[nSLUG] Please do not use Reply for new topics

odoepner odoepner at gmail.com
Fri Oct 9 13:21:36 ADT 2009


Nabble follows RFC 2822. Many email clients do that, too.

If you rely primarily on the subject line, you get all kinds of

- The software has to parse out things like "Re:", "Fw:", "AW:" (German
Outlook speak for "Re:"), etc.
- Emails with boiler plate subject lines like "Re: your message" will all be
in one (huge?) thread
- Using the subject line to summarize your individual reply email becomes
- Correcting the subject line during a thread becomes impossible
- The standard reference headers (according to RFC 2822) have to be ignored
- Error messages with standard subject lines like "Delivery Status
Notification" will form a thread

All that just because some people use "Reply to" in a sloppy way.

Gmail seems to do a little more (or less) than just look at subject lines to
detect "conversations" (a Gmail concept). It does not seem to follow RFC

- I just sent two emails with identical subject to myself (using Gmail) and
they showed up a separate conversations.
- Then I replied to one of the emails and changed the subject line. That
showed up as a third separate conversation.


Daniel Morrison-2 wrote:
> Obviously someone simply replying and changing the subject for an
> unrelated message is not "branching into a sub-discussion". In the
> good old days we used "Subject: New subject (WAS: old subject)" in
> order to make the distinction clear.

Oliver Doepner
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