a thousand hands (second-hand)

I tend to output a lot of text in the average day, all over the place, and in a few certain places, I really get into it, often producing stuff that definitely deserves a wider audience, like you lot! And it's something I wanted to cover here, anyway.

I'm not going to BCC everything to corzblog, of course, but I'll drop in select bits when the mood takes me. I've had an email and a PM about this post, and the paint's still wet, so it's filtered already, your next three minutes won't be a complete waste, (as if!) even though it's second-hand. so what isn't?

I'm getting passionate about my favourite fox and his bird, the product of thousands and thousands of man-hours, and, cruically, thousands of men.

Of course I'm talking about Firefox and Thunderbird, and, well..

Imagine.. Firefox, Thunderbird, and a text editor from the same family. For me, this would be a holy trinity of applications. I might suggest that. hmm.

Firefox and Thunderbird are almost perfect, and you can pretty much build up their functionality however you desire, and if what you need isn't available, no problem, simply suggest a plug-in ("extension") in one of the te(e/a)ming moz fora.

I plan to suggest "you replied to this mail on 22/3/05" type functionality for Thunderbird, which I dearly miss this from my days with entourage. The team at the MBU say it's "linked to the proprietary database format" or some shite, but I see now it could be scripted simply enough using the SDK available from the dudes at moz, all power to them!

Fox and the bird are already, in balance, the best-of-breed. It can only get better. I guess saving mail wasn't a high priority in the functionality list, mine neither; I've saved maybe three individual emails in almost fifteen years of using the medium. And I just wouldn't have thought about saving a group of emails, it's plain text anyway morand, just copy out that section in any text editor, or suggest it somewhere!

I keep my email in my email client, though I do copy text out, attachments and whatnot. I hadn't noticed the missing functionality, and I wouldn't use it, but loads probably would, and many coders are literally gagging for new ideas. go for it! Your wish is mozzies command!

Add to this lovely plain text preference files, hugely hackable. already the web is filling with juicy tips and trictoids, google around. Add to that, open, plug-in architecture. Add to that a cross-platform, standard plain text mail database, favourites, address book, etc, that you can almost "throw from one platform to the next", (and probably someone will sit down soon and write conversion scripts for that, it's simple enough string-replacement, swap C:\ for /Volumes/system, whatever) it's all doable now, and mostly within the grasp of the user. Just plug in what you need! Now you really can build your own browser!

I have, and it has everything I wanted from a browser and more, is standards compliant yet forgiving, very fast, yet resource-friendly, need I say more? I will. I want to talk about open standards.

open standards means you could read your email from a regular copy backup, even on a different machine, running a totally different operating system, with nothing more sophisticated than a text editor. I learned how important this is whilst trying to access important text in my Entourage database. never again!

The list of good stuff goes on and on; web-bugs. these are tiny, invisible images planted in some spam, when you read the mail, the server supplying the image registers the hit and ticks the "yup, someone at that address. spam em!" box in the spam-machine. yowser!

Thunderbird thoughtfully prevents the display of all images until you tell it not to, one click, thank you. "thoughtfully" is the operative word. Rather than some clique of distant, arrogant code-heads spinning out production cycles as far as their fat salaries allow, we have a zillion contributors, and helpers, suggesters, and vocal users working together to produce some great free software. These applications are the product of some serious beta feedback. more to come, and it looks like it's all going to be good.

The only question is, in which forum do I suggest the mozzie text editor..


I signed off there, bowed, and left the thread to evolve, as these thigns do. more good stuff to come, I'm sure.

for now..

:o) The Writing Entity @ corz.org

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