trimming our replies

David Pilling
Sat, 27 Sep 2014 13:40:27 PDT

On 27/09/14 14:31, Donald Journet wrote:
> follow completely what we are discussing here and possibly just what is
> being referred to in 'the list'.

By 'the list' the originator of that term meant the archive for the PBS 
list on the PBS website:…

> previous emails as I shall do with this email but how does one pick up
> on a thread except possibly searching using the subject, provided no one

Quoting the bits of previous messages you are replying to is good. 
Retaining the whole previous message is bad, and retaining lots of them 
is worse.

In a business context, say you're asking for technical support, it is 
common to retain all previous replies, that makes it easier for 
companies, and is probably why software has that as its default behaviour.

For a mail list it is not good, it leads to clutter and makes things 
hard to read, ultimately things that are hard to read are not read.

How do you follow a thread - with an email program that understands 
threads. The archive above has a threaded display. You will find that 
people don't have much thread discipline when writing emails. So it 
comes down to related messages are usually close to one another in time, 
and/or have the same subject title.

Yes talking of bulbs would be better. But this a chance to tell those 
who don't know about the archive, which contains all most every post 
since the start of the PBS.

I also moderate the yahoo lily list, there people not only quote 
previous messages but also the attached images...

David Pilling

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