Re: GNOME Bugmail: Gmail threading finally working!

This is way off the main topic, but I've been working a lot on mail threading lately and want to inject a couple of points.

Zawinski's post on threading is not a diatribe on the horrors of RFC822 headers, it's a diatribe against a particular threading implementation that replaced his own.  Zawinski's approach is what I would call forgiving, while the replacement (the database model) sounds much more unforgiving.  Considering that the input to both is data generated by a multitude of sources from the Internet, I think it's clear why Zawinski's approach wins.

It's been stated that Gmail ignores In-Reply-To: and only honors Subject:, or something like that. That's incorrect, and the Thunderbird Conversations implementors know it (from the last paragraph of the Wiki link you posted):

Gmail has a very powerful threading algorithm that mixes headers analysis, subject analysis, and content analysis. So it does work better than Thunderbird's threading algorithm.

Try sending two emails with the same subject to the same Gmail address from separate accounts.  Gmail won't combine them into a conversation.

As for the original topic, my recommendation (for whatever it's worth) is not to attempt to discern Gmail's conversation algorithm and code to it.  Rather, ensure that GNOME's Bugzilla is using standard, well-accepted email practices and things will more or less fall into place.

-- Jim

On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 12:47 PM, Jasper St. Pierre <jstpierre mecheye net> wrote:
So, one, GMail's Conversation View *isn't* threading. A conversation is centered around a subject or topic. If that subject changes, GMail opens up a separate conversation. For instance, the "Upgrade Bugzilla" is a separate subject than "Gmail threading finally working!". This is a feature, not a bug, as many people just mash "Reply All" to start a new topic.

If you're curious as to the horrors of the headers, jwz has a long post here:

There are people trying to implement the GMail Conversation View in e.g. Thunderbird, who say why the headers aren't good, or how they fail:

On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 3:41 PM, Andre Klapper <ak-47 gmx net> wrote:
Examples / references welcome.

On Wed, 2012-12-12 at 15:27 -0500, Jasper St. Pierre wrote:
> Various people have documented why the header is broken, and thus why gmail
> doesn't care about or use it.
> On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM, Dodji Seketeli <dodji seketeli org> wrote:
> >
> > Whoah!  The proper way to handle this would be to have Gmail actually
> > support the 'References' header.
> _______________________________________________
> desktop-devel-list mailing list
> desktop-devel-list gnome org

Andre Klapper  |  ak-47 gmx net


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