[CentOS] [OT] Message-ID Threading w/Subject Append Example -- WAS: pine rpm for centos 4

Bryan J. Smith thebs413 at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 22 15:52:07 UTC 2005

Aleksandar Milivojevic <alex at milivojevic.org> wrote:
> There's couple of problems here:
> Not all mail/news readers track exclusevly via Message-ID,
> References and In-Reply-To headers.

So in other words, they decide to snub decades of Internet

I use Yahoo Mail for a reason.  PC Mag gave it Editor's
Choice for a reason.  It honors and uses Internet standards
better than the overwhelming majority of others.

Message-ID tracking has been, and _always_ will be, absolute.
 Subject tracking is arbitrary and GMail will "never get it
right" no matter how hard they try.

> Some don't even generate/update optional References and
> In-Reply-To. 

Yes, I know.  GMail is pretty poor in this regard beyond 1-2
follow-ups, although it seems to have gotten better in the
last few months.  I think they are slowly, but surely, coming
to the realization that not building a system that fully
tracks Message-ID is presenting all sorts of issues for their

I see broken threads in archives from GMail users regularly
-- although not nearly as bad as other web readers.

> Some will start brand new thread each time

GMail hasn't done that for a long time.  As long as you
respond to someone in a thread, it typically keeps the
Message-ID.  So GMail does do the "minimum required" for
proper threading in most cases.

> Subject changes, even if they otherwise follow References
> In-Reply-To.

Subject changes are considered "good practice" in the decades
of SMTP and NNTP collaboration.  The only reason they have
become an "issue" in recent years is because of the number of
broken mail readers that disregard Message-ID headers.

As I said, if you look at _any_ mail archive, subject
appending does _wonders_ for searches, thread indexes, etc...
 That's why it was _highly_ recommended in the early days of
UseNet, and is _still_ highly recommended in the modern days
of web-based mailing list archives.

> Whenever you changed subject line, you went totally
> off-topic (meaning, you should have not posted to the list
> at all).

Huh?  I _append_ the subject when a major point changes the
discussion.  Again, I get countless thanks from people almost
daily who find my stuff in a 25+ post mailing list archive
because they found the relevant answer much faster than
having to go through it one-by-one.

Furthermore, even Google itself indexes things with a heavy
focus on subject.  Which is why the more relevant you can
update the subject, the better it is for people trying to
find the info in a Google search.

I also change the subject radically with the "good practice"
of RE/WAS.

> Please, don't generate chaos.

I don't generate chaos.  People using _broken_ mail readers
are generating the chaos with mis-threaded archives.  That's
the problem, not I.

> While chaos might be natural state of universe, it
shouldn't be 
> the natural state of this particular mailing list.

No offense, but I tire of being the victim of a world that
uses _broken_ mail readers.  I contribute to the proper
threading and readability of mailing list archivers by taking
the time to append the subject, or change it when something
changes topic significantly.

Bryan J. Smith                | Sent from Yahoo Mail
mailto:b.j.smith at ieee.org     |  (please excuse any
http://thebs413.blogspot.com/ |   missing headers)

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