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GNU is Not Unix

Pine/Pico License Misconceptions 176

def writes "Linux Today has a good article that clarifies a lot of the misconceptions about the Pine and Pico license, and why these are not, in fact, open source programs." All things aside, I use Pine - for many of the reasons that the article points out - because I've used for as long as I can remember. Of course, CowboyNeal keeps talking about mutt but we'll see.
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Pine/Pico License Misconceptions

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Naw, there's something just odd about mutt. I don't know what it is. I suppose it's just that I'm so used to pine I've never bothered looking into configuring mutt that much. Now, with that in mind, I have to rely on the default config of mutt as packaged by my distribution. From that it just seems clumsy and difficult to use. Pine is easy to add things like display filters for PGP and such. I'm sure you can do this all in mutt as well, but like I said, that'd be a new system to learn and pine works just fine. :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually, if you "improved vi" you would have "vim". Vim absolutely rocks, and it runs darn near everywhere - so you don't keep hitting "esc-:-wq" in notepad... :) 'Course, this is offtopic, since the discussion is pico/pine's liscense confusion. UW has crappy liscenses all around, IMHO. I'm glad I finally converted from pico/pine to mutt/vim. It took a few weeks to get comfy, but I'm happier as a result. Control and customizability is cool. Vim's the linux of editors. ;)
  • Especially since, with Pine at least, one instance locks the inbox, and you have to remember which is what, and so on. It's not really convenient on the long run.

    I agree with your point here, but there's no locking problem like that in mutt. Although adding that functionality into the application is not necessary. Using the unix philosophy of having many small programs that do one thing right, why not just spawn a new screen session instead of adding bloat to the code?

    I guess it can't be everything to everyone...

    Ahh.. the beauty of having choices. I like mutt, I'll use it! You want gui, have at! This is why open standards are a Good Thing(tm). Everyone gets to use what they want and still use the same standards. Wooho!

  • I've been using mutt for about 3 years now, and absolutely love it.

    [...]is that you can not edit/read more than one message in the same time. Heck, if you want to edit one message and read another (to copy/paste text, for instance), you can't. You have to exit editing, read the other message, and come back.

    Or you could do what I do: open another shell and run another copy of mutt! Even remotely when I log in I use screen to have multiple terminals... I make a new one, copy, switch, paste. No trouble!

    That's why I think a GUI will eventually be better.

    Not I! A GUI solution requires that I be at the desktop (or that I'm at a terminal that can handle remote X connections tunneled through ssh)
    I prefer to keep mine text based so I can check it from any machine that has network and ssh access. (And with putty a quick download, any Windows box will do. And there's plenty of them wherever you go)

  • I've switched from pine to Mozilla's IMAP client. Aside from some text-entry oddities in the message window, it's worked without a hitch, and handles multiple accounts pretty well.

    If only there were an option to disable HTML parsing in Mail and News...

  • Well, actually, on the use of fetchmail I kinda agree because I now use it and I only use IMAP with pine ;)...
  • I'd really like to switch from pine to a Free mail reader. But I dont see any mail reader that has the following features:
    - Be text based
    - Support IMAP and POP
    - Allow me to have multiple profiles (more than one email address, but from the same mailboxes)
    - Allow me to store the config remotely, so I can have the same config on more than one machine
    - Allow me to store the address book remotely
    - Be text based so it runs throughs ssh (telnet)
    - Be Free Software

    If there is any other mail reader that has all of those features, I'll switch today.
    I dont think mutt lets me remotely store configs and addresses, but I may be wrong... Any mutter can help me on that?
    Having the same config for a text and graphical frontend would be even better, that would my killer feature...
  • "VisED used a brilliant command-bar at the top of the page which listed CTRL-KEY combos based on topic, then function.

    For instance, CTRL-X while editing would turn the command bar at top to Quit-Related functions, such as QUIT, SAVE, CLEAR, etc. Other functions included advanced search and replace, cuting and pasting, and for users with enough access, reading and writing files off of the local Amiga's file system."

    Sounds roughly like aee, which you can get at http://mahon.cwx.net/. aee has the key control sequences listed above the space for editing the text. From the way you described VisED, aee doesn't sound as sophisticated, but it seems about in the same ballpark.
  • Um. Unless I missed the announcement, GNU and the FSF still don't make your decisions for you. No one's saying you can't _use_ Pine and Pico if you wish - they're just pointing out that the licensing terms for Pico and Pine don't qualify as "Free Software".

    Why is it every time licensing issues get discussed, and GNU or anyone related to GNU states that a product doesn't meet their definition of "Free Software", we always get a few people who whine about GNU and the FSF trying to tell them what they can and can't use?
    _____

    Sam: "That was needlessly cryptic."
  • But it irks me that they want to make it harder for me to choose Pico by urging distributors not to include it.

    The only distro that is a REAL stickler on truly free vs. non-free licenses (Debian) already doesn't include a binary package for Pico and Pine, only a pristine source package that can be used to build it. (And I believe it's in non-free, besides.) All the others, even the ones that base on Debian (other than maybe Progeny) aren't that picky - they'll include just about anything in their distros. I don't think RMS stating his opinion is going to stop RedHat or Mandrake or SuSE from including Pine in their default install.

    And how hard is it to FTP to ftp.cac.washington.edu, grab the source for yourself, do './build lnp', and copy the binaries into place?

    Do you ever get upset when a Republicrat tells you not to vote for the Demopublican candidate because they want to take your freedom away?

    Not really. That's their JOB, for godsake - they have to get votes to get elected, and secure or maintain their job. I don't necessarily like the way they do it, but they have a reason. As does RMS - whatever may be said about him - that he's a dirty old GNU hippie, or whatever else - he believes that software should be FREE. He believes in SOMETHING, which is more than can be said for 99% of the people out there.

    I'm sorry that someone who believes in something can sway some people, but that's just kinda the way it goes, IMO.

    As for them wanting to take away our freedom, well DUH. Isn't that what pretty much all politicians want?

    or implications that users are so stupid they'll be "lulled" into losing their rights.

    You think at least a few won't? And of course, what you see as being your "rights" regarding software (apparently the ability to use it) isn't what RMS thinks of as the rights you should have (the ability to examine the code, and modify it if you choose, and so on).

    I still say, if you don't agree with RMS or the GNU ideal, no one's going to come to your home and force you to believe. You like Pine, and don't care about the license terms, that's great. Use it, be happy.
    _____

    Sam: "That was needlessly cryptic."
  • by hawk ( 1151 )
    > emacs is the real geek's email tool, isn't it?


