Re: message thread optimization with mhonarc

2001-05-24 20:04:26
On May 24, 2001 at 10:56, Geremy Cohen wrote:

with mhonarc, or an associated utility(s), is there a way to strip all the
messages from the system, keeping only the last message from the thread?

The technical answer to this question, as worded, is yes.  A program
can be written to use the mhonarc libraries to extract the thread
information from an archive, and then walk the thread listing and
remove messages according to whatever criteria you want.

A problem with this question is what signifies the last message since
threads can have multiple branches.  To be more accurate, you probably
mean leaf nodes of threads.

Following, I address the particular scenarios you provided:

scenario one:
email three: 
this is another answer
this is an answer
this is my question

in this example, i could just keep email three, and delete emails one and
two, since all the information i really want is contained in message three.

Your statement is subjective.  Message follow-ups are not guaranteed to
contain the entire content of referenced messages.  Take my reply to
your message as a real-world example.  Note, I selectively edit out
parts of your message and only contain parts that highlight what I am
replying to (it saves space and makes my message more readable).  For
the non-Reader's Digest version, a reader can access the referenced
messaged to obtain the full context if they have not been following the
thread or the quoted portions of the original message are not enough
to understand the context of the discussion.

Also, for those that want to read up on an archived thread, the leaf
nodes of the thread will typically not contain all relevant, and
useful, information that has been discussed.  Discussions evolve, and
earlier items may no longer be present in later messages.

scenario two:
email three: 
this is another answer
this is an answer
this is my question

email four:
this is another ANOTHER answer!
this is my question

in this case, i would want messages one and two deleted, since message three
contains messages one+two, and message four contains message one and itself
(message four).

Again, you make the error that later messages "contain" previous ones.

Maybe you are confused by the horrible behavior of Windoze-based
mail programs (like Outhouse ... oops ... Outlook) that include
the entire contents of a message being replied to below your initial
editing point.  Hence, most users just type there reply at the top
and send the message not fully aware of all the data at the bottom.


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