wish list

Fanya S. Montalvo (montalvo@crl.dec.com)
Mon, 6 Jan 92 17:50:27 -0500


I recently sent this wish list to RichB and he suggested I also send
it to the list. Let me know if any of you have figured out how to do
any of this or whether you've modified your code to do it.

I've installed a local database here and gotten people at our lab to
start using faces. Currently, we don't have a good way of scanning
people's faces, so we've been relying on logos and hand-done bitmaps.
But that in itself is fun. From use over a couple of months, I've
gotten several suggestions from users and have a few of my own. I
can't tell from the TODO list if these are changes that are in the new
release or not. We're running v.1.5.1. Currently DEC PRL and DEC CRL
share code for faces. PRL is in Paris and CRL is in Cambridge Mass.
I've figured out how to have a local database different from PRL, but
don't want to run different code unless I have a very good incentive
to do so. I'm waiting for PRL to install the new release. Let me
know if any of these suggestions are in the new release or if they can
be easily done with existing code with the -e option.

BTW, I love using faces. It's great fun. My face will change once we
get our bitmap reduction transformations working, so don't take it too
seriously. It's a self portrait.


Lots of people here would like an option to have a fixed, or specified
window width (like with the -c option, without the -a option), and
automatic clearing of faces when the mail file is cleared (like with
the -a option).

I run several faces windows, because I have two inboxes, and other
mail files that I would like to visualize. I would like to specify
the name or title that appears at the top of the window for each of
them so I can keep them straight. I'm using dxwm, by the way.

When I run faces with -c 1 and no -a, and there is no message in the
inbox, the background bitmap covers only about 3/4 of the window.
There is a swatch of background color about 1/4 of the window wide at
the right hand side. I can send you a postscript file if this is not
clear, so you can see it.

Our lab's mailer appends no @host name to local users, and we can
doctor up the from field to reflect any nonsense we want without the
mailer removing it. I've made use of this bug, aka feature, to have
people send message "From: purpose" where "purpose" reflects any
number of a list of purposes for sending a message, such as telephone,
party, question, complaint, etc. Then I have a set of icons in the
misc. directory corresponding to these names that appear when the
message contains that purpose name in the from field. This has given
me an idea for future work. If a message contains a "Purpose: foo"
field, it should override the "From:" field for the purposes of
displaying an icon, or at least there should be an option to let
another field override the from field when present. It's not really
good form to send a message "From: telepone" or "From: party" so there
should be a field to express the message's intent, if you want
something other than the default face to appear for the message. I'm
not too attached to the field name "Purpose:". It could be any number
of things, such as: "Intent:", "Faces-purpose:", "Faces-intent:",
"Icon:", whatever people think is most appropriate. Related to this,
and more grandiose is the following idea. I haven't used the -e
option yet, so I'm not familiar with it's many wonders or it's
potential, but along the "purposes" line, I would like to define rules
for taking the icon specification from other fields, such as the "To:"
and "Cc:" fields. That way I could have an icon for representing a
particular mailing list, and when I got mail to that list I would know
to ignore it or to look at it. I would like to be able to write
arbitrary rules with AND's, OR's, and NOT's combining terms consisting
of particular bits of text in particular headers in the message. That
is, a term is defined as the presence of "text-string" in
"field-name", and the rule is composed of boolean combinations of
terms mapping to a uid@a.b.c with any of a, a.b, or @a.b.c missing.
So for example:

(from montalvo) & ((to faces@Aus.Sun.COM) | (cc faces@Aus.Sun.COM))
=> question

would be a rule that says, if the message is from montalvo and is to
the faces mailing list even in the cc field, then use the question
icon in misc. in the faces window.