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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox] Re: [vox-announce] New mailing list rules
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Re: [vox] Re: [vox-announce] New mailing list rules



On Tue, May 25, 2004 at 11:48:40PM -0700, Henry House wrote:
> På tisdag, 25 maj 2004, skrev Ken Bloom:
> > Just a couple comments.
> > >	 {+3. Do not start a new thread by replying to an unrelated
> > >	 message Do not post a message that starts a new line of
> > >	 discussion (thread) by replying to someone else's post and
> > >	 changing the subject. Instead, use the 'compose new message'
> > >	 or whatever equivalent command your mailer provides.
> > 
> > The rules should probably mention the fact that most vox-* users
> > use mail clients that can arrange threading into a nice tree to make
> > it easy to follow the discussion and see who replied to who. Point out
> > that this is annoying because it defeats this feature of the email
> > client. (It's most likely that the people who reply to messages to
> > start a new thread do so because they aren't aware of email clients
> > that organize messages by thread, and they don't run such an email
> > client.)
> 
> I probably should mention this, since it is the motivation for the rule.
> Ken: I inserted your explanatory paragraph, with a few modifications. This
> section now reads:
> 
> ----
> 	Do not post a message that starts a new line of discussion
> 	(thread) by replying to someone else's post and changing the
> 	subject. Instead, use the 'compose new message' or whatever
> 	equivalent command your mailer provides.<p>
>       
> 	An example of this is asking a question, "How can I learn how
> 	to run a web server on Linux?" by replying to a message on
> 	"Re: Compiling PostgreSQL from source on Debian". The two
> 	posts are completely unrelated. On the other hand, it is a
> 	good practice to change the subject line when the discussion
> 	in a thread drifts to a new (but related) topic.<p>
>       
> 	A good test it this: did you quote relevant discussion in your
> 	new message and author a response to it? If the previous
> 	discussion was irrelevant to your new post, then you should
> 	start a new thread using 'compose new message', not
> 	'reply'.<p>
>    
> 	The reason for this rule is that most vox* readers use mail
> 	clients that can arrange message threads into a nice tree
> 	using the <tt>References</tt> header of each message to make
> 	it easy to follow the discussion and see who replied to whom.
> 	When you break this rule by using 'reply' when you should use
> 	'compose new message', you confuse and annoy these people
> 	because it defeats this feature of the e-mail clients and the
> 	<tt>References</tt> headers of messages. It is likely that the
> 	people who mistakenly reply to messages to start a new thread
> 	do so because they aren't aware of email clients that organize
> 	messages by thread, and they don't run such an email
> 	client.<p> 
>  ----  
> 
> This section is now dangerously long though. Can anyone suggest how
> to condense it? 

Because of my rationale about people who aren't aware of email clients
that do this, it's probably unnecessary to mention the test - simply
becasue the criteria seem obvious once you're told the rule.

Secondly, it's almost certainly unnessary to include the last sentence
(starting "It is likely..."). That was parenthetical for you (as a
rationale for why *you* should include the rule) and I didn't intend
that it should go in the document. (Unless the majority opinion was
that people breaking the rule were just evil or malicious people, in
which case that attitude should be corrected).

Thirdly, eliminate wordy phrases like "The reason for this rule is
that" from the explanation. The last paragraph of this should just
start "Most vox* readers use mail readers..."

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