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    Re: numbered messages
    From: Paul Hirose
    Date: 2010 Dec 20, 16:01 -0800

    I wrote:
    > 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.
    That last sentence is not always correct, though it is true for replies
    I write. I changed George's subject line from "Message numbers." to
    "numbered messages". Nevertheless, my Thunderbird mail program considers
    it a reply, and lists it right below George's posting, indented one
    level. If I had actually used the reply to launch a completely different
    subject, this would be confusing.
    Now here is where I was partly wrong. Thunderbird shows George's message
    as the first in a new thread. But from examining his headers, I believe
    it's a reply. Why? His headers include these References:
    The second is Antoine's message of 2010-12-11 15:09Z, the one George
    quoted. That message is still in my in-box, yet George's message is
    not listed below it in the thread. Apparently, *he* can start a new
    thread by changing the subject line of a reply. I cannot
    Possibly this is because his headers don't include a Reply-To. I see
    that even in his postings that are clearly replies. They contain only
    References. My guess is that Thunderbird establishes a message's place
    in a thread by the Reply-To header. If that's not present, then Subject
    and Date are used. Other email software may behave differently.
    I filter out messages with attachments or HTML.

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