Once I succeed in becoming supreme dictator, the following rules will be enforced on pain of imprisonment:
All measurements will be in SI units or derived metric quantities.
All dates and times will be written in ISO8601 formats, and measured in UTC. A special exemption will be made for astronomers, who will be allowed to continue to use Astronomical Time.
All times will be in UTC, and hence “daylight savings” will be illegal.
All paper sizes will follow the DIN A and B series.
and the rule I’m adding today:
E-mail clients will be prohibited from deleting non-spam e-mail.
Disk space is cheap, really cheap. I got a silent 200GB Seagate hard drive for $99. That’s big enough to hold an entire lifetime’s e-mail, and then some. You do not need to delete e-mail. At most, you need to move it from your regular inbox to some kind of archive.
In particular—and here we see the motivation for the prohibition—you should never ask anyone to re-send you an e-mail on the grounds that you deleted it. Deleting e-mail because you’re too lazy to file it, and then whining to the sender that you need another copy, merely proves that you are a rude and insensitive clod. We all have enough crap in our inboxes without having to deal with e-mail from you asking for the same information over and over again. If your e-mail client doesn’t have a search option and multiple folders, get one that does. Even web mail has search and folders these days.
Also, if the company you work for has a policy that your e-mail be deleted periodically, then the pain of that policy falls on you, not me. It’s up to you to make sure you copy out all useful information from your e-mail and file it somewhere permanent. I will not waste my time putting up with your corporate bureaucracy; believe me, I have more than enough to deal with already.