    No, emacs is for heretics and sissies.


    real men use vi and mh


    hawk, who will concde that emacs' mail mode is useful to read mail on a slow line, but not as much as
    inc > /dev/null; rmm `scan .-last | grep -e pattern1 ... -e patternn | sed -e 's/\(....\).*/\1/' |tr '\n' ' '` ; scan .-last| less

  • by hawk ( 1151 )
    OK, who marked this funny rather than insightful or informative??


    The inconsistency is a pain. It took a while, but now comp and repl show messages as from me rather than ~/.signature -- but the same thing doesn't work with forw.


    >And it needs to handle MIME better...


    Yeah, but who wants to deal with all the followup mail after it replies automatically to everyone who sends a mime message calling them an idiot? I'm afraid proper mime handling just isn't possible any more :)


    hawk, regular user of lynx & mh.

  • My $EDITOR is GNUClient [hp.com], which connects to a running Emacs process and takes next to no time to start editing a buffer.

    Failing having access to a properly configured emacs, Jed [mit.edu] will do in a pinch.

    \\\ SLUDGE

  • I am surprised that I have not yet seen mention of Nano [nano-editor.org], a Pico clone that is more featureful, stable, and Open Source. I first learned email with Pine and Pico, and while pico wasn't the most powerful editor in the world, it was simple, intuitive, and had all the functionality I needed. Nano takes this to the next level. My current email preference is Mutt+Nano.

    --

  • I think the difference is more real than that. There's a difference between "You can distribute modified versions of this code, as long as you keep these license conditions..." and "You can't." It isn't as simple as a difference between one set of restrictions and another. I find pine/pico's license especially disappointing, because with about 5 more features, pico would be a perfectly usable minimalist editor. Some of these features have been written, and put into pico, but you'll never find the source code available for the enhancements available as anything but patches.

  • I am writing a graphical interface for Pine (called xP -- note I called it this BEFORE MS introduced their XP), and I have been familiar with the complications of the Pine license for some time [sourceforge.net]. Pine is a great e-mail and newsgroup program, but unfortunately, it does have a significant limitations when it comes to licensing.
  • Anyway, I'm not sure if you've ever used vi over a slow link, say 300 baud modem slow, but the unneeded screen redraws on pico tend to screw things up.

    Fully agree. I only properly learned vi when the only way I could post to Usenet was by telnetting across the Atlantic, then back again. If you learn vi properly you can work ahead of it even when you have an 8 second lag.

    Still, pico's not for people who want to do that sort of thing. It's not even for people who want to code all day. It's for people who want to knock off a 20 line email. Let'em.
    --
  • by slim ( 1652 )
    It's because the Windows telnet claims to be a VT220, and it just ain't. "export TERM=vt100" before you start, and vi'll work just fine.
    --
  • I always thought that PINE was a "Grad Student Project" or something... Not a GPL app. And as such, it was the universities professors property, not public property.

    Just because it's a public university does not automatically mean it's public property. Professors show their work by publishing, but they are VERY private about what happens before they publish. Publication is the result of a long effort, and to be open about the process of development that lead to the publication would allow others to "swoop in" at the end and take credit. How would you feel if you worked on something for years, and in the last 1 month of work, someone came in, took it, and released it under another name as thier own work? (Despite GPL, it happens, who actually looks at "previous maintainers and developers" vs. "current project maintainers and contacts").

    I've used PINE since 1994, and the PINE history [washington.edu] doesn't say how it started, or in who's office and with what funding.

    Now, IMHO, if PINE was the work of a CS professor, and he want's to keep it as a project of his undergrad or grad students, more power to him! It's an excellent project to learn on, and not a bad thing for the students to put on a Resume. Better that they actually learn to write and debug. For, if PINE was GPL, his students would learn NOTHING more than project management (an MBA skill) and server maintaince, because PINE is popular enought that they would probably get patches hourly.

    On the other hand, if PINE was something that the University of Washington had a IT staff member write, as part of their paid job, or if it was something UofW paid a consultant to write, DAMN RIGHT IT SHOULD BE GPL!!!

    So, my question is, what is the REAL origin of PINE? I _really_ want to know!

  • You can't judge that unless you know the origins of PINE, thus my question [slashdot.org]. If the funding for PINE came from a grant to develop promising young CS students, it would probably be a violation and dis-service to the grant to GPL the app. Again, referance my other post.
  • mutt is GPL, pine is not... So, until someone points to the reason why PINE is not GPL, I'm not going to judge.

    There are NUMEROUS reasons I would support PINE insted of mutt, IF, and ONLY IF, I find out the true origins of PINE. Referance myhttp://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=01/07/03/152 9226&threshold=-1&commentsort=3&mode=thread&pid=59 #160 first post on it [slashdot.org]. For that matter if something like I suggest in my second post in this discussion on PINE [slashdot.org] would be a reason for PINE not being GPL, I would probably suport PINE more than mutt.

  • by Tet ( 2721 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMastradyne.co.uk> on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @08:48AM (#110755) Homepage Journal
    Mutt is already more advanced than Pine

    And yet both fall way behind in most areas, compared to mh. I just wish mh was more consistent internally. replcomps/replfilter rule, but forw doesn't behave the same way, for example. And it needs to handle MIME better...

  • Just install the Pine.rc file that's shipped with mutt (at least in Debian). This will give you Pine key bindings in mutt, which should ease the switchover. But in the end switching from pine to mutt is like switching from joe to vi(m); painful, but well worth it! And just like joe ---> vi(m), you will never look back..... trust me :)

    -adnans
  • Emacs with Gnus is your answer.

    Features:

    • Text-based, or X11-based. You pick at runtime.
    • Supports damn near every protocol known to man, and can load new ones on the fly.
    • Create as many profiles as you like! Use different email address, sigs, quoting, etc. on a per-group basis if you want.
    • Emacs can access remote files easily, which means that it can load your config file from anywhere you can reach.
    • Remote address book? See tha answer above.
    • Once again, it's text-based or X11-based, depending on how you start it.
    • RMS wrote Emacs. If you're into Free Software, it gets no Freer than this.

    Caveat: the learning curve is pretty steep at the beginning. However, once you get a grip on it, Gnus is simply the most advanced email/newsreader on the planet. I pretty much refuse to use anything else.

  • Kate is the new KDE-2.2 editor (replaces kwrite).

    It is the KDE Advanced Text Editor. Syntax Highlighting, tabbed view, undo, blablabla. REally quite nice.

