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-- now with attachment! [Apr. 25th, 2008|03:20 pm]
There are a number of philosophical reasons why email attachments are evil and lame, but I have given in. It's just the easiest way to get files from A to B in many cases.

Here's what we need now: I want every mail client, including (especially!) web-based ones to do a very simple scan of a message's text when the 'send' button is pushed. If I wrote the word "attach" (or "attached" or "attaching"), and the message has no attachments? Pop up a dialog and ask me if I have forgotten the attachment before sending it. Because man am I tired of sending email saying "oops, forgot the attachment"!

[User Picture]From: jofish22
2008-04-25 09:44 pm (UTC)

One of these days I'm going to write an extension to my mail program which looks for the word "attached" or "included" in email messages, and will at least *ask* if you don't have something attached. Sorry about that.


Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye wrote:
> My dear thesis committee:
> Chapter 4 attached for your reading pleasure.
> Next week I'll send chapter 5 on methods and chapter 6, conclusions. I'll also get you a single document with all the chapters in it for ease of reading. (Uh... I think we call that document a "thesis".)
> Jofish
> ps. Mike, I would be particularly interested in your thoughts on my characterization of the ethnomethodological epistemological orientation in this chapter and its relationship to other phenomenological epistemological orientations, particularly the pragmatist.

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[User Picture]From: da_lj
2008-04-25 09:50 pm (UTC)

attachment disorder?

It's been a hard habit for me to get into, but it seemed like good advice when I read this: before you start writing anything, attach the file.

The march of progress means I'm less and less happy with PINE on a shell. What with attachments, rich-text mail, and how imap has gotten less clunky over time. Oh, and the fact that I like gmail, too.

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[User Picture]From: dpolicar
2008-04-25 10:07 pm (UTC)

Re: attachment disorder?

Related to this is my hard-learned lesson to not put in addresses until I'm done with the email.
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[User Picture]From: da_lj
2008-04-25 10:31 pm (UTC)

Re: attachment disorder?

Yeah, I sometimes forget to do that one, too. ;)

I will sometimes add junk-characters to the end of a reply-to address to make sure I don't accidentally send it.

Maybe what an email client needs is an arming-switch for the send button, so I don't have to munge the outgoing address.

hm, it occurs to me that it might not be so tough to write a greasemonkey extension to gmail/yahoomail/whichever to provide both of these (scan for 'attached' and disable the "to" until you say it's done)...
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2008-04-25 10:32 pm (UTC)

Re: attachment disorder?

I now use the web-based interface for email, at least if it's halfway recent. Every few months I fetchmail all the older email and add it to my archive, which I access using MH. Because I am insane that way.
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[User Picture]From: vyrin
2008-04-25 10:41 pm (UTC)
The "Better Gmail" externsion for firefox does this for gmail. Pretty useful all around, (assuming that you are using firefox and gmail and the stars align properly.)

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[User Picture]From: annoyinghandle
2008-04-25 10:22 pm (UTC)
Whatever happened to the concept of personal responsibility? :{P}
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[User Picture]From: dcseain
2008-04-25 10:47 pm (UTC)
I just start the email by attaching the file(s).
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[User Picture]From: k8cre8
2008-04-25 11:32 pm (UTC)
I do this more often than I care to admit myself. What's worse, I always realize I've done it the second I hit send, and then, I have the embarrassing follow-up to do.

Admittedly, I do it less often than I used to, I guess the frequency of sending attachments has played into that.
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[User Picture]From: bats22
2008-04-26 12:00 am (UTC)

From the Atlantic Monthly on the Topic

Apologies for those of you who find this too cutesy. But I thought that atachia was pretty clever.

The other fugitive sought in October was a term for saying in an e-mail that a document or file is attached and then sending the message before remembering to attach the file. A number of readers who submitted responses by e-mail amused themselves by including a line like "For explanation, see attached document" but not attaching anything. Ha-ha!

Sends of omission and e-mnesia were popular suggestions. Richard Siegelman, of Plainview, New York, coined absentee-mail; Teri Viray, of San Diego, nonsendquitur; and Barbara Olsen, of Poughkeepsie, New York, deficit sending.

Carissa Wodehouse, of Portland, Oregon, came up with sentropy. She explained, "The definition of entropy in chemistry is the amount of thermal energy not available to do work, but dictionaries also give the meaning 'a measure of the loss of information in a transmitted message.'" W. Sean McLaughlin, of Alexandria, Virginia, wrote, "I was immediately inspired by the arcane grammatical term asyndeton [defined in the American Heritage Dictionary as 'the omission of conjunctions from constructions in which they would normally be used'] and thought minor modifications might yield the right meaning: a-senditon. An alternative derives from the medical community. If ataxia describes a lack of muscular coordination, perhaps lack of attaching a file might be called attachia."

Erik Bleich, of Middlebury, Vermont, was one of many people to suggest forgetfileness. He takes top honors for the word together with his explanation and a bonus word he supplied. Bleich wrote, "In all my years of using e-mail, I never once failed to attach a promised document. I prided myself on this point. Then I read your column. The very next day, I suffered my first case of forgetfileness. At least now I have a memorable term for when I forget." And his postscript: "If the oversight is of little consequence, it is mere forgetfileness. If it has serious repercussions, it is best called a docudrama."

I've taken to sending attachments directly from the application I'm generating them in (from Windows--Word, Acrobat, Excel); works out pretty well.
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[User Picture]From: flwyd
2008-04-26 04:51 pm (UTC)
Before I gave in and started using Mail.app, I used MH for all of my mail needs*. So first I had to scp the files to send. MH sends attachments by invoking mhe from the What Now? prompt. This then scans the message for lines that look like
#image/jpeg lolcat.jpg [i can haz attachment?]
and replacing them with the appropriate MIME fu. But since I rarely sent attachments, I had strong muscle memory when writing email for
<ESC>\] (\] is my "run my signature perl script" macro)
ssent</em> me an attachment, I had to (1) save it, (2) scp it (or put it on my website), and (3) open it. Mostly this meant I ignored humorous forwarded images and would've had to try really hard to catch an email virus.

* One of these days, I'm going to get around to writing an MH-like system that works with Maildir.
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[User Picture]From: flwyd
2008-05-07 04:34 pm (UTC)
I just almost made this mistake, but then Evolution 2.22.1 (the version with Ubuntu's Hardy Heron) told me that I had keywords which implied an attachment should be present and asked if I really wanted to send.

Thanks, monkeys!
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