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

From: David James <james82_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2005-07-26 18:03:33 CEST

On 7/26/05, John Peacock <jpeacock@rowman.com> wrote:
> 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! :-/
Actually, Google knows about the 'References' header :)

Google ignores the 'References' header because it is often incorrect.
People often reply to unrelated messages, just so that they don't have
to type the email of the person who typed the message. They change the
subject line, and they assume that this will change the thread of the
message. Google's software is only acting in concert with our own

For this reason, I don't think it's a good idea to change subject
lines "after the fact". People expect the same thread to have the same
subject line -- so, if you're not changing the topic, don't change the
subject line -- too many people will reply to the old posts and forget
to change the subject line.

Sorry to talk so much about style in a thread that is supposed to be
about how we should 'ease up' on the issue :)



P.S. I meant to fix the subject line in my post, but my mail client
discourages this to the extent that it reverted my subject line for me
when I clicked 'reply all'!

David James -- http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~james
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Received on Tue Jul 26 18:09:14 2005

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