    Not as good as gvim. I am still waiting for kvim to become ready.:wq
    --
  • It's not on *my* 'nix systems. The first thing I do after a new install of Linux or BSD is to rip out vi and install joe. Popular opinion can go fuck itself.
  • I'm not a professional admin. I was talking about the various systems I have at home. I don't have to endear myself to anyone else. :)
  • Joe is a good console editor. You can define the commands yourself in a config file. It doesn't get any easier than that. The source comes with about a half-dozen prebuilt config files to get you started. It's very small, too, making it perfect over a ssh session. Newest version is 2.9.6, and it's under the GPL. It's available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/joe-editor/

    Cooledit is a pretty nice X editor. It uses its own widget set, but it's fairly lightweight. It has lots of nice features like syntax highlighting and paragraph formatting. It comes with a companion program, Smalledit, which is just a very minimal X editor using the same widget set and commands as Cooledit. It even supports DND. And don't worry about the ugly default colours, they can be easily changed. Cooledit is also under the GPL, at http://cooledit.sourceforge.net/

    Since I discovered NEdit, I haven't used Cooledit as often. For some perverse reason I like the Motif widgets. :)
  • Hmmmm. Config -> Setup
    Check on 'enable-alternate-editor-cmd'
    Check on 'enable-alternate-editor-implicitly'
    Set editor to something like 'nedit'

    Works okay for me. Of course, you DO have to use pine's text e-mail screen to set the recipient address and attachments, and then it spawns the editor when you try to move to the text area, but what else can you do for generic editor support in a text based application?

  • It would be great if there were a single config file for mutt that made it act as much like Pine as possible. There's already a set of keybindings, but there must be other differences. The one that stopped me switching to mutt a while ago was that it moved all the mail out of my spool file into its own 'inbox'. There's probably a way to configure that, but people won't switch from Pine to mutt readily if they have to configure mutt by hand first.

    So what's needed is some kind of 'mutt for pine junkies'.
  • You only use applications that work exactly the way you want them to out of the box? Yikes. :)
    You get accustomed to whatever the default settings are. The Emacs keybindings might not be ideal, but there's a good tutorial for them and once you've learnt them, you expect them to be present in other programs (like Bash or a web browser). If I switched to another editor I'd probably want it to have some sort of Emacs compatibility mode. Similarly Pine is what I'm used to, and I'm too lazy to bother learning something else right now. That's the problem. Users are lazy.
  • What, no threaded view in Pine? Type $O (dollar, oh)
  • a is for add
    i is for insert
    J is for join
    dd is for delete line
    x is for delete char

    . is for repeat previous acction
    # in front of a command is for number of times to do command
    yy is for yank a line into the buffer
    p is for place buffer

    :q! is for abort
    :wq is for write and quit
    :x is for save and exit
    :r is for read in (and you can !escape shell commands)
    :s is for swap s/like/a regexp/
    :% makes a command work on every line

    examples:
    5dd deletes 5 lines
    5yyp yanks 5 lines and then places them
    4ihi ^[ would insert "hi " 4 times
    :r!ls -la would insert an "ls -la"
    :%s/big/small/g would replace ever occurance of big with small

    vi isn't so bad it just has a learning curve, this should be enough to get you guys started
  • He should have used nano and made a symlink to pico. That's what I do for gripy users. Plus it's also a smaller binary. Sometimes I look at the 3MB binary that is pine (and that's without the editor!) and wonder what functionality I'm missing out on...

    ~GoRK
  • Try AE. I had to learn it when I put Debian on a system a while back (no Pico!). I've grown to like even more than I liked Pico (and I liked Pico a ton).
  • Just to show different ponts of view - I use xemacs for 'coding', and for small changes I think vi is king!


    --
  • Or, for those of us who sometimes have to use the Win2000 telnet client, internal of course, which can't handle vi.

    --
  • Actually, I use Token 2 at my desk, but when I'm at someone else's desk...

    --
  • Thanks. A day in which you learn something, is a day that isn't wasted.

    --
  • emacs is an SUV: big and powerful enough to take off-road, even though you never will

    vi is a Honda Accord: reliable but dull and clunky; it'll get you to and from work but luxurious it ain't

    pico is a Volkswagen Bug: car enthusiasts will laugh at you, but you like it because it's cute

    Of course, i often find myself on production systems that don't have SUVs or Beetles, and i'm forced to use "cat >" and mouse-2. I call this approach "cat and paste".

    --

  • This guy sure likes pico all right -- he named his cat [amysue.org] after it!

    --

  • No, they are not making my decisions for me. But I never claimed that they did. But it irks me that they want to make it harder for me to choose Pico by urging distributors not to include it.

    Let me offer up an analogy so you can see why some of us whine. Do you ever get upset when a Republicrat tells you not to vote for the Demopublican candidate because they want to take your freedom away? Do you ever get angry when a Demopublican says that if you really cared about freedom you shouldn't vote Republicrat? Now what if the Libocialist Party came along and said it cared about you so much that it had a plan to preserve your freedom by working towards the eventual elimination of the Demopublican and Republicrat parties? Would you be at least just a little miffed?

    Every time there's an election in the US (maybe it's the same elsewhere in the world) everybody crawls out of the woodwork bitching about "negative campaigning". Well, those "few people who whine about GNU" do so because we're tired of all this negative campaigning about anything not bearing the imprimatur of RMS.

    This Pico story could have been written without all that pseudo-morality rhetoric. We don't need to be told that only Debian is legal to distribute, or have to endure some mini-tirade on "perverts", or implications that users are so stupid they'll be "lulled" into losing their rights.
  • He believes in SOMETHING, which is more than can be said for 99% of the people out there.

    Merely believing in something isn't good enough. Bill Gates also believes about a lot of stuff. Quite passionately in fact.

    I admire Stallman's tenacity and courage. I admire that he is unwavering in his goals. But that doesn't automatically make him right.

    And of course, what you see as being your "rights" regarding software (apparently the ability to use it) isn't what RMS thinks of as the rights you should have (the ability to examine the code, and modify it if you choose, and so on).

    RMS has mistaken utility for liberty. gcc has extraordinary amounts of utility but it doesn't give me any liberty that I don't already have. Pico does not have as much utility as it could, since I can't redistribute modifications of it, but it still doesn't take away any liberty that I possess. For a GNUphile, the previous won't make any sense. Let me clarify: Monday, no Pine, 75 points of liberty and 75 points of utility. Tuesday, installed pine, 75 points of liberty and 85 points of utility.

