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Re: False threads

1999-07-13 23:39:45
On Wed, 14 Jul 1999 02:13:03 EDT, Keith Moore said:
in general, user agent design needs to realize that there is a
difference between "continuing a discussion", and "starting a
new discussion" (even if it involves the same people).

The biggest problem is distinguishing between the two cases and their
intermediaries.  A new branch could be just a bit off topic, a lot off
topic, or totally unrelated.

Also, note that quite often, it doesn't *become* a new branch when you
post the slightly-off-topic reply - it becomes one when somebody
replies to *that*.  In other words, a branch or sub-branch in the tree
has to be of length at least 2 - if that branch is length 1, it's just
a reply, not a branch.

The 'gnus' Emacs package seems to Do The Right Thing at least with
netnews. When threading, it sorts all the threads into a full tree and
then allowing branch-based pruning.  I presume that most other modern
newsreaders do similar threading features.

Something that *must* be remembered is that  most newsreaders have
fairly full context available on backing store - the news server has
all the recent articles available.  However, an E-mail MUA will
usually/often/almost-always be missing large sections of a thread (I
know I've already deleted at least half the postings on this subject).

                                Valdis Kletnieks
                                Computer Systems Senior Engineer
                                Virginia Tech

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