----- Original Message -----
From: "Keith Moore" <moore(_at_)cs(_dot_)utk(_dot_)edu>
To: "Chuq Von Rospach" <chuqui(_at_)plaidworks(_dot_)com>
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2004 12:05 AM
Subject: Re: user-visible goals
Who said users were realistic? We're talking about what users want,
not what they can get.
Maybe you are. I'm looking to find what we can build, not what we can
Nobody said anything about what we can promise either.
We can build all sorts of things that users don't care about. But
the users decide whether something new gets deployed, so it might help to
to articulate what we think they do want.
At least, that's the point of this thread.
A prime example of this is how we had to redesign our mail server and relax
our sysop only "Previewing or Mail Snooping" policies.
For the most part, mail previewing was a sysop privilege. This was a
requirement because you didn't want to break other strong tracking/tracing
designs such as receipt notifications, subscription expiration notices,
sysop admonishments, policy reminders, etc.
However, when the internet came around and we added POP3 access to our mail
server system, it force issues such as:
- The idea of "SKIPPING" the mail received marking by the mail server.
- The idea of "SKIPPING" mail maintenance policies on the mail server.
POP3 clients offer inherent features that was conflicted with mail hosting
policies. Most POP3 clients offer mail server options that allow the user
to KEEP the message on the server with the idea that a roaming POP3 client
can use another machine and redownload the mail (work and home, for
This POP3 concept was conflictive with the strong "mail snooping or preview
option" which was usually reserved for administrators only. Users did not
have to ability to "hide" the fact that they received the message.
In addition, if the sysop had mail limit or maintenance options such as
"Delete X days after received", possible storage issues developed because
mail was never marked received.
At this time, this was a big issue because for the first time, the internet
"social behavior" of roaming users propagated by the POP3 protocol was now
becoming a more important concept to satisfy forcing a relaxation of the
strong mail hosting policies on our system.
Even though a POP3 client help file may indicate:
"Note: The Mail Server may not honor your POP3 options"
to inform the user that roaming may not be possible, the market need for
this forced our mail server to change to make it possible.
Eventually, we added a new mail attribute that indicates the mail was
received but it still allows the user to redownload from another machine or
go to a different presentation layer (web mail client) to review his "You
got mail" messages.
Hector Santos, Santronics Software, Inc.