mutt 1.5.10i

So I've tried to compile it. I am not satisfied with the 1.4.something that is shipped with RHEL4 linux because I have to mess with some ugly macros to get PGP/inline working (too many people are still using broken mail clients).

Take 1: It complains that the system iconv routines are not good enough, and suggests that I should use libiconv.

Take 2: I just put --disable-iconv option to the configure script. I never use I18N features, always use just ASCII character set, and in fact always give --disable-nls to configure script. Now it compiled, but when I tried to open my IMAP folder, I've received a very bizzare and uninformative error "Bad IDN".

I google around and find out that the GNU libidn has something to do with UTF-8 and other character conversions (i didn't want to investigate further; the whole issue with I18N and localization disgusts me). So, Take 3: I find GNU libiconv somewhere on the system, give its location to the configure script, compile the program, and - voila! Now it works with IMAP.

The developers could have at least either:

  1. Document that the IMAP support needs iconv,

  2. Make a better error text instead of "Bad IDN",

  3. Check for dependencies in the configure script,

  4. Make the IMAP code independent of libidn.

Preferably, all of it. Instead, it took me about hour and a half of experimenting with various compilation options to make it work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

...whole issue with I18N and localization disgusts me.

A refreshingly enlightened view!

Who are the simple-minded freaks who are building wast software empires based on the idiotic premise that the user of the computer will use only a single language, and that the Operating System will direct the applications which one will it be?

Long time ago, in the Age of Reason, the hardware knew about the bit-container required to represent a letter, the operating system knew about the alphabet, and only the applications knew about the languages and cultures. (And computer programmers were generally educated to the level which implied the understood of difference between a state and a nation, and would never used a flag to represent a language).

Sic transit...