Re: some replies aren't really replies

From: Paul Haldane <>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 19:05:14 +0100 (GMT)
Message-ID: <>

Agreed 100%. Unfortunately it seems that mail clients aren't making it easy enough for users to do the right thing and hard enough to do the wrong thing :-<. The mail client (the part of the mail system that the user interacts with) is (I reckon) the part of the system that has the best chance of understanding the user's _intentions_. A clever client could notice that the user had used reply but then changed the subject line and check with the user to see if this _is_ a continuation of the thread (probably defaulting to no).

Any bit of software (like hypermail) trying to guess at what the user really meant later has only got in-reply-to and the subject line to work with so we have to do the best we can.

[We _could_ look at the text of the message and try to work out if they're related by commonality of keywords or quoted passages - beyond the bounds of available effort at this point :->]


On Mon, 17 May 1999, Christina Williams Heikkila wrote:

> On Mon, 17 May 1999, Paul Haldane wrote:
> > Go on - do us all a favour and only use reply for real replies. Use your
> > mail program's address book functions to remember addresses.
> I can change my own habits, but there are many many many more out there
> that do the same thing - judging from the archive I keep at work. Telling
> me to cut it out isn't going to do diddly-squat. :) I'm sure most mail
> users are completely unaware of the effect this has on archive threads, and
> may be even unaware of the existence of message ids.
> Christina
Received on Tue 18 May 1999 11:26:31 AM GMT

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