Kontact, Qt and RFC3339 (Re: Basic rationale of the KEP #2 design)

Georg C. F. Greve greve at kolabsys.com
Thu Mar 3 11:43:07 CET 2011

Dear Bernhard,

On Thursday 03 March 2011 09.57:50 Bernhard Reiter wrote:
> I do work on the client personally (did so for many years and will continue
> to do so) and I spoke out against it, so your above count is wrong.

Having counted you as a Kontact developer that spoke out against it, I am not 
sure how my count was wrong.

But my implicit point was precisely that there is an internal disagreement in 
the Kontact client community, which is at odds with the claim that the KEP#2 
was somehow singlemindedly geared towards the needs of Kontact, in particular 
as the source of that disagreement was an incorporated proposal by the 
Evolution team.

That said, when I saw the disruptive potential of such a discussion between 
you and the other Kontact developers, you promised that you would discuss 
internal disagreements with Till directly and in person so we'd have an easier 
time to come to some conclusion of this debate.

> RFC3339 is well specified, so it would be possible in principle to write
> good readers and writer, but for our use case needing timezones the
> forcing of time-numoffset together with our tz id, is not elegant.
> Especially as RFC3339 states that it is not dealing seriously with
> timezones.

I agree with those concerns, FWIW.

In fact I believe I even stated some of them myself last year, but then there 
is an inherent flaw in all system designers, which is they like to design the 
perfect, elegant, all-encompassing system, and an inherent desire to leave 
your footprint in history as the person who designed something beautiful.

While that is understandable on a personal level, a little less passion is 
sometimes more productive.

RFC3339 may not be perfect for our purposes, but it is good enough, and it 
will allow us to specify what we have to specify without creating another 
datetime stamp.

> (On my background: I have designed and implemented a number of data formats
> in my 25 years of software development. )

While I would be curious to know which data formats you designed when you were 
13 years old, having started software development at a similar age myself I 
would not want my work at that time to serve as the evaluation grounds for 
anything, really.

Authoritative arguments are a poor substitute for substance, so I suggest we 
avoid them on this list.

Best regards,

Georg C. F. Greve
Chief Executive Officer

Kolab Systems AG
Zürich, Switzerland

e: greve at kolabsys.com
t: +41 78 904 43 33
w: http://kolabsys.com

pgp: 86574ACA Georg C. F. Greve
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