[Mono-devel-list] Where's the Mailman doc?

Mark Moore mark.moore at notlimited.com
Sun Apr 20 14:16:37 EDT 2003


I think you've missed my issue on two fronts:

First, the problem I'm raising is an issue for any message I don't happen to
have in my mailbox which will be especially true for brand new members (one
of the reasons I'm griping, and you're not).  There may be a thread from
*yesterday* that I would like to add to, but I simply can't.

BTW, Maybe your email program allows you to easily muck with the
Message-ID:, and In-Reply-To: headers, but most don't.

This problem could be easily solved by adding a "[ reply ]" link just like
the one it puts to make it easy to email you (see the second line on
ml: "Jonathan Hogg jonathan at onegoodidea.com").

Furthermore, I'm sure there's some way to munge the subject line to specify
to Mailman which particular message an email is in reply to.  I just don't
have the patience to dig through the source right now.

The second issue is that the whole purpose of a discussion list is to
decouple the participants with respect to time.  Many threads will sit
dormant for months (sometimes years!) before someone else comes along with
an answer or with a similar problem possibly with more details.

Without the ability to tie the response to its original thread, two things

One, the original poster(s) don't get an email telling them that there's
been activity on their thread.  And, two, the community may not realize the
significance of an issue because it occurs sporadically over time.

The first problem can be quite serious, because potential users of mono may
be lost simply because they don't scour through the digest for weeks after
posting an unanswered question.  As a result, they're left with the
impression their issues are unimportant, or unresolvable even though some
community member has invested the time to respond.

I guess the takeaway is in your next to last paragraph: mono simply doesn't
have a developers' message board even though Mailman makes it feel like it
does.  This seems like a shame to me.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Hogg [mailto:jonathan at onegoodidea.com] 
Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2003 5:12 AM
To: Mark Moore; mono-devel
Subject: Re: [Mono-devel-list] Where's the Mailman doc?

On 20/4/03 10:57, Mark Moore wrote:

> For instance, here's a message from the mono-devel-list written about 2
> months before I even knew about mono:
> .html
> Show me how you would reply to that thread.  There's nothing in my mailbox
> to "reply" to, and I'm assuming it's not lurking in yours...

I would say that if the thread is 2 months old, and there is nothing recent
to reply to, the act of replying is unnecessary. Simply compose a new email.
Reference the older one if you feel it may be useful - an archive URL such
as you give above would be an ideal way to do this.

This is not a problem with mailman, it is an intrinsic property of a mailing
list. A reply to a posting on a list consists of a reply to an email. If you
don't have the email, then you can't reply to it.

There are only two things that differentiate a reply from any other kind of
email: retaining the subject with a 'Re:' prefix, and the addition of an
'In-Reply-To:' header referencing the 'Message-ID:' of the original. Both of
these are simply conventions and, after a period of time, neither is
particularly useful at helping anyone to recall the thread.

I think you may be confusing a mailing list with a message board. There is
no SQL database behind this, no web front-end. The list archives are just
that - archives.

If you want to join in, just do so. There are no rules beyond normal


jonathan hogg, one good idea ltd, 131 queen margaret dr., glasgow g20 8pd
http://www.onegoodidea.com/ tel:+44-(0)7976-614338 fax:+44-(0)7970-537451

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