BARK - the new mailer in town

Q: why a new mailer?
A: the existing mailers are not good enough.

Q: but - there's mutt and pine, outlook and evolution,
   pegasus and eudora and ..  why not use one of them?
A: they all suck.  mutt sucks least -
   but even this one has too many issues
   which have not been resolved yet.

Q: why not work on mutt then?
A: not an option - any more.

   i did work on mutt - a lot!
   i had been using on mutt since its first release.
   i had written many webpages about it with tips and tricks
   and with additional descriptions of features with examples.
   one part was a huge wishlist with hints to existing patches.
   but this only showed the many flaws and weird behaviour.
   in december 2003 i started yet another project -
   collecting all those patches which have a webpage,
   describe and test them, and then to select a subset
   which is stable, does not consume time too much, and
   which fixes the most bugs and adds the most features.
   but even with creating such a huge summary of all patches
   there would only be one more patch.  we would have to tell the
   maintainers about it, and get them interested in testing it.
   we would all have to wait for them to approve of it and
   add the patch to the source code.  this might take a weekend, or
   a month, and even longer than i had been working on mutt already.

   the current state of the manual is that it still contains bugs and
   is simply missing a lot of info and examples which had been given in
   comp.mail.mutt many times.  it seems they are completely ignoring
   the help that was given by the community

   after years of writing up info for the mutt documentation and giving answers
   on usenet i must conclude that the maintainers are simply ignoring it.

   i have better things to do than wait for them to take an interest in
   yet another patch.  and therefore creating a new mailer may be better.

Q: why is it called "bark"?
A: "bark" is both part of trees and something dogs do.

   when i started with email i had been using "elm".
   after elm there was "pine" - yet another mailer called
   like a tree.  and then there was "mutt", the "mongrel
   of mailers".  so we have seen trees and a doggie.
   "bark" is something both trees and dogs have in common.
   it is both "the tough exterior covering of a woody root or stem"
   as well as the "characteristic short loud cry of a dog".
   also, mails are shipped to our mailboxes as "news"
   and a "bark" is also a type of ship.  so, in short:

     mutt ->  dog  -> barks
     elm  ->  tree -> bark
     pine ->  tree -> bark
     news ->  ship -> bark

Q: where do you discuss "bark"?
A: we will be discussing bark on a mailing list.

Q: so - where is this mailing list?
A: it has not been opened to anyone yet.

   i will tell you about it as soon as you have identified yourself
   as someone who knows enough about mutt's and other mailers'
   shortcomings to really be able to appreciate the new mailer.

   really - if you are happy about mutt the way it is then
   you don't really have a reason to switch.  stay with mutt!
   (same holds for all the other mailers, of course.)

Q: where is the code?
A: there is no  code.

   for everyone who read this page
   there will not be any code at all.
   you will know about the code when
   you have joined the mailing list or
   after the code has been released.

Q: so - what is there?  only this page?
A: there is a roadmap which i had created
   from the data on my wishlist.
   it is written in simple HTML
   and has about 15KB on 700lines.

Q: when does it all start?
A: it'll all start as soon as there are enough people
   interested to actually help creating this mailer.
   i am reading mails of interest about bark - and
   as soon as there are enogh people i will tell them.

Sven Guckes

latest update: 2004-08-06

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