Re: RFC 5064 Archived-At header

2008-07-02 23:12:00
On July 3, 2008 at 00:57, Barry Warsaw wrote:

I've just updated the current proposal on the Mailman wiki:

See specifically the Open Issues section.  The most straight-forward  
way to implement this leads to long, unusable (in our opinion) urls.   
Shortening the urls would require quite a bit of additional  
implementation complexity.  What to do?

Quick editorial comment: in the "Open issues" section, you write:

  "... uses MHonArc which requires the use of the
  list name in the url."

This is misleading wrt mhonarc.  Mhonarc imposes no requirement on
how an archive is structured on the file system from a pathname
perspective.  The convention is something imposed by the user.

As for "readable URLs", I still think it may be a bogus concern.
Usability testing would have to be done to verify if this concern
is real.

Wrt this context, it seems most will "click" on the URL in the mail
message, or copy-n-paste it.

And even then, I wonder how much the link will actually get used.
Will someone provide some real use case scenarios of how the
archived-at URL gets used by a message receipient.  If I have
the message locally, do I care where it is archived?

One reasonable case I can think of is if a receipient wants
to tell others about the message, and instead of forwarding
the message they got, they just send a URL to it, which would
allows others to following subsequent follow-ups if they are
not subscribed to the list.

Or, they bookmark the link so they can always go back to the
message w/o having to archive in their local MUA.

Either scenario implies the user can either do a couple of clicks
or just copy-n-paste the URL to their bookmark manager.

This implies the archive-at URL is mainly for bookmarking purposes.  I.e.
I go to the archive and read some messages (or got their via a search).
I see a message of interest, and want to bookmark it so I can go back
to it directly.


P.S. When time permits, I will look into mhonarc to see if it can
be changed so the filenames it uses for messages can be based on
Stable URL since stable filenames has been a problem for mhonarc.

Earl Hood, <earl(_at_)earlhood(_dot_)com>
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