We shall value email usage

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at intevation.de
Tue Mar 23 10:36:43 CET 2021

Dear GnuPG community,

email is a decentral standard for asynchronus communication
 * one-to-one messenging
 * closed groups
 * public discussions (via mailinglists)
 * trust anchor (as needed by many accounts on web-sites)

There is a wealth of Free Software implementations
and service providers, additional tools to make emails scriptable,
searchable and secure (even to be used anonymously).

We should value email and its ecosystem more.

It has become under pressure by
 a) online messenging / web applications
 b) vendors who want more user data and to bring
    people into their walled garden (directing their attention
    to paid advertisment)

It seems that rich native email clients as Free Software are a little
bit losing ground. A contributing factor from my perspective is
the complexity that is needed (and partly needed because propriety vendors
make it more complicated) to make an attractive client for many plattforms.
So it is not like a few volunteer hours can keep a native email client on par
or leading the proprietary vendors web-client development speed.
(My answer to this is more professionalism, more about this elsewhere.)

Considering the use cases above, email and native clients have a number of 
advantages over other solutions and it is the basis for people being able to 
use OpenPGP/MIME with GnuPG. My personal conclusion is that furthering
native Free Software email clients is good for GnuPG (and the world
needed good collaborative tools).

What I observe is that knowledge and practive of email usage
is declining. I notice it in many little things (like folks sending 
alternative HTML mails, not being able to handle CC, good inline quoting, 
good subjects). So where are good explanations about email practice?

Best Regards,
www.intevation.de/~bernhard   +49 541 33 508 3-3
Intevation GmbH, Osnabrück, DE; Amtsgericht Osnabrück, HRB 18998
Geschäftsführer Frank Koormann, Bernhard Reiter, Dr. Jan-Oliver Wagner
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