the Digest lives and long live Jim McCauley!

Geoffrey Rosenberg qpower1 at
Thu Aug 5 04:36:43 PDT 2004

on 8/5/2004 3:01 AM, iBook List at ibook at wrote:

> Actually it's surprising this sort of thing doesn't happen more
> often. For one thing, mailing lists bring together people with a
> range of technical capabilities (or incapabilities!). There again, as
> the Jim affair showed, even technically adept people can mess up.
> Poor people design is a given ;) Poor software design, on the other
> hand, is less excusable. Good software design - and especially good
> list software design - should attempt to take into account the
> vagaries of people - who, accidentally or otherwise, will always do
> things they're not 'meant' to do.
> If a bit more thought had gone into the list software design, we
> needn't have been deluged with Jim's emails. All it needs is for the
> software to have a rule built in which detects that sort of thing,
> then stops forwarding the received messages on to the list and
> unsubscribes the person. A one-off message could be sent to the
> offending (ex) subscriber explaining why they were unsubscribed and
> providing instructions for resubbing to the list - when they're back
> off holiday, for example!
> Simon

Simon -

I couldn't agree more!

Sadly, the application of intelligence is not proportional or inversely
proportional to any other part of the equation, man/software for men.

The list mom should be contacted directly, by you as the progenitor,
preferably, and the request made for a safety net in these cases. Some "What
If" code makes too much sense to ignore.

Unfortunately, Jim will never prostate himself low or long enough to satisfy
the disturbance he caused with his First Class client, which apparently was
a new piece of software for him. (That may be a bit of speculation, though.)

As my father used to say when designing our first business computer system
back in 1976 (DEC PDP-8), you need to make systems "idiot" proof!

He would have enjoyed the state of personal computing today, however
ungainly it may be at times. RIP



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