[Evolution] Replying to digests (WAS: Re: Subject: Re: mail client application)

On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 15:03, Patrick O'Callaghan <poc usb ve> wrote:
On Fri, 2010-06-25 at 08:59 +0530, vijay singh wrote:
I am just following what is written in top mailing list.

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of evolution-list digest..."

So i am replaying to list by editing my subject>

Please let me know what is problem on this ??

I'm not sure who gave you that advice (I've been off the list for a
couple of days) but although I'm sure it was well-intentioned, it gives
the misleading impression that replying to a digest is OK as long as you
change the Subject line.

That advice is from the default Mailman introduction to digests. It's
written before all the messages in the digest.

It's not.

There is *no* circumstance in which replying to a digest is acceptable.
Mailing list digests are designed as a strictly read-only channel. If
you ever need to reply to message contained in a digest, post your reply
as an entirely separate (new) message and copy the correct Subject line,
or (better) go into the Gmane news-to-mail service (gmane.org) and post
a reply to that specific message.

I can't see how replying to a digest is any worse than posting an
entirely new message (providing you edit the subject line, and snip
off all irrelevant quoted material, of course). In fact, chances are
that if you start a new message rather than choose reply, you will end
up with a message where it's hard to distinguish between new and
quoted material, because insering "> " before each line, and
re-breaking the lines is so much trouble.

I agree that it's much better to reply to the individual messages, but
this is infeasible if you receive the mailing list in digests. Yes,
going to gmane.org works - but if you chose to read the mailing list
as digests, chances are that you're not using gmane, which makes it a
high-barrier approach, just ot reply to messages.

As long as digests exist, I can't see any way we will ever avoid
having broken threads.


We don't have formal guidelines on this list, but here's a reference to
some from a different list, which I think are sensible and relevant:

And those guidelines also say you can reply to digests, as long as you
edit the subject line.
(Snipping irrelevant content is covered in another question).

Talking of guidelines, I feel that people on this list are a little
heavy-handed in trying to enforce the guidelines. It's not that I
disagree with any of them (and I too believe that digests are a lot
more trouble than they're worth), but replying to messages only to
point out when people break the guidelines is frankly annoying to both
the (probably inadvertant) original poster, and other people who read
the noise. I suggest that pointing out the guidelines is best done as
a helpful pointer, along with the reply to whatever the poster was
asking. This will both give the result of removing messages with no
other content than rule-enforcement, and (hopefully) better motivation
for actually listening to the advice.

This goes for unsubscribing too. The only thing that annoys me more
than the frequent "Unsubscribe"-messages on this list, is the almost
as frequent snide remarks that follow them.

I'm mpstly lurking on this list, but I have picked up a lot of useful
tips, and seen a lot of helpful comments - and even some quite
interesting insights from developers now and then. But sometimes a see
too little understanding of the new-comers who do not have the
knowledge, insights and experience that the regulars have.

Just my 2¢ (or 2 "øre", as the case is, not living in a $-using country)

Kåre Fiedler Christiansen

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