[ic] Replying but starting new thread (Was: rewrite/redirectmatch)

Doug Alcorn doug@lathi.net
18 Dec 2000 15:43:54 -0500

Victor Nolton <ven@pragakhan.com> writes:

> How so, please explain and quote.
> >
> >I find it _highly_ ironic that this post is a follow-up to the
> >Interchange-users guidelines.

Let me start by apologizing.  This information was not nearly so easy
to find as I thought it would be.  I had thought this information was
in the posting guidelines.  Only because I was determined to find it
did I actually find it.  Since it's not explicitly stated in the posting
guidelines I shouldn't have really expected you to know it.

,----[ http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1036.txt Section 2.2.5 ]
| The purpose of the "References" header is to allow messages to be
| grouped into conversations by the user interface program. This allows
| conversations within a newsgroup to be kept together, and potentially
| users might shut off entire conversations without unsubscribing to a
| newsgroup. User interfaces need not make use of this header, but all
| automatically generated follow-ups should generate the "References"
| line for the benefit of systems that do use it, and manually generated
| follow-ups (e.g., typed in well after the original message has been
| printed by the machine) should be encouraged to include them as well.

When replying to another message, you are therefore "grouping" it with
a conversation.  Replying to a message and changing the subject
(thereby changing the topic of conversation) you are still grouping
your new subject with an existing conversation.

More importantly than just annoying readers of this list with threaded
mail clients, it also confuses the mail archives (since the mail
archives use this References header for threading).  It's too bad
MS-Outlook and its derivatives aren't threaded.  As the number of
people this practice annoyed went up, maybe the offenses would

What I suspect is happening is users of the list simply reply as an
easy way to get the lists' to-address filled in.  I can appreciate
"the path of least resistance".  It would be easier to hit the reply
button than lookup interchange-users in the address book.  What I
don't get is the extra effort required to erase the filled in subject
line and type a new one.  It seems like this effort would offset any
effort saved by not looking up the to-address in the address book.

Anyway, I'm giving up on this.  I don't think there's anything I can
do to significantly reduce the number of messages with un-related
 (__) Doug Alcorn (mailto:doug@lathi.net http://www.lathi.net)
 oo / PGP 02B3 1E26 BCF2 9AAF 93F1  61D7 450C B264 3E63 D543
 |_/  If you're a capitalist and you have the best goods and they're
      free, you don't have to proselytize, you just have to wait.