moderated Suggested updates to message footer


Samuel Murrayy
 

Hello everyone

In my opinion, the current wording in the HTML footer encourages bad mailing list etiquette.

The names of the links "Reply To Group" and "Reply To Sender" imply that clicking them will cause a reply to be sent to either the group or the original sender. In reality, clicking those links cause a NEW e-mail to be sent (not a reply).

It is most usual for a "reply" to quote the original message. When you reply privately to the sender, you typically want to quote at least part of the original message. The same applies to replying to the group: it is counter-productive if members send messages to the group as if they are "replies", but without quoting anything of the original message.

There are several good reasons for quoting when replying: not all mails arrive in the correct order at the recipient; message rules may sort mails into folders that do not contain the original message; when replying to a message that make several points, it is preferable to quote the points that you reply to; if a reply is a one-liner, you don't want users to have to consult previous messages to understand the post.

Yes, the two links in the footer does attempt to retain the subject line, but IMO retaining the subject line is of secondary importance. In fact, I truly don't care if users do or do not use the same or similar subject line for replies, as long as they quote relevant sections of messages that they reply to. (This may be different for groups where threading by "topic" is more important.)

Instead of "Reply To Group" and "Reply To Sender", rather write "E-mail To Group" and "E-mail To Sender". Or better yet: "Group's address" and "Sender's address". But I understand that it is sometimes considered "good UI design" to use actions/verbs as link labels.

Your thoughts?
Samuel

In fact, if I was able to modify the footer (I understand why I'm not), I would get rid of "Reply To Group" altogether, for it serves a purpose very similar to "New Topic", and surely most mail programs have a REPLY button! Having the sender's e-mail address in the footer is very useful, though (to encourage private thank-you messages).


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

On Tue, Feb 26, 2019 at 09:59 AM, Samuel Murray wrote:
The names of the links "Reply To Group" and "Reply To Sender" imply that clicking them will cause a reply to be sent to either the group or the original sender. In reality, clicking those links cause a NEW e-mail to be sent (not a reply).

It is most usual for a "reply" to quote the original message. When you reply privately to the sender, you typically want to quote at least part of the original message. The same applies to replying to the group: it is counter-productive if members send messages to the group as if they are "replies", but without quoting anything of the original message.
Using "Reply to group" results in the message created still being correctly threaded on the web forum, which implies to me that it would also keep it threaded correctly in an e-mail reader.   It is, in every sense of the word, a reply.

I generally strip anything from a previous message from my replies unless something must be maintained for context.  I'd give my eye teeth if most users would strip out the utterly unnecessary bottom quoting of virtually the entirety of an ongoing thread.  If you read via the web interface, the whole topic is right there.  If you're using an e-mail client, you should be using threaded/conversation view so that you can find earlier messages for topics you're actively participating in.

Endless bottom quoting makes searching the archive for a specific piece of information sheer hell when you're trying to go "straight to the original source."
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

           ~ Jay Gould, U.S. financier & railroad robber baron (1836 - 1892)


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/02/26 11:26 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:

Using "Reply to group" results in the message created still being correctly threaded on the web forum, which implies to me that it would also keep it threaded correctly in an e-mail reader.
No, e-mail programs that support threading don't use the subject line as a "threader", but rather use clues left in the e-mail's headers. If you send a new e-mail that just happens to have the same subject line as a message sent shortly before, e-mail programs that support threading will consider your message to be the start of a new thread.

That said, I don't know what newer "e-mail readers" (which appears to be the new word for "e-mail program") do these days.

But not all e-mail programs support threading, and so that's not really something I would personally take into account when talking about this.

It is precisely because threading (and grouping by conversation, and sorting by date) is/are so unreliable, that I consider quoting to be preferable.

Any user who habitually posts "replies" without any indication of what it is that he is replying to, quickly earns a place in my ignore list.

I generally strip anything from a previous message from my replies unless something must be maintained for context.  I'd give my eye teeth if most users would strip out the utterly unnecessary bottom quoting of virtually the entirety of an ongoing thread.
Yes, but eliminating quoting altogether is not a good solution for the problem of people not trimming their messages of unnecessary text. I, too, want people to trim their replies, but I also want them to include some context.

(If you write "I agree", I want to know what you're agreeing with. Even saying "I agree with John" isn't enough, unless John posts only once.)

If you read via the web interface, the whole topic is right there.
I think the web interface is only really suitable for single-branched topics (i.e. A replies to B, C then replies to B, D then replies to C, etc). Or for discussions where all replies always relate to the first message (and not to each other). Or for discussions where no-one is really responding to anyone in particular, but merely contributing random opinions about some general topic.

The web interface does not show multi-branched threading, so unless the replies can be chained in a single string, the fact that messages with identical subject lines are grouped together and sorted by date doesn't really help anyone follow multiple conversations within that thread.

