Re: Subject lines with Re: and Fw:

Sorry, forgot to send this to the list, too.

Am 2001.06.14 08:58:01 +0200 schrieb(en) Brian Stafford:
> On 2001.06.13 18:01:26 +0100 Sebastian Zerbe wrote:
> > Hi Brian,
> > you may think that it is a good idea to hard code "Re:"
> > and "Fw:", but i can't agree with you in this point.
> > I would say that good software is the one which leaves
> > as much freedom to the user as possible. Therfore it's
> I would agree normally, but in this case common practice
> would appear to go against the spirit of RFC 2822.
Sorry, I'm not familiar with RFC 2822 and the drums
so my intentions might be against them here without knowing
details :(
> Where I'm coming from is the spirit of the drums
> discussion
> was that arbitrary strings for Re: and Fw: makes life hard
> for automated processors; the typical result being the
> "Re: RE: RE re: subject" sort of thing which drives the
> subject
> off the right edge of the screen.  By having predictable
> as
> opposed to arbitrary strings, it would be possible to
> deterministically detect the prefixes and avoid adding
> more
> of them, or even to remove the excesses.  That said, the
> discussion was a long time ago and I forget the details.
> Furthermore, no mention of Fw: made its way into RFC 2822
> and
> the text on Re: seems vague and non-prescriptive to me, so
> I
> accept that my argument is weak here.
> As regards internationalisation, my sympathies are with
> anything that is translatable (I for one hate seeing
> American dialect in allegedly translated English locales).
> To that end I feel it is better if the Re: and Fw: strings
> are fixed in the subject line, but translated for display
> by the application.
> A suggestion might be to have REs that match and replace
> versions
> of Re: and Fw: in common use.  For display, the fixed
> strings
> Re: and Fw: could be translated by gettext().  When mail
> is
> replied to or forwarded, the message could be transmitted
> using
> the standard abbreviations.  In both cases repeated
> prefixes could
> be collapsed to a single instance.
This seems quite reasonable to me, but might be a little
to the user. I'm not sure but I think there are not to many
mailing programms which do handle this stuff in the way
you suggest. Some users might be intimidated by the fact
that balsa changes things for them. A possible solution
be a check button "Be RFC 2822 conform" here.

> To tell the truth, I'm thinking aloud here, RFC 2821/2822
> are on
> my mind for other reasons at the moment!
You're right we should stop this thread. It was only my
undesirable will to have the last word which drove me to
send an answer.
> > BTW, I would agree with you to capitalize the word
> > "string" in the mentioned titles.
> All important words in English titles should be
> capitalised.
As you can see by my bad english I'm not a native
speaker. For some reason I use "+ize" instead of
"+ise". Both do have some pros and cons and I'm
not sure if this topic should be discussed here.
I really can't give the reasons for my preference
but as non-native speaker I feel free to choose.
On the other hand be ensured that I can feel
with you due to the recent reformation of German

I'm giving the last word to you herewith.

> Regards
> Brian Stafford

Best Regards (really!)
Sebastian Zerbe

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