Phillip Helbig <[log in to unmask]>:
>There ARE some fancy mailers available for VMS, and I've also had some
>experience with more `modern' email packages, but chose to stay with
>good old VMS mail since it can do all the basic stuff a typical email
>package can, and also some things it can't, and has the advantage of
>just working out of the box....

  I have some experience of this on UNIX, because the standard text
oriented program "mail" is one of the few that does not corrupt the
mailbox, and it is still possiblle to pick it down to another computer.

>Lots of email and other packages (especially those with a GUI) have a
>lot of bells and whistles but really add little functionality, IMHO, and
>sometimes distract from the true purpose.

  But really few uses non-GUI these days, even on UNIX, and the GUI's are
much easier to use; and ease of communication is the true purpose.

>..  The fact is, as long as not
>everyone uses the same operating system, and they shouldn't (unless it's
>VMS:), then one MUST stick to the lowest common denominator, which means
>less than 80 characters of ASCII 32--126 or whatever.

  I think it will be difficult for any holding on to this for a long period
of time: When the new email readers become abundant, it will be hard for
people to bother about those old emailers; it is the dictatorship of the
majority, if you so want. The next step around the corner is Unicode, which
is the basis for all new personal computers; surely that will go into the
mail system. Sticking to old ASCII will not really be possible.

  Incidentally, this touches on a LaTeX question: What about LaTeX and Unicode?

  Hans Aberg
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