[Oberon] *Mail*.Mod & Wiki concept ?

easlab at absamail.co.za easlab at absamail.co.za
Tue Nov 7 17:08:07 MET 2006

As previously noted at least Edgar understands me.
In real life you can't be partially pregnant.
So also many tasks require completion, or at least exceeding some
critical threshold to be of ANY value.

This, because we have no mechanism to accumulate the value/effort.
Having a mechanism to accumulate value/effort allows us to succeed
in a whole lot of tasks which otherwise would be impossible.

Imagine how societies who can't read & write to accumalate their
knowledge, are limited ?!   Africa ?

The wiki-concept allows not only a single individual to accumulate
his effort, but for several collaborators' efforts to be mutually 

Software maintenance tasks: notice bug, analyse bug, fix bug,
test bug fix...; don't need to be completed by the same person;
provided there is a working mechanism to capture and allow
accumulation of the incremental value/effort of individuals.

Q - do the smart-new versions of ETH-Wirth-derived languages,
now finally write the underline-char correctly ?
Here's an item for the ETH-Oberon-Wiki-box:
a usefull utility which I was given and use several times a day, has a
seldom arising bug.  I typically use it to get a listing of files, of a specific 
partition, which I've been working on recently; typically the last 3 days.
So when I want 'that file which I used yesterday which had a "7"
in its ID, I use my existing template to: SmartDir.Directory SYS:*7*\r 3

Since it failed to give me what I wanted, and luckily I remembered
vaguely that SmartDir.Directory has a known bug [like N-O's underline
char, which they 'live with'], I confirmed that:
   System.Directory SYS:*7*  
gives me TMP7 , the required file.

One can imagine that SmartDir has a simple 'fence pole' type of bug,
that would be fixed when somebody has some spare time, provided
there is a [wiki-like] system to accumulate the pending fix.

Another facility that the wiki-concept allows is creeping-anti-entropy.
That is the drawing of attention to, and fixing problems of 'adjacent'
and related topics.

Eg. fixing the underline-char in Oberon*Scn.Fnt [the default font,
surely a serious problem?!] naturally leads to investigating the use of
FontEditor.Panel , which one might otherwise never look at.

Once you've used FontEditor.Panel you can start [the task is never 
finished] fixing some of those invisible characters, which arrive off
the internet, like 'copyright' & 'article - per European law'..etc.

Then with attention on FontEditor.Panel , you might discover why
Columbus.Inspect [an essential tool ?] often doesn't "work".

There's a quirk in many of the panel-based utilities, which need 
not be a problem, if know about: often when text is entered into
panel 'fields', possibly by pasting, apparently the entered text
doesn't take effect, unless  a 'reset/initialise/CR-effectively'
is done, typically by <F9> [for N-O].

It's perhaps related to:
   when you paste text for an M.P command
eg. System.Directory SYS:*7* , you don't need to terminate with <CR>,
but in using a command line interface, you must terminate with <CR>.

So, the way that entropy ensures degradation, by the forest fire and
virus spreading mechanisms, the wiki-concept can facilitate fixing
and adding value, in a kind of anti-entropy.
Ie. instead of getting dirty by usage, the system gets improved by

It seems to me that Mail.* and TextMail.*  send mail by:
1. connect to smtpServer
2. authenticate -- potentially, but presently not implemented
3. parse and send the header/envelope fields
4. send the body
5. close the smtpServer connection.

It seems to me that if the userID is given to the smtpServer
in step 1 [connect to smtpServer], this is not again requested
by the server in step  2. 

It seems to me that Mail.* DOES give the userID in step 1,
and that TextMail.* does not.

Q - can anyone confirm or other wise, my asumptions, to
help me avoid having to analyse the convoluted mess of 
Mail.Mod ?

== Chris Glur.

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