broadly familiar
ways, such as Yammer or Red Hat's Mojo.

So at RH, for instance, there were people who primarily used Mojo and
others who primarily used the internal mailing lists.

> They
> (crowd) too will be saying things like GTFO - for now, they just top
> post awfully long replies (perhaps because their phone/web-based MUAs
> cannot offer them easy way to cut the crap?) and refuse to see any
> wrong in it. They also happen to break threads like they were paid to
> do it and since I am subscribed to way too many lists where this
> occurs, I have already gave up manual linking of threads with mutt -
> righting wrongs of the crowd is a job for a program, not for single
> human. I only have to devise it during free time, when I have some.

Yes, true. There's a ton of received wisdom on how to use email
effectively, but it's not disseminated. This means key providers of
email tools -- notably Microsoft -- didn't incorporate these.

So now there are 2 cultures of email: the old-style, text-only, 4-line
sig, bottom-posting way, and "business style": rich formatting, top
posting, epic sigs with graphics, legal notices etc. Given a tool
focused on that, it's hard to even do the other way at all.

We allowed it to fragment and in the long term that might be its downfall.

> Given that they are soon (if not already) going to be a "dictatoring"
> majority, I am not so sure the "GTFO" is the right kind of message to
> send out. Even though I have no idea what a constructive message could
> look like.

Good question.

An idea I threw out on a panel discussion a few years ago is that we
might end up with 2 "internets".

One will be the old-fashioned one, standards-based, old-fashioned
practices and tools, wild and unregulated and chaotic, with a layer of
disconnected web-based islands on top. Part of this will extend into
the "darknet", the encrypted, tunnelled, anonymised quarter for
semi-illicit stuff.

And another layer, a corporate-run tool, with signing, verified IDs,
some degree of crypto so that its users feel they are safe, but it's
all backdoored and snooped and logged. That's the layer you'll be
forced to use if you want to do public trade, where there will be
federated reputation tracking and so on.

Liam Proven • Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
Email: lproven at cix.co.uk • Google Mail/Hangouts/Plus: lproven at gmail.com
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