    I prefer software with high utility. There are times when the utility of a program in some areas exceeds the lack of utility in another area. A Unix without Pine is like a Unix without vi. It has a utility that far outweighs amy warning the author of nano can summon.
  • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @05:47PM (#110781) Homepage Journal
    Too many GNU advocates have forgotten what freedom is.

    Freedom is the absence of restriction. There are many kinds of restrictions, but GNU and the FSF only focus on one kind. Specifically, they focus on licensing restrictions.

    But there is one kind of restriction that I find particularly onerous, and one that GNU ignores. And that is a restriction on my ability to choose.

    Pine's restriction against redistributing modifications is minor compared to not being able to choose to use Pine. No one is forcing me to use Pine. I do not suddenly lose my free will when I see "pine" in a list of packages to install. If I choose to use Pine, that is my personal choice and no one else's business!

    I find it absurd that some people think that I can lose my freedom by having ten mail clients to choose from instead of nine.
  • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @06:02PM (#110782) Homepage Journal
    I have far more warm feelings towards the developers who have been giving away valuable software for a decade and a half, than I do for yet another FSF developer cloning their work, urging users to switch for ideological reasons and acting like he's saving the world from pure evil.

    Yup, got to agree with you on that one. I may not like all of the licensing terms of Pine, but they're a hell of a lot better than Outlook Express's! It's quite ingenuous for the author of nano to come out with an article lambasting Pine as something worse than Outlook Express. I'm sorry, but I possess free will and the ability to excercise it. I don't need some drone from GNU telling me what software I should or should not use. Even if Pine is going to warp my mind and twist my spine, it's still my choice to use it or not, not GNU's.
  • <disclaimer> I use pico, I even like pico. One of the first things I do when installing a new system is put pico on it, so I'll have a comfortable editing environment when there is no working X session. Pico is the perfect tool for someone who doesn't touch a text mode editor but once in a full moon and can't be bothered with memorizing a bunch of cryptic key sequences just to edit a couple configuration files. </disclaimer>

    Chirs Allegretta claims that the reason noone (before him) bothered to clone pico was that the pine/pico license was just free enough to supress development of completely free clone. In fact, the main reason that noone cloned pico was that noone thought the program was good enough to bother with. There were plenty of small, simple, modeless, non-GUI editors for Linux. If you didn't like the pico license, you could just switch to jed [mit.edu] or joe [sourceforge.net]. You could even choose to switch to an editor with a real feature set while you were at it.

    Noone cloned pico because noone took pico seriously as a text editor. If you were going to go to the trouble of writing your own text editor, it was sure as heck worth it to give it a better user interface and better features. The only folks who actually used pico were either a) folk using pine, or b) newbies (like me) who didn't want to bother with the other brain damaged tools (i.e. vi or emacs). Even then, most folk would graduate to a more capable editor once they were comfortable in the unix environment (especially if they were running X11, in which case they'd get a good graphical editor, like Nedit [nedit.org]).

    Chris's article is little more than shameless self-promotion, with a smattering of GPL-boosting thrown in for good measure. The first time I saw Chris's pet editor on freshmeat, I thought it was a joke. I just couldn't believe that anyone would waste their effort on a pico clone. I could resist following the link, however, which revealed the true motivation for nano: GPL fundamentalism.

    Chris has a good point to make about the non-free (and non-open-source) nature of the pico license, but pico and pine just aren't good enough tools to have made the license silliness matter. If UW had raised a stink about the license at some point, folk would simple have stopped using pico and pine and moved to one of the other fine tools. Now, with the almost complete transition to GUI-based tools, pico and pine are even more irrelevant than before.

  • [An nameless yellow-belly wrote]:
    You're just a clueless troll aren't you?

    um...no.

    Most system admins managing a large farm probably do it remotely via ssh or telnet. Sure you can run xwindows remotely, but thats a huge overhead and waste of time...I have yet to find anything that needed GUI for my job, except maybe to make disk partitioning easier.

    And most sys admins are probably not using pine or pico. Most sys admins I know, in fact, are adicted to one of the two brain damaged editors most commonly associated with unix, and have given me nothing but grief (well, at least a few snide remarks) for my reliance on pico.

    My remark about the transition to GUI tools wasn't in reference to sys admins, but to casual desktop users. These are the same user who were the original audience for both pine and pico, and who, these days, are far more likely to be using a GUI than to ever be resorting to anything on a command line, if they can possibly avoid it, much less remotely logging in to hosts on a server farm (large or small).

    <disclaimer> I don't mean any great disprespect to either vi or emacs by calling them brain damaged. They are, in fact, highly capable tools with many usefull features. I just don't happen to like them very much (though, if forced, I prefer vi) mostly because I recall, very well, what it was like trying to learn either of them as a unix newbie. Pico, with the nice little command menu at the bottom of the screen, is a much better editor for new or occasional users than either vi or emacs. <disclaimer>

    What ever happened to reading comprehension?

  • So I ask, never having used Mutt, can it be configured to automatically detect a gpg-encrypted email and prompt me for my gpg passphrase like pine can?

    Yep. Works flawlessly with GPG 1.0.4 here. The only annoying thing is that, while mutt creates RFC-compliant PGP/GPG sigs, some programs don't understand these and I occasionally get email from people using wierd clients who ask why my message shows up as an attachment :\

    Regardless, your BOFH was right :) Learn mutt, you'll love it.
    --
  • The best system administrators are lazy. Give me nano (a more full-featured pico clone) any day. Coding is another matter, but for quick scripting and config files, nano is wonderfully laid-back.

  • Is there any trick to sharing the inbox between Pine and KMail? When Pine got through with it, KMail saw lots of garbage messages. If not, do any other text-based mail programs play nicely with KMail?

  • by AtariDatacenter ( 31657 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:17AM (#110794)
    And here recently, pico was ported to the version of PPC Linux that is specific to TiVo. And included on a really nice modernized TiVo boot disk (that is like Dillan's boot disk, but with a slew of utils included). Free of charge though, so I don't think UW is going to have a cow. Not that UW has REALLY gone after anyone, right?
  • If you know elm, you can learn mutt easily. To properly configure it, it takes a bit. But doing things like spliting digest mailing lists [spinnaker.de], threading mail messages, and having MANY options for automatically saving messages is so nice. Plus, the options to do multiple mailboxes, do IMAP and POP, all from the command line. Plus, index in a split window, advanced aliasing, hooks, etc. If you currently use a text mail reader, definately check out mutt. plus get the .muttrc examples, they are worth.

