moderated Re: How on earth does thread a topic?



On Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 2:42 PM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

I ask this because I'm exasperated and I just can't figure out how certain topic splits are occurring.

Today has been a big "inexplicable topic split" day on the Windows 10 for Screen Reader Users Group.

The topic using the refresh tool from microsoft to reinstall windows 10: is now split into three threads, all with titles that match as far as the human eye can see.  The same is true for help with outlook 2013 please! though it's only split into two separate threads.

I've traced things and figured out what happened. The system worked as designed, but perhaps the algorithm needs a tweak. We do threading two ways. One is by looking for the threading headers in the message (In-Reply-To and References), and use those to figure out which thread a message belongs to. These are standard headers that all mail clients should use, but alas some don't. 

If a message does not have those headers, we then look for a message with the same subject within the last week. If there is one, we assume this is a reply to that message and thread it.

Now, here's the rub. We only look for matching subjects when the incoming message subject starts with 'Re:'. Because we don't want to accidentally thread messages that should be in different threads. In your thread's case, one message came through without threading headers and without a subject that started with 'Re:', which caused a new thread to start.

So, should we remove the 'Re:' restriction? I could make the argument that the person that sent the reply message, without any threading headers and with a subject line that did not start with 'Re:' needs to upgrade his email client, because that's severely broken behavior.


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