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Re: [IP] Re: Digest #XXX OR Subject line in e-mails


Perhaps I can help. I am a former IP list admin who now reads the list only
via my web browser. In order to reply to your message and make the my
message follow the same thread, I copied the subject line for your message
from the web page, then I clicked on the link to the IP mail list address.
I manually inserted "Re:" at the beginning of the subject line, and then I
pasted in the subject line that I copied from your message in my browser,
including the "[IP] Re:"

Original messages (not replies) come through the mail server with the [IP]
at the beginning of the subject line. Replies (for those reading the main
list, not digest or browser) will add the "Re:" before the [IP].  If the
mail server sees a message in the form of "Re: [IP] ...." It will attach it
to the thread that goes with whatever follows the "[IP]".

To include part of your original message into this reply (as I did below) I
copied it off of my browser and added the "<<" and ">>" marks at the
beginning and end to indicate that it was part of the original message. See
below for specific answers to the questions:

<< As far as I can tell a message on the list will have a subject line in
either of two formats:

Format Example #1:   [IP] Subject_Line
Format Example #2:   Re: [IP] Subject_Line

In order for the server to continue the thread what exactly should the
subject line of a reply to Format Example #1 look like?

a.    Subject_Line
b.    [IP] Subject_Line
c.    Re: Subject_Line
d.    Re: [IP] Subject_Line  

The correct answer is "d."

<< And the same question for Format Example #2

a.    Subject_Line
b.    [IP] Subject_Line
c.    Re: Subject_Line
d.    Re: [IP] Subject_Line
e.    [IP] Re: [IP] Subject_Line
f.     Re: Re: Subject_Line
g.    Re: Re: [IP] Subject_Line
f.     ** many other possibilities **\ 

Once again, the correct answer is "d."  Any subsequent replies to this
thread should take this format.

The confusion occurs when someone replies to a message and changes the
subject line. Many people who read the digest know that they get flogged if
they simply reply to the digest, leaving a subject line of "Re: [IP] Digest
#xyz", so they insert the original subject line into their email. The mail
server adds [IP] at the beginning if it doesn't see it anywhere else in the
subject line, and so therefore, it looks like it is the beginning of a new
thread instead of a continuation of an exisiting thread.  Other list
members have the habit of ALWAYS changing the subject line, every time they
reply, which breaks the threads further. 

Changing the subject line is appropriate (and desired!) when the content of
the message no longer reflects the thread's subject line.

I hope this helps.

Mary Jean
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