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Re: Announcing Fedora 12 Alpha

Well personally, I find it very convenient that my broken cron jobs and
system problems do actively send root email.  I always configure my
system so that I actually receive those emails.  For the masses, I do
agree that almost everyone is missing these, which could be a problem if
something important is going haywire.  There is an outstanding request
to fix this:

setup /etc/aliases so that useful email gets to someone

A lot of stuff that gets sent to root's inbox (or /var/log/messages, for
that matter) is just noise from normal operation, which I'm generally in
favor of quieting unless debugging is explicitly requested.  Perhaps
once more people start getting all of root's mail, this sort of thing
will get more attention.  Certainly since I started getting kerneloops
popups on my Gnome desktop, kernel burps have gotten a lot more
attention from me.  "clicky-pointy" is certainly helpful if you want to
encourage desktop users to report bugs, even if they don't understand
what they are reporting.  In the case of kernel oopses, these messages
are still logged so the headless sysadmin use case is also satisfied.
"Send mail to root that is actually read" does seem like a nice way to
satisfy both cases at once, and a desktop pop-up doesn't help all that
much if there's no semi-automatic action to be taken (like filing a
bug).  I do worry that most people will give a remote email address
(like their gmail or something).  This will not work well when there is
no network connectivity, and it seems to have some security/privacy
implications.  And there would need to be some GUI way to change that
address for Fedora in case the user changes email providers.

I wonder if it would be a good idea for desktop users to get some sort
of notification that they have local mail waiting to be read, even if
they don't have an email client running.  Then firstboot would strongly
recommend sending mail locally, so it would work more reliably (at the
cost of not being co-mingled with all of your other email, though
hopefully it would only get sent if something was malfunctioning).


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