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Re: Header re-write

On Wed, 15 Feb 1995, Scott Schwartz wrote:
> |   The real problem with 2.99, is the lack of workers.  Zmailer needs 
> | more patches/docs and less flames.
> No, it needs more engineering and less hacking.  By all means, improve
> the documentation.  Fix old bugs.  Remove unworthy features (and reduce
> the documentation burden at the same time!) But don't add new features
> unless users (that means me) can't live without them.
> Vehemence is necessary; this is important.  

	Then you're volunteering to work on it?  The code is there -- 
feel free to start ripping out what you see as unneccessary.  That's the 
great advantage to free software.  Matti is making changes that he sees 
as improvements.  If you don't like his improvements, make your own.  If 
yours serves the needs of the people better, people will use it.

	Seriously though, I'm not sure I understand this whole argument. 
You're maintaining that a piece of software with more features cannot be
as good as a smaller program, even if the newer version performs just as
well, or maybe even better than the older one?  If you want to work with a
product that doesn't have any new features, why not just use MMDF?  That
worked wonderfully in 1983.  But say you want DNS to be part of the code,
not tacked on as an afterthought.  Say you want MIME support.  Are these 
features that we REALLY need? 

	Of course they are.  So the code becomes more flexible in order to
deal with them.  Becoming more functional, with the same or better
reliability, is the best way for software to evolve.  Becoming more
reliable, with the same features, is also one way for software to evolve. 
But it sounds like you're saying that adding more features always
makes the code less reliable?  That a bigger program can't be better?  
That argument might hold for code on a firewall machine, that has to be 
checked line by line for security, but that doesn't apply to Zmailer -- you 
wouldn't run Zmailer on a firewall machine.

Lee Silverman, Brown class of '94, Brown GeoPhysics ScM '95
Email to: Lee_Silverman@brown.edu
Phish-Net Archivist: phish-archives@phish.net
"Nonsense - you only say it's impossible because nobody's ever done it."