    And how could ANY geek not use vi. It's on every unix out there, it's easy, it's so much faster than pico (learn 8 commands and you're started), and it's low bandwidth. pico is only 'easier' if you've only used one unix platform and didn't ever want to leave lunix. Pico is the 'lazy' way for NT admins to edit unix files.

    --
    Gonzo Granzeau

  • Yeah, I don't think it allows you to remotely store configs and addresses, yet, but that's what scp is for. Hell, even an rsync would work. I run two copies of it at all times, one for work and one for home. and I use POP or IMAP if I need info from another email address (if I'm using a remote machine's email address.)

    Then again, it's a geek tool. you spent two days tweaking it, and then share youre tweaks with every new mutt user out there. It's an acquired taste I guess.

    --
    Gonzo Granzeau

  • what, you don't want any of your systems to be usable by other people? doing sysadmin functions in 'unique ways' does not endear yourself to other sysadmins.

    --
    Gonzo Granzeau
  • by GoNINzo ( 32266 ) <GoNINzo AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:28AM (#110798) Journal
    Just to prefix this, i'm a bitter sysadmin who's had to deal with crappy computers running into all sorts of problems. My main reason for vi is because I can always expect it to be there. And you can't normally expect to install a program on all 300 machines of a production heterogenus environment and not have someone squawk.

    Anyway, I'm not sure if you've ever used vi over a slow link, say 300 baud modem slow, but the unneeded screen redraws on pico tend to screw things up. Or if you're using vi on a crappy terminal that's not even VT52 compatible, it will default to a useable mode of 'ed', which is easy to use if you know vi. However, if you're using pico, you're SOL unless you can quickly learn ed. `8r) Plus, there is usually a statically linked copy of /bin/vi on most unices, hence if you have a crash, you can recover. However, pico (and joe and emacs) are all in /usr or /opt or /usr/local/, which could be corrupt. if you have /, you can get your system back up and running.

    And yea, it is kind of a religious debate. I'm just going with the 'sysadmin' point of view. any developer would tell me i'm silly for not using emacs. and i'd agree with them for their job. For me, doing text editing, i find vi to be the fastest with all it's control keys. But this comes from someone to hates to even hit the right arrow for more than 5 characters. (5l to move 5 characters right).

    It's the whole 'right tool for the job' thing. And many NT people believe that there is only one tool for any job, and in the subject of text editors, my experience says that 'pico' is the only one they know. only because they don't want to use the full power of vi, because they don't care, they just want something that works. I prefer something that works well. but then again, most NT admins don't have to go onto unix boxes, so pico is fine for the tasks that they need to do.

    Anyway, not to get into a flame war either, this is all just coming from someone who does entirely too much unix for his own good at work.

    --
    Gonzo Granzeau

  • Naw, there's something just odd about mutt. I don't know what it is. I suppose it's just that I'm so used to pine I've never bothered looking into configuring mutt that much. Now, with that in mind, I have to rely on the default config of mutt as packaged by my distribution. From that it just seems clumsy and difficult to use. Pine is easy to add things like display filters for PGP and such. I'm sure you can do this all in mutt as well, but like I said, that'd be a new system to learn and pine works just fine. :-)

    I think I picked mutt more-or-less at random a few years back. Maybe some distros do a better job than others of configuring mutt (my experience in the past few years has been with Slackware and SuSE), but I've never had problems with mutt. Even integrating GPG with it was fairly simple; config blocks for GPG and PGP are included, making mutt-GPG integration nearly as easy as getting PGP and Outlook Express on speaking terms. The biggest problem I've run across is with users of Outlook Express getting confused by the way signatures are created by mutt. Other than that, mutt rocks! :-)

  • ...and about almost any other _decent_ mailers, is that you can not edit/read more than one message in the same time. Heck, if you want to edit one message and read another (to copy/paste text, for instance), you can't.

    Here's what I do with mutt:

    1. save message to a scratch file
    2. create a reply or new message, as appropriate
    3. get dumped from mutt into joe (emacs would probably work here as well)
    4. open scratch file in joe (^K-e filename)
    5. tell joe to display both files (^K-i)
    6. edit one message while reading the other, copy from one message to another, etc. :-)
    This seems to be more a function of the editor you use than your mail client. If your mail client only lets you use a built-in editor and its editor doesn't let you open multiple files, it's borken. mutt, OTOH, uses whatever is in $EDITOR (or is it $VISUAL?). I happen to have that set to joe, but you could set it to emacs, vi, or whatever floats your boat.
  • You are incorrect concerning point #2.

    If you mysteriously break away from your session, pico will create a file.saveXXXX where XXX being a set of random numbers.

    I am not aware of what extent this feature will save your data, but it has been fairly useful for me.

    Pico has built in jump, word find, and a few other useful functions.

    You are correct in your assumption that it is a text editor and not an efficient programmers environment. I do not believe your points were well made towards this idea.
  • Pine's FAQ SPECIFICALLY mentions that you cannot take a previous release and use it under a different license. Their original license (all the way back BEFORE 3.91) had the intent of making it non-compatible with the GPL.

    Sadly, pine is a program that needs to be cloned from the ground up!
  • I did indeed read the article, but after twelve paragraphs of stuff that I believe most Pine users already know I closed the window and assumed the rest of the article was similarly redundant.
  • by Nailer ( 69468 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @03:11PM (#110810)
    I don't know if this has already been said (it seems to niot have been) but GNU Nano is a Open Source version of Pico. Google is your friend. And I find modal programs such as vi a massive kludge, though that editor certainly has many features I do like.
  • Many people won't remember this, but a few of you might.

    Back when the Amiga was still alive (like 1401bc or so...) there was a very popular BBS program called CNET Amiga. As of version 2.x or so they had two text editors built in for use in writing e-mail.

    One was LineED and one was VisED.

    LineED was quick, and very effective. I would LOVE to see something like that in use today, but unfortunately some people seem to think that a text editor has to be cryptic to pack in a whole lot of functionality.

    LineED was sort of cryptic, actually, not so bad once you got used to it, but it was fast, even over slow modem connections.

    VisED on the other hand, was brilliant. Esspecially for those "FAST" users, you know, people with 2400 baud or so...

    VisED used a brilliant command-bar at the top of the page which listed CTRL-KEY combos based on topic, then function.

    For instance, CTRL-X while editing would turn the command bar at top to Quit-Related functions, such as QUIT, SAVE, CLEAR, etc. Other functions included advanced search and replace, cuting and pasting, and for users with enough access, reading and writing files off of the local Amiga's file system.

