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November 27, 2012

Ten years of Sylpheed

This came up on one of my mailing lists recently, and I realised that I've also been using Sylpheed as my email client for ten years.  Since shortly after I started using Linux, in fact.  It was the very first program I compiled and installed from source, and I remember being taken through the process of learning the difference between "libgtk+" and "libgtk+-dev" by a kind helper on IRC.

A whole decade later, I'm still using Sylpheed almost every single day.  In all that time, text editors, web browsers, version control systems, desktop environments, IRC clients, IM clients, window managers and even types of input device have all come and gone from my computing environment.  Sylpheed simply never gave me any reason to replace it.  In ten years, I think I can remember it crashing a single digit number of times.  It's always one of the first things I install on a new machine - and my current laptop is my third such new machine since then.  That's not including two work machines, where it was also the first thing I installed.

Discounting things like the kernel, SSH, the X server and so on, the only other program that's achieved this is GKrellM, and that's only because the Sylpheed email prompted me to think about and remember it.  In fact, not even the X server has survived these ten years: in 2002, it was XFree86.

An impressive feat, and a mark of true software quality.  If anything I produce lasts ten years on even one person's screen, I'll be very happy indeed!

Which programs, if any, survived the last ten years on your desktop?

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