Post by Michael Black Post by Whiskers
But keeping a record of exactly who said what to whom and when, is
an essential feature of many conversations - especially in business
diplomacy and politics. So any replacement for email is going to
have to be able to do that, and in a way that can be audited,
forensically sometimes. Another of the aspects of email that will
have to be reproduced is that it is not proprietary and is not
stored in only one place, and uses codes and protocols that are
publicly accessible. Email fulfils all those criteria quite well,
and any substitute would have to do all those things at least as
Yes. Lots of companies no longer want to do email, so you have to
fill out a form on their website. And if you forget to cut and
paste, you don't have a copy of that message. They'll send you email
in response, but they don't want you using the email address. It is
weird, with email I can show the progression of something.
Until some months ago, I was a customer of one US-based company.
Then, my bank card expired, and I was ought to update the
details on their website.
... Except, for some reason or another, their website decided to
not let me log in.
Generally, I'm trying to be a good user and inform the other
party of any issues I'm having with their service. I'd do it in
this case, too -- were the problem reporting form not requiring
me to log in first. At which point I'd try email instead.
Well, apparently when they say their From: mailboxes are not
being read, they really mean it.
And while my account there was automatically deleted as the
result, I still technically owe them 2 USD or so. (Not that
there's no US-based company that owes me about the same amount.)
There was also the phone call option, but I don't suppose I
should be paying international call fee just to be able to pay
some company that can't handle some spam hitting their inboxes?
Post by Michael Black
It's the same thing with comments on websites, I may forget to cut
and paste to keep a copy locally (or sometimes things crash so I lose
what I've already typed in). But I have most of the messages I've
posted to usenet since 1996, the ones lost because I was careless.
It's really too bulky to be useful, but if I really want to know what
I said 20 years ago, I can dig it up. Not so with comments on a
I can easily imagine a proxy that would store all the passing
POST request data somewhere. Oh, well, now that everyone has
gone HTTPS it's no longer possible...
Or is it not? Perhaps some hacking upon 'sslstrip' may do that?
Alternatively, and assuming Firefox, I guess one can craft some
Greasemonkey script to copy all the forms being submitted to a
local HTTP server.
Also, for the sites providing some form of API, it's possible to
use a specialized client instead of a generic Web browser. For
example, I've participated in many a Wikimedia discussion not
leaving the comforting embrace of my Emacs. (Not unlike how
I participate in Usenet discussions with that same Emacs.) And
of course, all my comments ended up being stored locally, too.
(This issue bothers me to, so I'd be looking for a solution.)
Post by Michael Black
It's sadly amusing that commerce has abused email (even companies
where I've signed up to get their email, they often send way more
than is fair, and it's not like it's vital), let alone outright
spammers, but commerce now wants to do away with email, or at least
avoid receiving it.
And shame on them.
FSF associate member #7257 np. One Light -- Radiarc 8916 3013 B6A0 230E 334A