    It was a brilliant Text-Based text-editor. I miss it very much. I would LOVE to see a layout similar to that for Unix -- and perhaps it exists and I just have not found it?

    Either way, even though I use VI and EMacs, I much prefered VisED. Does anybody but me remember that?

    "Everything you know is wrong. (And stupid.)"
  • I don't like pico, it sucks. But I use it though, because it's simple and easy to use.

    Then there's vi, I f***ing hate vi. It is the most cryptic thing ever, I can never remember all the editor commands, my memory simply isn't good enough. Every time I learn to use it(because of being forced to for one reason or another) I completely forget the next day, I'm not kidding.

    Interesting though is the fact that I have never had problems remembering unix commands, they're fairly intuitive, in a Unix sort of way.

    For editing text, I usually use NEdit. It's a really great editor, such a pity that it uses Motif.

    Anyone have any suggestions for an X editor as powerful and easy to use as NEdit, but using a better gui toolkit? And also, how about an easy to use but fairly powerful cli editor?

  • Those of you who like pico but want more functionality may like nano [nano-editor.org], which is a pico clone with lots more functionality (same sort of thing as vim and elvis are to vi).

    It's got a nice small footprint, and does things like "Go to line no." and a more intelligent search and replace function.

    And it's open-source ;)

    --

  • Debian does - there is a package with PINE in it in nonfree. What's more, it even Debianises it, by having the source, and then a package that patches and makes it.

    My main beef is that netscape is in non-free also. So is Wordperfect. These packages are completely closed in the source sense.

    PINE allows the user enough freedom to be able to see clearly if there are security issues, and to be able to see clearly if there are ways in which user privacy is compromised. These are two large reasons for me to use open source. I can even patch PINE for my own use, and distribute my patches. The same is true of Dan Bernstein's programs.

    Is it appropriate to place such a package in the same category as completely closed programs ?? To do so is to mark such a package as inappropriate and drum it out of free software.

    I, for one, feel that free software would be a better place if it could more readily tolerate people who release the source to their packages and retain normal copyright, as opposed to only accepting packages that are GNU-free. Is qmail that intolerable ? or PINE ? or djbdns ?
  • PINE is not really part of the problem, and attempting to villainize them is wrong in my opinion. They make a program. As a user, you can download it, you can hack the source, you can use it. You simply cannot distribute changes to the source. This is essentially the same terms as DJB software [cr.yp.to] packages such as qmail, djbdns, and publicfile.

    The prompting of RMS to found GNU has been reported as the failure of a printer company to either fix their driver or allow RMS to see the source to fix it himself. Ask yourself, if they had allowed him to fix the driver for himself, but had insisted that he send his changes back to them for redistribution, how bad would that world be ? (That sentence is pretty awful - I feel kinda like Dubya).

    I would MUCH rather see distributions like Debian allow the distribution of binaries or source for PINE in a non-free section. There oughta be a category for software like this. The criteria are that the author provides a copy of the source that the user owns in the copyright sense, and that nothing more than standard copyrights are allowed. This is a stark contrast to EULA contractually governed packages, and should not be categorized and villainized in the same manner.

    There was a time, around when PINE was written, in which the vast majority of open source programs gave you a copy in the copyright sense, and no more. This gets you MOST of the way from an EULA-type agreement to a GNU type agreement, but not all the way.

    BTW, I use mutt mainly because I HATE pico. PINE never included the functionality to plugin your own editor. You have to use pico first, and then exit to your own editor. That is a bad design, and I cannot fix it for others - only U Wash can.
  • by Axiom ( 95375 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @08:33AM (#110829) Homepage
    CowboyNeal is on the money, here. Mutt is already more advanced than Pine and is rapidly improving. I'm not surprised to hear that Pine isn't open-source, because it's development just didn't seem as fast and responsive as popular open source products usually are. For God's sake, let's get a threaded view in there, already! The problem is as Hemos demonstrates-- he doesn't want to move off Pine because "that's the way it is." C'mon Hemos, what happened to the hacker instincts? Get it learned!
  • But when Pine came out, the mindset was different. They made it and they gave it away under terms that they thought were reasonable.

    And when it came out, it was under a license that qualifies as Free. They changed to the more restrictive license later, after Free Software had become fairly successfull.

    And don't forget, Pine is a product of the University of Washington, who needed an easy-for-students-and-profs-to-use mail client for their network. Given that they are a public university, it would have been completely unreasonable for them to keep it to themselves. What's commendable is how accomidating the Pine maintainers have been to others' special needs that they don't have.

  • Have you tried Emacs with tablature mode? (I haven't).
  • Why is vi so fast? How on earth can a text editor be low-bandwidth?
    Leaving aside screen redraws, which someone else addressed, vi lets you avoid repeated keystrokes by prefixing the keystroke with a number or doing something even smarter. In pico you would move down 11 lines by holding down the down arrow and releasing it when the cursor is where you want. This works OK on a fast connection, but if the latency is high there's this annoying tendency to overshoot. And sometimes you don't know how many characters are still in the buffer, and whether the link is frozen or waiting for input. Very unpleasant.
    In vi you would type '11j'. If the terminal responds, great. If not, you keep half an eye on it while doing something else.
    Another example would be changing a word - let's say I want to change the word 'intermittent' to 'broken'. In pico I'd move the cursor (manually) to the end of 'intermittent', and either hold down the backspace key or tap it repeatedly until I'd deleted the word. Then I'd type 'broken'. In vi, I'd position the cursor at the beginnning of intermittent by typing '/interm' and hitting 'n' as necessary. Then I'd type 'cwbroken[ESC]'. (cw means change word.) If it takes a long time to get a reaction to that sequence I'm not too upset.
    This is why vi is better over slow lines. I won't go into why it's better in general.
  • If I can download the source for free (economically speaking) and look at it, it's open.
    Well, good. I guess you are the perfect audience for Microsoft's shared source initiative.
    Before Linus made Linux, Andrew Tannenbaum made Minix. Minix was also 'source under glass', which you seem to approve. Minix enthusiasts exchanged patches, but couldn't legally fork the code. And Tannenbaum was not eager to accept patches into Minix.
    Why is Minix dead while Linux is taking over everything? It's not just Minix's technical inferiority - the technically inferior product frequently wins when enough enthusiasm propels it. Rather, the restrictive license was the fatal flaw. A program under such a license has no long term credibility, and anyone who spends time hacking it or learning its intricacies is probably wasting his time.
    Summary: the GPL exists for a reason. People are license zealots for a reason. We won't let our energy get siphoned off into dead-end projects like Pine, djbdns, Minix and ipf.
  • But when Pine came out, the mindset was different.

