Background behaviour (was: Re: Replacements for Firefox and Thunderbird?

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Background behaviour (was: Re: Replacements for Firefox and Thunderbird?

Peter Flynn
On 14/01/2021 17:35, Liam Proven wrote:
[...]
> Every time I was in the middle of writing an email, it
> would lock me out while it collected and filtered mail.

I think over the decades this is probably the worst aspect of UNIX and
GNU/Linux, although it doesn't get noticed as often now as it used to,
now that computers are faster.

There are some projects and developers who believe that their background
processes are more important than the user's keystrokes or mouse-clicks.
They're wrong. I'm not saying their background processes are
unimportant, only they must NEVER take precedence over the user
interface. If something happens that really is life-or-death critical,
then a modal popup should be used to explain why all other processing
must stop until the event has been dealt with, and the message
dismissed. Otherwise things like garbage-collects, routine indexing,
periodic uploads and downloads, system updates, and mail collection and
filtering, need to be nice'd to a very low level. These are things which
many users don't know exist: they are service operations, necessary for
the proper functioning of the system, and they need to be carried out
silently, efficiently, and unnoticeably. If your keystrokes lag or your
mouse-clicks go unserviced, you may be sure some process has decided it
is more important than you are.

Peter


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