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Re: Mailing list ettiquette (was Re: Easy comparisons between related trunks, branches, and tags)

From: Greg Stein <gstein_at_lyra.org>
Date: 2005-11-14 01:56:46 CET

On Sun, Nov 13, 2005 at 04:28:17PM -0500, Marc Sherman wrote:
> Greg Hudson wrote:
> >I woke up today to two messages from Alan, three from Jim, and four from
> >Marc Sherman on this thread. I can't fault Alan, but Jim and Marc,
> >please read the whole thread before sending off replies? When dev
> >threads grow complex like this, we need people to force them into a more
> >linear structure. Outside readers cannot follow them if the tree
> >structure grows too complex. Thanks.
> Sorry. I did read the entire thread before writing any of my replies,
> and tried to limit the replies to specific points that I wanted to
> respond to. Would it be preferable in the future for me to exerpt all
> those quotes into a single large reply message? I considered doing
> that, but it breaks threading so I thought the replies I sent was a
> better way to do it.

I think most people thread based on the topic, not this-message-replied-
to-that-message. So your four messages create a scattershot across the
"logical thread". Lots of little bitty replies make it harder to see
where the whole thread is going, and harder to deal with responding to
open issues and concerns.

So yes: ideally, you'd pull together a bunch of little bits and reply
to them as a coherent whole. Possibly point-by-point, but at least the
next guy can see everything in one place and respond to any portions
they care about.

Now, when a sub-thread truly diverges, then it is appropriate to
change the subject (including a "was:", much like what happened here).
That let's people know that it really is a whole separate topic,
rather than a piece of the original thread.


Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/
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Received on Mon Nov 14 01:57:24 2005

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