[vcf-midatlantic] Slightly OT: Eudora 7.1 source code was released!

Ken kenzolist at lastever.org
Tue Oct 2 14:00:11 EDT 2018

>>Truly one of the greatest pieces of software ever written.
At 10/2/2018 01:45 PM, Evan Koblentz wrote:
>What's great about it?
>I used (unknown version) in college but I don't remember much about it.

It's hard to summarize, because it just does so many damned things.  It was really interesting, when the "Penelope" project got going (original Eudora authors were going to augment Thunderbird to be like Eudora, I think with financial support from Qualcomm), feature requests from the original Eudora were solicited and collected in an issue tracker.  The list of "must-have's" was enormous, and intimidating.

It includes little things like wonderful little shortcuts, like when you alt-right click a subject line in a mailbox view and similar messages are grouped into that spot without affecting the previous sorting of the rest of the mailbox.  Big things like how the filtering system worked.  Often tremendous responsiveness.  And it just got better and better with each release, rather than blooming into bloatware, or suddenly shifting away from everything we loved, or pulling features we came to depend on...).  But I can't even start, it's just so much.  It's crazy what a tiny fraction of features and configurability every email client that remains supports.  Yet another example of the mass shift in commercial software, away from power and features and efficiency and case for the users.

Even with no updates in 12 years, it's still such a joy to use.  The shortcomings that still exist (that would've been resolved if the project had kept going, as had been the consistent path with Eudora development) are irritating (no Unicode support, for example), and yet the benefits somehow still outshine the drawbacks.  There are a lot of people running Windows environments on their Linux machines just to keep their Eudora's going.

It's a real shame this source code didn't come out 5 years earlier.  It would've been a lot more likely to have been picked up then.  There's been inevitable attrition in that time.

- Ken

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