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- To: (BUG LISPM) at MIT-AI
- From: JerryB at MIT-AI (Gerald R. Barber)
- Date: Tue ,14 Oct 80 11:06:00 EDT
In system 46.1, with microcode 692, on LISP Machine Four:
I am still having a lot of trouble with ZMAIL (HIC: I made the change you suggested to
1. I started it up this morning, telling it to read my mail which it did, but
before it was done it errored out with a "trying to read on a closed channel" error
leaving #1/?? in the mode line for the message count.
2. It has lost all my mail from over the 3 day weekend which I am not too happy about.
(it managed to do this before the disks were backed up this morning.)
3. There is a particular message in my mail--which I can't get to because of the lost
mail--that causes the computation of the summary line to bomb out with wrong args to =.
4. Past a particular point in the mail file any attempts to continue cause LOCK to
appear in the wholine and reseting the process in the only way out.
5. It won't save the mail file it has gobbled. The scenario that led to problem 2
was that it read in all my mail, including my babyl file, deleted my mail file and rewrote
my babyl file with only its old contents. So now it has all my mail in its guts and
any attempts to save the mail result in a "no changes have been made" message which
isn't the case.
If ZMAIL is in the experimental stage then it should be advertized as such. In particular
it should tell you this right from the beginning. Users learn to use systems by trying
them. If you put unfinished system up without warning people you setting them up to
Other observations concerning ZMAIL:
1. Why isn't there any documentation. Niether ? or <help> are defined keys. This
is stone age thinking.
2. There is very poor high level control. With various programs available on different
machines to read your mail files it is easy for a mail reading program not to notice changes
made by other mail reading programs. There should be ways to refresh what the mail reading
program thinks the state of the mail files is. There should be checks to detect changes and
3. Why do pages of a message only overlap 1 line instead of at least 2 as on ITS. We have
a lots of screen area, lets use some of it.
One reason I may be having more trouble than others using ZMAIL might be because I have
a BABYL style mail file instead of RMAIL.