OT - Message threads and replies

21 Jan 2005 - 8:34am
9 years ago
11 replies
665 reads
DeleteMe
2005

If I am steeping on anyone's toes here, I apologize in advance, but this
specific topic does not appear to be covered in the list guidelines..

If I could, I would like to make a request that people to not use the "Reply"
button to post a new message with a different subject inside an existing
threads inside a new thread. For those of us who use threaded mail readers
that support the "In-Reply-To" header, it makes browsing this list a real
pain.

For an example, I will attach a small screenshot of what I mean.

Thank you!

--
If you wait by the river long enough, eventually
you will see the bodies of all your enemies float by.
- Sun Tzu
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: threads.png
Type: image/png
Size: 42115 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://listserver.dreamhost.com/pipermail/discuss-interactiondesigners.com/attachments/20050121/9e22447e/threads.png

Comments

21 Jan 2005 - 3:44pm
Dan Zlotnikov
2004

This isn't entirely off-topic, since it also brings up the question of
threaded mail readers handling threading.

Jason, I don't recognize the screenshot, so I'm curious as to which
mail reader you use.

Personally, I use Gmail, and have the same problem. I've submitted the
feature request on that topic, and I'm curious what others with the
problem think about it:

The idea is that Gmail should allow the users to manually control the
message groupings. It'd be really easy to do with Gmail, since all the
groupings are strictly time-of-arrival based, rather than true
threading like Jason's screenshot. All you'd need to do is select the
messages you wish to group, and click "merge" or some such button, and
voila!

I haven't figured out a clean way of separating threads, though --
selecting every message you wish to detach just sounds unnecessarily
time-consuming.

In the end, I have to question the wisdom of using the message header
for thread control. Oh, were it only as easy as it is with newsgroups,
where every message contains a unique message ID code!

And hey, since threading is such a good idea, maybe we should change
the standard for the way email is formatted...

(And now I really want to get Jason's mail reader!)

Dan

On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 09:34:01 -0400, Jason Keirstead <jason at keirstead.org> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>
> If I am steeping on anyone's toes here, I apologize in advance, but this
> specific topic does not appear to be covered in the list guidelines..
>
> If I could, I would like to make a request that people to not use the "Reply"
> button to post a new message with a different subject inside an existing
> threads inside a new thread. For those of us who use threaded mail readers
> that support the "In-Reply-To" header, it makes browsing this list a real
> pain.
>
> For an example, I will attach a small screenshot of what I mean.
>
> Thank you!

--
WatCHI
http://www.acm.org/chapters/watchi

22 Jan 2005 - 1:04am
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

--- Dan Zlotnikov <whatsinaname at gmail.com> a écrit :

Oh, were it only as easy as it is with
> newsgroups,
> where every message contains a unique message ID code!
>
> And hey, since threading is such a good idea, maybe we should change
> the standard for the way email is formatted...
>

And while you are in it change the format so it accomodates 48 pixel
images of the senders's face like "vismon" used to do at Bell Labs or
like the "faces" or "x-faces" program did in many university Unix apps
ot even better so that it gives the choice between sending off the face
of the sender or the logo of the sending instotution as in the Picon
system:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vismon

Alain Vaillancourt

__________________________________________________________
Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
magasinage.yahoo.ca

22 Jan 2005 - 12:36pm
Marcin Wichary
2004

> If I could, I would like to make a request that people to not use the
> "Reply"
> button to post a new message with a different subject inside an
> existing
> threads inside a new thread. For those of us who use threaded mail
> readers
> that support the "In-Reply-To" header, it makes browsing this list a
> real
> pain.
>
> For an example, I will attach a small screenshot of what I mean.

I have a similar issue -- although maybe not so prominent -- in Apple's
Mail.

It's still better than people responding to old (vintage, even) emails
*without* changing the topic and *with* the old message quoted. I
noticed people started doing that en masse on many lists last year...
and deep down it's a usability issue, isn't it? Apparently picking
people out from address books or equivalents thereof is perceived too
difficult for a regular Joe The Sender; hence hitting Reply on a random
email from a given person instead.

Marcin Wichary
e:\> mwichary at usability.pl
w:\> www.aci.com.pl/mwichary >> Attached
w:\> www.aci.com.pl/mwichary/gui >> Graphical User Interface gallery
w:\> www.10yearsofbeingboring.com >> 10 years of Being Boring
w:\> www.usability.pl >> Usability.pl

22 Jan 2005 - 4:21pm
Lada Gorlenko
2004

MW> Apparently picking people out from address books or
MW> equivalents thereof is perceived too difficult for a
MW> regular Joe The Sender; hence hitting Reply on a random
MW> email from a given person instead.

Ah, but one has to have that name in his adress book first!

Does anyone know of studies on how people use different email
features (e.g., address books, reply options, thread views, etc.)?

Lada

ps. On the subject of vismons and faces started in Alain's note. If
anyone uses Lotus Notes, spice it up with NotesBuddy - a lightweight
email/instant messanger tool with lots of nice features. Sending
fairly large graphics through IM and thus having it 'embedded' in
the conversation has prooved to be particularly useful. Download
free from <http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/notesbuddy>

22 Jan 2005 - 11:22pm
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

--- Lada Gorlenko <lada at acm.org> a écrit :

> ps. On the subject of vismons and faces started in Alain's note. If
> anyone uses Lotus Notes, spice it up with NotesBuddy - a lightweight
> email/instant messanger tool with lots of nice features. Sending
> fairly large graphics through IM and thus having it 'embedded' in
> the conversation has prooved to be particularly useful. Download
> free from <http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/notesbuddy>
>

Ah! In my dreams!