If you're using an e-mail client, you should be using threaded/conversation view so that you can find earlier messages for topics you're actively participating in.
FWIW, I am aware that some e-mail programs do offer "conversation" view, which groups messages together with identical subject lines and sorts them by send date. I personally use threaded view, which groups mails in a "tree". I know of users who simply sort incoming mails by date.

Endless bottom quoting makes searching the archive for a specific piece of information sheer hell when you're trying to go "straight to the original source."
No-one here said anything about endless bottom posting.

Yes, quoted text does make searching more difficult, if the search utility is too primitive to excluded quoted text from the search.

Samuel


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

We are in entirely different worlds in our wants, needs, and observations.

Threading has been a standard feature, that works incredibly well, in e-mail clients and webmail for decades.

You're free, as are all participants here, to make your requests.  I don't think your complaints are warranted in any way.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

           ~ Jay Gould, U.S. financier & railroad robber baron (1836 - 1892)


KWKloeber
 

Samuel

its a double-edged sword. 

Imagine every post so far on this topic being copied and recopy’d ad infinitum in every reply.  And what I am replying to is one sentence in the original message. 
But having no reference below can cause just as many problems (like poster #10  thinking it was a reply to that and not poster #4 i was actually replying to (excuse the preposition(s).)

it’s easy enough to do a copy > past (into the reply email) BUT it’s equally easy to do a select all > delete (or backspace) to wipe out the bottom copy (in the reply email.) 

on other forums I do find it helpful that the platform does bottom copy everything and then I wipe out all except the stuff germane to my reply.  BUT the masses are not so diligent in doing so.  In fact I think there is zero thought as to what they are doing (did anyone mention 2 or 3 in-body signature graphics, etc by a multitude of offenders?). Inconsiderate members proliferate more quickly than considerate ones. 

What I find (more?) annoying is when, in a reply, there is no place marker as to what was the original msg vs the reply (see 2c bottom copy.)  Indent quoting doesn't show up in all email apps/clients (doesn’t show up in iMail (iOS on a 6s.)

Fodder for consideration. 

Cheers
-k


2c. 
Re: RFE: Moderate messages with keywords 
From: Samuel Murray
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2019 12:41:04 EST 

On 2019/02/26 06:30 PM, Dave Wade wrote:

Probably a waste of time. When some one twigs what is going on they will use
"T H A N K S"

I'm not trying to catch out people who are trying to catch me out. I just want to catch people who are in auto-pilot mode. As soon as a member starts doing what you're talking about, he'll get one last laugh, and then the boot.

I don't fool myself into thinking that such a filter will catch all instances of flagged terms, but it may catch enough of them to make it worth while.

Samuel


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/02/27 12:36 AM, Brian Vogel wrote:

We are in entirely different worlds in our wants, needs, and observations.
Threading has been a standard feature, that works incredibly well, in e-mail clients and webmail for decades.
You're free, as are all participants here, to make your requests.  I don't think your complaints are warranted in any way.
I'm aware that this is a "beta" list, and if I complained, then I only meant my complaints to clarify the reasoning behind my RFE.

(also, I apologise for not using the hashtag #suggestion)

You may be right: we are probably in different worlds w.r.t. our needs. It appears to me that you (a) use the web interface mostly, (b) think that most people prefer to use the web interface or something that works in the same way as the web interface, and (c) believe that "threading" is the same as "grouping messages by subject and sorting them by date". This is all fine -- it's good to understand each other.

==

This is slightly off-topic, but the attached image shows the difference between threading (in what I have always thought to be the traditional or original sense) and grouping by subject line (which is called "topics" or "conversation view" in some tools). I've marked the order in which the messages arrived.

The example below the grey line shows how threading can break if the user's e-mail program does support threading, but the sender's e-mail program/service does NOT. This is why I don't make suggestions that attempt to "make threading work better".

(For some reason, I don't receive my own posts/replies to this group, so my e-mail program gets confused and shows Ken's message as a reply to Brian's first message even though it must surely be a reply to my first message.)

Samuel


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/02/27 01:32 AM, Ken Kloeber via Groups.Io wrote:

it’s easy enough to do a copy > past (into the reply email) BUT it’s equally easy to do a select all > delete (or backspace) to wipe out the bottom copy (in the reply email.)
I don't think we should rely on copy/pasting too much, particularly since it is becoming more difficult for computer users to work with separate windows (Windows 10 interface, Android interface, etc).

There was a time when working with separate windows was normal, but it is fast becoming a nerds-only skill. If people can copy/paste, then that's okay, but if the system is designed to require copy/pasting in order to make quoting possible, its actually going to encourage users not to quote.

What I find (more?) annoying is when, in a reply, there is no place marker as to what was the original msg vs the reply (see 2c bottom copy.)  Indent quoting doesn't show up in all email apps/clients (doesn’t show up in iMail (iOS on a 6s.)
Yes, different programs have different deficiencies. I'm sure an iMail user will quickly realise that there is either something odd about his mail program or about messages being posted to his mail program. And if not, then there is nothing we can do about it.

