[time-nuts] hijacking threads

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 23 13:26:24 EST 2012

On 1/23/12 6:58 AM, Chuck Harris wrote:
> I don't think it is clear that editing the Subject line is the same as
> raising a new subject. There are a bunch of reasons why you might want
> to edit a subject line on a thread without starting a new thread: Removing
> offensive material, fixing a spelling error, adding an "OT:", or other
> label
> to a thread that has drifted, or adding a few notes about hijacking threads
> in the thread that was hijacked... are examples.
> The only legitimate way to raise a new subject is to use Compose.
> Let's not blame the email program when the problem is really operator
> error.
> It is important that folks use Compose when they want to open a new
> subject,
> not simply erase the subject line and start writing.

Well.. it can be sort of tough..  Say you want to quote a piece of the 
mail that prompted the change in topic.  The temptation is to do "reply 
all/reply list", change the subject line, and go to it.  (after all, 
those mail headers are invisible.. I think a decent client would see 
that you've changed the subject line, and fix the headers, so that it 
references the previous thread, but starts a new one.)

And some mail clients do a better job of threading (both on composition 
and reading) than others.  And worse, different clients do it 
differently (Exchange and Tbird, for instance).

I'm not sure it's reasonable to blaming operator error when the user 
interface/conceptual model is broken.  (and recognizing that different 
users have different conceptual models, so the same UI might be good for 
one and not another).

We could leap into teco/vi/emacs  <grin>

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