Thunderbird users: an extension to combat those who don't trim their replies

Hui Zhou zhouhui at wam.umd.edu
Fri Feb 4 08:25:22 PST 2005


On Fri, Feb 04, 2005 at 03:56:13PM +0000, Bennett Todd wrote:
>2005-02-04T15:31:44 Hui Zhou:
>> >>So we should encourage not trimming quotes this time then? So
>> >>there will be no context lost.
>
>Well, lots of people doing that would certainly cut down on the
>apparent volume of this list, as more and more inconsiderate oafs
>get plonked.
>
>> Well, until all the other mail reader catch up ...
>
>A mail reader can't compensate for an inconsiderate poster; trimming
>quotes can be done effectively only by someone who is considering
>the details of just what bits they're responding to, the rhythm of
>the dialogue, and so on.
>
>A poster without the wit and willingness to do that can be plonked
>with confidence that you'll lose nothing of value.

I generally agree with you and would voice the same advice. However, I 
do find my self lose context from time to time on reading discussions 
and find many redfaced quick talking partially due to context 
misunderstanding. So I generally keep the whole thread in my mutt 
active inbox for those interested topics and find myself frequent 
needs to rereading earlier post on half-missing quotes. Although I 
wouldn't dare to say that here, personally I feel I would rather see 
people do conservative trimming on reply and preserve as much 
*relative* context as possible. I do not do archiving and only save 
interested posts, so duplicated text never seem to be too much a 
problem (compare to my tv show archive!); I use mutt in fullscreen 
mode with color coding, reading long posts and find relative sentences 
and jump back and forth is really comfortable. If most post preserves 
most relative ccntext, there is little need for me preserve the whole 
thread. The mutt's thread function doesn't provide much help on 
situations where a thread contains multiple sub threads and deeper. I 
guess no any mail reader have better thread functions yet. I guess 
that is the reason ppl hate long threads -- too much context loss and 
confusion.

I always loved long threads. When I seaching google groups, I always 
hope to hit uppon a 100-post-thread where every aspects of the problem 
been beat to death.

So personally, I think thunderbird's effort on handling the quotes is 
a very good direction for mail readers to catchup.

Cheers,
-- 
Hui Zhou



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