[MlMt] Feature Suggestion: Making mailer daemon-mails easier readable
mmlist-20120120 at billmail.scconsult.com
Fri Apr 13 07:26:25 UTC 2012
On 12 Apr 2012, at 2:16, Niels Kobschätzki wrote:
> today I tumbled over this article:
> tl;dr: MUAs could interpret Mailer-Daemon mails and make them easier
> Even so MailMate is a poweruser-MUA I think the idea is great :)
> What do you guys think about this article?
My comment awaiting moderation there is:
There’s nothing wrong in theory with trying to interpret standard
failure messages and presenting a more clear message to the user.
Unfortunately, theory and reality don’t always match.
Microsoft tried this already, and in doing so earned the scorn and
hatred of all mail support workers who have been presented with the
results that users bring them from broken-by-design Exchange+Outlook
mail systems and asked to fix the obfuscated problem made unknowable
those bits of malware replacing the user-hostile but info-rich
NDR with an often-wrong one-line report that doesn’t even
identify the point of failure.
One might hope that Apple would be able to learn from Microsoft’s
mistake, and not obliterate the original NDR while doing a better job
translating the standard codes into user-comprehensible explanations.
Unfortunately, the Mail.app powers that be have demonstrated with
abandonment of the standard “format=flowed” line breaking
ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE OUTLOOK USERS* that they don’t understand any
concept of standards, only that of following the crowd. It would be
unsurprising to have Apple attempt what you suggest by replicating
Microsoft’s mapping of the standard extended status codes to
semantically identical vagueness and automated deletion of the
There is evidence that Benny is wiser than the bozos writing Mail.app,
but he isn't perfect. As someone whose job sometimes includes users
bringing me error messages seeking solutions, I would hate to have yet
another MUA obfuscating the details of a standard NDR. All of that
user-hostile stuff is there for a reason and hiding it from uses so that
they send a screen shot of the "clear" message that they still don't
read instead of a copy+paste of the text they couldn't comprehend is a
step backwards. And yes, I've had users submit screen shots of
simplified "Your message is too large" error messages asking what is
wrong with the mail system.
More information about the mailmate