[UFO Chicago] Elm Is Not Pine
Jay F Shachter
jay at m5.chicago.il.us
Mon Jul 28 17:42:43 PDT 2008
Centuries ago, Nostradamus predicted that Brian Sobolak would write on Sun Jul 27 16:42:22 2008:
> Jay -- I saw from the headers that you're still using elm.
> Which surprised me, since most elm users moved to mutt or pine.
> Also, you might note that the elm home page hints that the
> version series you're using (2.4) might not be Y2K compliant.
> So what about elm is it that has you hooked?
Elm does everything I need it to do. I am satisfied with it.
Therefore, I have no reason to move to mutt, or pine. For similar
reasons, a man does not replace his wife as soon as he learns that
better women exist. It is surely romantic nonsense to assert that no
better woman can exist, but there are costs associated with replacing
one's wife, and if one is satisfied with her, one has no sound reason
As it happens, I have customized elm on my computer, so it provides me
with functionality that I would not have if I moved to mutt, or pine,
or even to version 2.5 of elm. I dispatched the Y2K problem years
ago. I customize every open-source program I use, like the
clockmakers in "The Mote In God's Eye". For example, I have written a
feature into elm that rewrites subject headers when replying to a
message, so that if you send me a message with the subject "I think,
therefore I am", and I type the r key to compose a reply, elm
constructs the header "Re: you think, therefore you are". Over the
years I have added several such hacks into elm, and many other
open-source programs on my computer, which provide me with a working
environment to my liking, because I have fashioned it to be to my
liking. My only complaint is that the world changes in ways that I
cannot predict, and have not approved, sometimes rendering my working
environment inadequate. For example, people are now sending me mail
in HTML format, even when their messages do not require the
annotations of a markup language, so I am tasked with writing Emacs
macros that remove all of the HTML tags and idioms, leaving me with a
readable message in plain text. This is not my fault, though; it is
the fault of the world, which fails to behave in accordance with my
Jay F. Shachter
6424 N Whipple St
Chicago IL 60645-4111
jay at m5.chicago.il.us
"Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur"
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