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Message threading [was: Re: Patch reviewing: style vs. content [was: [PATCH] Issue 1628]]

From: John Peacock <jpeacock_at_rowman.com>
Date: 2005-07-26 17:39:07 CEST

David James wrote:
> On 7/26/05, Julian Foad <julianfoad@btopenworld.com> wrote:
>
>>(I've fixed the subject line, again. Grr. :-)
>
> Nice work, Julian. But since you're the only one using the new subject
> line, my mail client is getting quite confused and is threading the
> mails wrong. Since each of the posts has a different subject line,
> it's difficult to keep track of the threads. I like the new subject
> lines, but my mail client (gmail) doesn't :)

I think you are both wrong. ;-)

If Julian's purpose was to make threading work better, he's failed; if
his intent were to accurately describe in the Subject the discussion
contained in the message, he's succeeded, but at the expense of people
who are keeping the entire thread (and are seeing multiple Subject's in
the same thread).

Most modern mail clients thread messages using details other than the
Subject line, for example this header is commonly used:

References: <85r7dm3ogd.fsf@newton.ch.collab.net>
<dc375e$8du$1@sea.gmane.org>
         <85k6je1vbu.fsf@newton.ch.collab.net> <42E5DE3F.2010402@xbc.nu>
         <42E6192D.2040708@btopenworld.com>

If GMail isn't threading the messages based on the References: header
(and instead using something else), then it should be viewed as broken
and Google needs to fix it! :-/

John

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Received on Tue Jul 26 17:39:33 2005

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