At my day job we use Lotus Notes but since this is a huge government
department with several layers of IT staff (not to mention the external
oversight layer at the federal level) all wanting to show how important
they are (and taking a lot of time to do so) , we run crippled
implementations of Lotus Notes which are years behind the current
releases. Getting the permission to use Sametime (for which we have a
limited amount of licences) means running a bureaucratic obstacle
course. Nobody would even dare think of asking for a permission to
install a program which IBM still considers as experimental.

Alain Vaillancourt

__________________________________________________________
Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
magasinage.yahoo.ca

23 Jan 2005 - 4:01am
Marcin Wichary
2004

> MW> Apparently picking people out from address books or
> MW> equivalents thereof is perceived too difficult for a
> MW> regular Joe The Sender; hence hitting Reply on a random
> MW> email from a given person instead.
>
> Ah, but one has to have that name in his adress book first!

Good observation, even though in all the situations people had them
already (Exchange Server, closed group of people working together).
What would work here, anyway? Splitting "Reply" into two buttons --
"Reply to this very email" and "Reply to this person with something
completely irrelevant" -- somehow doesn't seem such an elegant
solution. :)

On the topic of senders' portraits... I believe Apple Mail
automatically downloads portraits for everyone from @mac.com, and you
can also add faces to other people in Address Book manually. I think
technically it'd be a better solution to do it like I believe Mail does
-- that is, probing the mail server for image and caching it, rather
than getting it with every single mail... even though it might be
difficult the way the emails are sent now (the distinction between
SMTP/POP3, etc.)

Marcin Wichary
e:\> mwichary at usability.pl
w:\> www.aci.com.pl/mwichary >> Attached
w:\> www.aci.com.pl/mwichary/gui >> Graphical User Interface gallery
w:\> www.10yearsofbeingboring.com >> 10 years of Being Boring
w:\> www.usability.pl >> Usability.pl

23 Jan 2005 - 11:01am
Manu Sharma
2003

Alain Vaillancourt:

"At my day job we use Lotus Notes but since this is a huge government
department with several layers of IT staff (not to mention the external
oversight layer at the federal level) all wanting to show how important
they are (and taking a lot of time to do so) , we run crippled
implementations of Lotus Notes which are years behind the current
releases. Getting the permission to use Sametime (for which we have a
limited amount of licences) means running a bureaucratic obstacle
course."

That sounds like the curse of standardization! This is what Scott Adams
have to say about the Standards regime http://tinyurl.com/4uuva

Manu.

23 Jan 2005 - 12:27pm
Abhishek Thakkar
2004

Off Topic: What is the mail Client Jason is using ??

-Thakkar

24 Jan 2005 - 8:31am
Dan Zlotnikov
2004

KMail (KDE mail client, kmail.kde.org/ ). If anyone gets it to compile
under Win32 (which, to the best of my knowledge, would take divine
intervention), please share the binaries!

Dan

PS. Further research indicates that work is being done (
http://kde-cygwin.sourceforge.net/ ) on getting KDE to run under
Cygwin ( http://www.cygwin.com/ ). So maybe there's hope yet.

On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 22:57:48 +0530, Abhishek Thakkar <thakkar at gmail.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Off Topic: What is the mail Client Jason is using ??
>
> -Thakkar
--
WatCHI
http://www.acm.org/chapters/watchi

24 Jan 2005 - 8:32am
DeleteMe
2005

On Sunday 23 January 2005 5:01 am, Marcin Wichary wrote:
> Good observation, even though in all the situations people had them
> already (Exchange Server, closed group of people working together).
> What would work here, anyway? Splitting "Reply" into two buttons --
> "Reply to this very email" and "Reply to this person with something
> completely irrelevant" -- somehow doesn't seem such an elegant
> solution. :)

Some email clients (eg, the one I use, KMail ) have a "Post to List" button.
They detect if the message has a "List-Id" header, that most mailing lists
use, and if so, enable the button. Hitting the button will posta new message
to the list, but it does not set the "in-Reply-To" header, so threaded
clients will not show it in an existing thread.

> On the topic of senders' portraits... I believe Apple Mail
> automatically downloads portraits for everyone from @mac.com, and you
> can also add faces to other people in Address Book manually. I think
> technically it'd be a better solution to do it

There is a standard for embedding your portrait into an email as a 48x48 black
and white image. This is done by encoding it into a low resolution format and
adding it to an X-Face header. Some clients support this already (eg, KMail
again :) )

See http://www.mythic-beasts.com/tools-toys/xface/ for details on X-Face and
examples.

--
If you wait by the river long enough, eventually
you will see the bodies of all your enemies float by.
- Sun Tzu

24 Jan 2005 - 8:34am
DeleteMe
2005

On Monday 24 January 2005 9:31 am, Dan Zlotnikov wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> KMail (KDE mail client, kmail.kde.org/ ). If anyone gets it to compile
> under Win32 (which, to the best of my knowledge, would take divine
> intervention), please share the binaries!

You can not compile KMail under Win32 currently. However, work is ongoing in
this area (as it is for the whole KDEPIM suite). Stay tuned!

--
If you wait by the river long enough, eventually
you will see the bodies of all your enemies float by.
- Sun Tzu

Syndicate content Get the feed