    Fine. Nobody is complaining about what the license was back then. They are complaining about what the license is now. Therefore it is not like calling Abraham Lincoln a racist. Rather, we're applying contemporary standards to a contemporary action.
    Me -- I have far more warm feelings towards the developers who have been giving away valuable software for a decade and a half...
    Software competes for mindshare. The software with more users will get more bug fixes and enhancements and more documentation. Using, installing and promoting pseudo-free software displaces attention and resources from Free software.
    UW is not doing us any favors. Rather, they are harming the development of free software.
    Anyhow, I agree with you that the author was unduly upset by the word 'pervert'.
  • I'm afraid I'm not communicating my point to you. The idea that users should be grateful for any scraps that software authors throw their way is only true in a limited context. Specifically, it's true when the free-beer software is substantially ahead of the Free alternatives. I'm willing to believe that Pine was in this category when it was released. However we are now awash in truly free MUA's. The scarce resource is no longer programmers, but people's attention. Nobody has time to try all the new MUAs on freshmeat.
    Let X be the total number of programmer-hours invested in Pine. Let Y be the total number of hours invested by users in learning Pine. I think that X < Y. In other words, the users have put more into the relationship than the authors. And yet, according to the license the authors have the right to radically change the relationship against the users' will.
    Don't you see how fucking idiotic you look with your inane cries for something that YOU HAVE NO RIGHT to demand in the first place?
    Look at it this way. Radio Station R1 offers $1000 to the 1000th caller. Of course the winner has to sign a form saying he can be used in advertising without charge. Now Radio Station R2 has the same promotion, but they don't require you to sign away any rights. All other things being equal, I'd say listen to R2. Should I be 'grateful' to R1 for still giving out free money? Not really; my gratitude has moved to R2. Do I have a right to demand that I not be used in publicity if I win? Of course not. I do have a right to choose what radio station I listen to, though.
  • There are plenty of failed (or at least still-standing) free software projects, too.
    Oh, absolutely. And except for Minix, the projects I mentioned are doing quite well. I call them dead-end not because they're dying now, but because they can be pinched off at a single point of failure. Any given GPL project is probably going to die in the near future. However if it has worthwhile reusable code, the code could be reused in other GPL projects.
    My idea of 'long term credibility' comes from Vinod Villopillil's Halloween Documents. Vinod pointed out that Microsoft has long term credibility because their size ensures they will be around tomorrow. And GPL software has long term credibility because as long as someone's interested, he can keep improving it. But commercial software from small vendors has no long term credibility because if it threatens a major player the major player will buy and usually kill it. Likewise, although I'm not sure Vinod pointed this out, software like Pine has no long-term credibility because despite UW's size and credibility, there is no way of assessing their attachment to the project. I assume they would sell Pine for a price. I don't what the price is and whether anyone would pay it merely to kill Pine.
    I rather doubt that Pine's license was chosen for strategic reasons as in the examples you cite. I tend to think that it, like Pine, is simply a relic of an earlier time.
  • We won't let our energy get siphoned off into dead-end projects like Pine, djbdns, Minix and ipf.

    There are plenty of failed (or at least still-standing) free software projects, too.

    Minix and Pine are different beast. For an OS, you need a large mindshare to be successful. Opening the sources is one way (not the only one) to get it.
    For an e-mail client, you might do good with a close set of dedicated developers and a licence open-enough to encourage others to send back patches and bugfixes.

    Choosing the right licence depends on the kind of software: even RMS gruntingly accepts LGPL for libraries, and allowed part of Ogg Vorbis to be released in a BSD-like style.

    And, mainly, choosing the licence is the Right of the Author(s) [and yes, I mean EULA, too]. If you don't like their terms, don't buy/use their software.

  • by Carnage4Life ( 106069 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @09:12AM (#110842) Homepage Journal
    More like text editor for people who have better things to do than learn cryptic editor commands, if I wanted to do that shit, I'd still be using edlin.

    As a TA for a class at GA Tech there were many reasons I encouraged students not to use pico, chief of which were
    1. Lack of syntax highlighting.

    2. Inability to save sessions, meaning all your code is lost if your X session disconnects, someone reboots teh machine you are remotely connected to (which happens a lot in colleges) or if the machine crashes.

    3. Extremely unscriptable. In emacs I can call up the man page for a function by pressing F4, automatically go to a specific line number by pressing F5, browse inheritance tree structures of C++ classes with Ebrowse, create my own syntax highlighting mode for C# code and more. Vi users have similar power.
    There are more reasons I do not encourage novice programmers to use pico but these are the ones that stand out the most.

    --
  • by Carnage4Life ( 106069 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @02:59PM (#110843) Homepage Journal
    it's not open source, but I know that many of our über-geeks prefer pico to any other text editor, just because of the simplicity of it.

    If that isn't a sign of the Apocalypse I don't know what is...

    --
  • Seriously. I like free (as in beer or as in speech) software... I prefer open source... but as long as I don't have to sign away my first born... I just don't care enough to not use the software.

  • Nano can be used as a drop-in GPL replacement for pico... dunno about pine...

    Unless you make a lot of use of the ctrl-j shortcut, in which case you're screwed as it doesn't support it. (Assuming that Nano hasn't changed that recently.) I tried Nano, and went scurring back to Pico as I thought Nano, quite frankly, was lacking in all the areas I use in the program it tries to emulate.

    Who gives a monkeys ass what licence Pico and Pine have? It's a free program, all you masturbatory open source zealots should really get out more. The source is OPEN. YOu can do what you want with it, you just can't distribute it.

    The piece is little more than a "HEY! DOWNLOAD NANO!" article. No better than spam.

    I have to agree with what someone said further down. Nano is just another open source clone. How about some originality guys?

    ---

  • "I gave up on pico when I hit justify and it failed to support my unfounded assertions."

    (A best-memory reconstruction of a post by Ken Miller, Harvard undergrad '96-or-so.)

  • I don't know what version of Mutt or Gnupg/PGP or what OS you are using it on. But speaking for The One True OS (Debian GNU/Linux) apt-get install mutt
    apt-get install gnupg
    Create a key upload it edit your .muttrc to look at a good key server (see http://the.earth.li) and to use the editor of your choice (vim) and Bob is your uncle.
  • I agree. But if you're a programmer then when you do have the time you should probably try and learn because it can really help to hack out code faster.

