[hcs-d] Webmail

Kent Rakip krakip at fas.harvard.edu
Wed Oct 29 19:39:24 EDT 2008

At least you use your given first name.  What about the people who go by a
different first name for convenience in communicating with English speakers
and currently have email addresses that correspond only to their last names?
The entire plan is ridiculous.


-----Original Message-----
From: hcs-discuss-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
[mailto:hcs-discuss-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu] On Behalf Of Keito
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 6:15 PM
To: Joshua Kroll
Cc: HCS Discuss
Subject: Re: [hcs-d] Webmail

I hate the new addresses too... mine will be 36 characters long. It's  
a pain enough getting people to spell my last name, but coupled with  
my first name...? The College needs to realize that not everyone is  
"John Smith" or "Jane Harvard" -- there are plenty of us  
internationals with long and unfamiliar names out there, too.

I don't see what's wrong with MIT, Stanford, and a lot of other  
colleges' schemes of allowing arbitrary creative usernames/e-mail  
addresses. People often cite a supposed pandemonium that would result  
with freshmen's newfound creative freedom -- but I think Harvard  
freshmen are smart enough to choose for themselves addresses that  
won't embarrass them and their prospective employers in the future,  
especially if given guidelines and tips on how to create a good  

I'm wondering about the technical issues that separating FAS usernames  
and actual e-mail addresses will have. A lot of scripts I know on the  
nice.fas servers rely on the fact that users have typical Unix  
usernames that directly correspond to e-mail addresses, and these will  
break if the corresponding e-mail accounts do not exist on the mail  
servers. What would become of the simple "mail" command? And while  
"pine", "mutt", and all those goodies may be preserved in perpetuity  
by simply connecting to the (outsourced) IMAP servers, what does FAS- 
IT have to offer for procmail users? It seems to me that it will be  
impossible for the College to completely eliminate students' FAS e- 
mail addresses, especially in the next four years. (Not that they've  
yet eliminated the old @husc.harvard.edu addresses from years back.)

Frankly, the new e-mail system reeks of the cheap, ignorant e-mail  
systems that some companies use, and doesn't have nearly enough  
versatility and tech-savvy as the Unix-based e-mail system of now.  
It's definitely a step back... I don't see any improvements.

Keito U.

On Oct 29, 2008, at 17:41, Joshua Kroll wrote:

> What do people think/know about the new webmail system?
> I think they did a good job of improving things. Also, outsourcing was
> likely a bad idea. I think there are still some enormous UI holes.
> Finally, the e-mail address schema change, which was not FAS IT's
> doing, seems to me to be a terrible idea.
> joshua.kroll09 at college.harvard.edu
> Really? It's long and ugly. The 09, if present at all, should go on
> the other side of the @ sign like it does at KSG and HBS. Also,
> apparently the conflict resolution schema is worse:
> john.t.smith12_2 at college.harvard.edu
> (someone should correct me if I'm wrong).
> Seriously?
> Josh
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Keito Uchiyama
keito at cs.harvard.edu

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