Pine Rides Again January 21, 2008Posted by gordonwatts in computers.
How many of you use the 1960’s email reader, pine? This trusty old goat of a IMAP mail reader is everywhere. It is written by my home institution, University of Washington. I think (!?) the history is it was written as a test client to the original IMAP server – IMAP was built at UW. But somehow it became the default mail reader. If someone is using a text mail reader, they are using pine.
I hate it. The reason is that I can’t send embeded plots, hard to format things properly… Modern mail readers are much nicer from that point of view. People used to complain bitterly if I accidentally sent around a HTML formatted email message to a mailing list – “turn your Microsoft crap off!”. Now, I don’t get complaints any longer if I do it – what with everyone using modern Linux mail programs and also the mass injection of Mac’s. At any rate — I’m very happy to see this change.
I’m continually amazed by how many people use pine. Really. Modern GUI’s are so much more powerful for managing the 100’s of messages we get a day. But pine survives and, as far as I can tell, thrives. I don’t get it.
Of course, my opinion hasn’t stopped UW from moving forward. UW got a grant to rewrite it. The next version will be called Alpine. Actually, it is more an evolution of pine, but still.