    I hated vi when I first started to use it. I stuck to pine actually. However, one day when I was really bored (no start trek on I guess) I forced myself to learn some vi commands and I haven't regretted it. It was actually like switching from the Windows UI to the UNIX shell. Not as easy but after you learn the commands you can get a lot more work done a lot faster.

    However, if you just use a text editor to write text files every once in a while then I agree that it probably wouldn't be worth the hassle unless it was something that you _wanted_ to do.

    --
    Garett

  • vi and sendmail:

    To: foo@foo.foo
    From: bar@bar.foo
    Subject: foo

    Dear blah,

    blah blah

    Yours Truly,
    Blah

    :w !/usr/lib/sendmail foo@foo.foo

    --
    Garett

  • Personally?

    I use a text editor to write FAQs, READMEs, INSTALLS for programs that I write. I also use a text editor to write songs. I haven't found a decent program yet for Linux that writes guitar tab so I do it manually.

    Other people may use a text editor to write recipes, reminders, various notes etc.

    --
    Garett

  • I forgot about checking mail. That of course is done with bash:

    $ telnet server 110
    USER <user>
    PASS <pass>
    LIST
    1
    2
    RETR 2
    Dear blah,

    Blah blah
    ....
    QUIT

    Or for a local mailbox:
    $ vi /var/spool/mail/foo

    --
    Garett

  • They're both full of it. :)

    emacs is the real geek's email tool, isn't it?

    And for us wanna-bes there's KMail, which is like Outlook without all the nasty security holes (well, and the PIM cruft).
  • More like text editor for people who have better things to do than learn cryptic editor commands, if I wanted to do that shit, I'd still be using edlin.
  • it's not open source, but I know that many of our über-geeks prefer pico to any other text editor, just because of the simplicity of it.
  • by update() ( 217397 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @08:59AM (#110872) Homepage
    This reminds me a bit of the arguing about Qt licensing. To put in perspective:

    For people who came into the Unix world after 1997, it's easy to think it's always been this way, with constant chatter about RMS and ESR, free vs. open, license celebrities making millions from their advocacy. Especially since both the Free and Open camps retroactively drag everything going back to the Difference Engine onto their bandwagons.

    But when Pine came out, the mindset was different. They made it and they gave it away under terms that they thought were reasonable. Blasting them because the Pine license "is not a Free Software license, nor does it meet the Open Source Definition" is like those self-righteous people who declare that "Abraham Lincoln was a racist."

    Me -- I have far more warm feelings towards the developers who have been giving away valuable software for a decade and a half, than I do for yet another FSF developer cloning their work, urging users to switch for ideological reasons and acting like he's saving the world from pure evil.

    So, people who support Open Source and Free Software are perverts for thinking you should be able to ship modified binaries of a program! The wording could have been "change" or "twist", but the word chosen was "pervert". I feel this is an intentional slander of proponents of the GPL and other Free Software licenses.

    Oh, please. First, no one is calling you a "pervert". That's just childish to say. Second, the issue isn't what other licenses let you do, it's what the Pine license lets you do.

    Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

  • Come on, everyone knows that ed [gnu.org] is the standard editor!
  • With all due respect, given the still unresolved dispute between GPL and BSD kids, for a GPL person to say a "open source" license is too restrictive is just laughable.

    Not only that, not very many people are too concerned with that the FSF's definition of "Open Source" is. If I can download the source for free (economically speaking) and look at it, it's open.

  • by tmark ( 230091 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @08:52AM (#110878)
    This is the author's main gripe : that the license accompanying Pine "restricts modified redistribution" (emphasis mine). But doesn't the GPL also restrict modified redistribution? I can't redistribute GPL'ed software without making the source code available, can I ? So restriction-free redistribution cannot by itself be the sticking point for the author of the article. Why doesn't the author just face up to his ideologies and admit he just doesn't like how the UW license restricts modified redistribution, and say instead that he prefers the way the GPL restricts the same thing ?
  • It's usable via telnet, ssh - from any machine in the world pretty much. It has loads of features and it's fast (with reasonable mailbox sizes).

    GUI clients be damned, Pine for me, baby!

  • ...and about almost any other _decent_ mailers, is that you can not edit/read more than one message in the same time. Heck, if you want to edit one message and read another (to copy/paste text, for instance), you can't. You have to exit editing, read the other message, and come back.

    That's why I think a GUI will eventually be better. Even a better interface with an emacs server might do.
  • by IanA ( 260196 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @08:39AM (#110887)
    yeah, i know a lot of uber-geeks who use pico for its simplicity, just like they use unix for its simplicity.

    wtf are you talking about?

    'uber-geeks' would need a decent editor with advanced functions such as vi* or emacs, for doing advanced work, whereas pico is basically 'open a file, edit it line by line manually, save file'
  • ...and about almost any other _decent_ mailers, is that you can not edit/read more than one message in the same time. Heck, if you want to edit one message and read another (to copy/paste text, for instance), you can't. You have to exit editing, read the other message, and come back.

    Mutt supports reading a mailbox from multiple instances of itself. I guess that would do the job, just start another xterm or use screen.

  • text editor for lazy people who dont learn vi

    vi: text editor for people who like to hit themselves over the head with a hammer, because it feels good when you stop
  • So, I use Linux because it's a good operating system, and you can't beat the price. I like pine and pico, and I don't believe that the entire world should be evangelized to Open Source. Does such use of Linux violate the GPL?

    It's kind of fun to see ideological rants like this article, and illustrates how easy it is to yank the chains of hard-core OSS types.

  • by Violet Null ( 452694 ) on Tuesday July 03, 2001 @08:53AM (#110899)
    Why do I feel this is licenses is as bad as Microsoft's licenses? I don't, I think it's worse. With any commercial license, you do not ever expect to see or have rights over the source code to the software. In the case of Pine, users are lulled into thinking they have rights to do what they want with the software, but really they don't. And if UW makes the license more proprietary or simply stops updating it, there's nothing they can do about it.

    So it's Pine's / Pico's fault that people don't understand / misuse the license? Please. I'd take this license over Microsoft's anyday, and to try to say that it's _worse_ because of _misconceptions_ destroys much of the credibility and reasonableness in the article.
  • Not only that, not very many people are too concerned with that the FSF's definition of "Open Source" is. If I can download the source for free (economically speaking) and look at it, it's open

    That's why the FSF don't call it "Open Source software", they call it "Free Software". Take a look at the FSF's definition of free software [gnu.org], and their argument as to why Free Software is better than open source [gnu.org].

    43rd Law of Computing:

Always look over your shoulder because everyone is watching and plotting against you.

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