[OS X TeX] My Soap Box

Richard Koch koch at math.uoregon.edu
Thu Feb 10 17:37:35 EST 2011


Every few weeks we run into the "start a new thread" discussion. In my opinion
this is not the fault of the people posting, but instead the fault of the software
designers. It is entirely reasonable to assume that threads are "defined" by the
title of the message, with or without a "Re:" It is completely baffling that they are
instead defined by a hidden field in the header --- hidden at least to those of us
who use OS X's Mail program with default values.

A completely natural way to write a note for OS X TeX is to find an old message in
the list, click "Reply" to get a message with the address already filled in, and
then change the "Subject" field.

The history of email is perhaps against fixing this problem, but we need to be gentle
with those who do the reasonable thing and then get bitten. 

 I know the etiquette page says "Please do not start a new
 thread (with the corresponding new subject) by replying to a post from another thread."
This message is too vague. It should say "Please do not start a new thread by
replying to a post from another thread. Even if you change the
subject, mail will mark reply messages as belonging to the original thread. You
must write use the "New" button to start a new thread."

I'd personally add "it makes no sense, but there is nothing we can do about it."

Dick Koch

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