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    From: Paul Hirose
    Date: 2010 Dec 15, 22:09 -0800

    George Huxtable wrote:
    > Antoine's most recent posting started-
    >
    > "RE : NavList [14797] "
    >
    > This is a request on behalf of those of us who receive postings by e-mail.
    >
    > Please DO NOT identify a Navlist post just by its message number. Provide
    > other information; who it's from, on what date it was sent.
    
    Ironically, George merely referred to "Antoine's most recent posting"
    without further identification. To view that message, I had to take a
    couple stabs in my trash folder to confirm it was the one posted on
    2010-12-11 15:09Z.
    
    Those of us who receive messages via email can identify the "parent"
    message of a reply by viewing all the headers of the reply (click "View
    Source" or something similar). Somewhere you'll see "References:",
    followed by one or more message IDs. The rightmost ID is the parent, to
    its left is the grandparent, etc. By guessing and trial and error, it's
    possible to identify the parent message by its "Message-ID:" header.
    (Thunderbird makes this easy. You can search all messages in a folder
    for a specific header.) Of course the parent must still be on your machine.
    
    Some mail software inserts an "In-Reply-To:" header. This is like
    References, but shows only the ID of the parent message.
    
    Tracing a chain of replies via headers is a lot of bother, but if you
    really need to know, it's faster than asking "to what message were you
    replying?" and waiting for the answer.
    
    When I was new to the Internet, all the headers were visible in email.
    Nowadays programs are more sophisticated. They hide the headers by
    default. In general this is a good thing, but an unfortunate side effect
    is than many people don't know there's often useful information hidden
    there. For example, a mailing list may provide a special address
    ("List-Unsubscribe:") to let you get off the list without human
    intervention. I've seen people ask to stop receiving emails, when the
    instructions were in a header in every message!
    
    I don't know what headers are visible if you read the list via the Web site.
    
    
    > Changes were then made which caused those message numbers to disappear from
    > all e-mailed postings. From the email reader, there is at present no way to
    > discover the number of any message. We were asked to bear with this loss,
    > which would only be temporary.
    
    For a second opinion from an email user -- I have never had a problem
    with the present condition. If anything, message numbers ought to be
    deprecated. I think quotes are a more readable way to provide context.
    
    
    > And another request. If the discussion veers away from its original
    > threadname, consider changing it
    
    I think starting a new thread is better than posting a reply with the
    Subject line changed. The reason is the In-Reply-To and References
    headers I mentioned above. In a reply, they contain the "DNA" of the
    ancestor messages, and enable email software on the recipient's machine
    to determine where the reply belongs in the "family tree" of the thread.
    In the programs I have used, this is a function of a message's ancestry
    and is not affected by changing the subject line.
    
    So what is the significance? If the user opts to show the message list
    in threaded format, the structure of each thread is shown by indenting
    and sorting the replies, outline style. It's confusing if a thread
    contains a sub-thread on a different topic.
    
    Of course this is not a consideration if a user views the messages in a
    simple chronological list. And, though the preceding is generally true,
    I'm not sure of the precise behavior of NavList.
    
    Incidentally, George, formatting the message list by thread should help
    you find the parent of a reply when it's not otherwise clear. You use
    Outlook, right? I think the menu command is View, Current View, Group
    Messages by Conversation.
    
    Threaded view is especially convenient when you want to keep all the
    messages of a thread at hand until it dies out. A busy thread will soon
    cause a tremendous clutter in your in-box if you display it as a
    straight chronological list. But in a threaded format there's a + or -
    box beside the top message of a thread. You click to expand (view the
    full thread) or collapse the thread to one line. The program will also
    have a way to indicate when there's an unread message hidden in a
    collapsed thread.
    
    --
    I filter out messages with attachments or HTML.
    
    
    
    

       
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