In some of the posts in the GMF group, replies to replies are "indented" by adding extra spaces but without doubling the ">" characters, so even the way programs "quote" stuff differ.

My suggestion is not intended to offer a solution to any of these things. There is no solution for that.

Samuel








Fodder for consideration.
Cheers
-k
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2c.
*Re: RFE: Moderate messages with keywords*
From: Samuel Murray <mailto:samuelmurray@yandex.com?subject=Re:%20RFE%3A%20Moderate%20messages%20with%20keywords>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2019 12:41:04 EST
On 2019/02/26 06:30 PM, Dave Wade wrote:
Probably a waste of time. When some one twigs what is going on they will use
"T H A N K S"
I'm not trying to catch out people who are trying to catch me out. I just want to catch people who are in auto-pilot mode. As soon as a member starts doing what you're talking about, he'll get one last laugh, and then the boot.
I don't fool myself into thinking that such a filter will catch all instances of flagged terms, but it may catch enough of them to make it worth while.
Samuel


 

Samuel,


(For some reason, I don't receive my own posts/replies to this group,

This group only? That I can't explain.
Do your own posts get redirected to Spam? That happens with some services when they see your own email address as the From in a message that arrived "from outside".

If not, and if you mean any Groups.io group then perhaps it relates to this.

You may need to have Mark add your email domain to the Gmail list.

Hmm... calling it a Gmail list may be a misnomer. Possibly there are other email services with the same or related behavior regarding one's own messages arriving back from a mailing list.

Shal


Dave Sergeant
 

Er, no. SOME email programs do threading the correct way with the
header in-reply-to data. Many use the subject line. Pegasus Mail that I
use does it this way. Not perfect and various things mess it up but by
and large it does the job. And having got used to threaded email I
can't imagine a life without it.

Going back to the original question, one of the problems with GIO is
that the sender's email address is not shown at all in the online
version (reasons understood) and in email it may be 'corrupted' by the
rewriting process GIO uses on various providers (as per seperate
thread). We have the 'private' option online and 'reply to sender' in
HTML footers but there is no 'reply to sender' in plain text footers.
Often people ask in a posting 'tell me your email address so I can
reply direct' when the address is clear to see in the original post
even if they have to decode the GIO rewriting stuff (but not if they
are reading online).

There must be a clear and easy to find option for people to reply to a
post direct to sender and quote the original. The fact that people keep
asking means it is not clear and easy...

Dave

On 27 Feb 2019 at 0:19, Samuel Murray wrote:

No, e-mail programs that support threading don't use the subject line as
a "threader", but rather use clues left in the e-mail's headers. If you
send a new e-mail that just happens to have the same subject line as a
message sent shortly before, e-mail programs that support threading will
consider your message to be the start of a new thread.

http://davesergeant.com


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/02/27 10:18 AM, Shal Farley wrote:

Samuel wrote:
(For some reason, I don't receive my own posts/replies to this group,
This group only? That I can't explain.
Ignore that...

I had a closer look and it turns out that *some* of my replies and *some* of my initial posts are not delivered to me in this group. Some of my messages in the "[beta] Suggested updates to message footer" topic did not come through to me. Ignore, ignore...

On a different note, purely for interest sake: Thunderbird believes that your e-mail (the one I'm replying to here) is in fact a reply to Brian's "We are in entirely different worlds" e-mail, even though in this case I did receive my own e-mail as well.

Samuel


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/02/27 11:20 AM, Dave Sergeant wrote:

There must be a clear and easy to find option for people to reply to a
post direct to sender and quote the original. The fact that people keep
asking means it is not clear and easy...
Unfortunately, quoting the original (when using an e-mail program) can only happen if the user clicks a button in the e-mail program itself.

I'm sure you're aware, there is no way to formulate a hyperlink in an e-mail that causes the subsequently opening draft message to contain a quote from the original message.

My advice to users of my Yahoogroup has always been:
1. Go to the bottom of the message and copy the sender's address.
2. Then click the REPLY button.
3. Then delete the group's e-mail address in the TO field and paste the sender's address in it.

This involves three steps (too many for some, but not too many for most) but is reasonably simple.

With the current HTML footer, I would have to explain to users that they must right-click the "Reply To Sender" link to get the sender's e-mail address, and hope that users' e-mail programs are smart enough to strip the fake "subject line" from the link when pasting in the TO field.

What do you think of the Yahoogroups method, i.e. that the sender's e-mail address is mentioned in clear text in the footer?

==

By the way, I've just noticed that when you reply via the web interface, the original e-mail is not quoted. Now I understand why people [think that they need to] copy/paste stuff when replying via the web interface.

Oh, wait, I've just noticed the small balloon icon in the "Formatting" toolbar, and yes: that is the button you should click to quote the post you're replying to.

It also took me a while to figure out how to send a reply to sender via the web interface. Most intuitive for me would have been that the "More" nav burger would have an option "Reply to sender", or that clicking the "Reply" link would give me that option, or that there be a separate button called "Reply To Sender". Instead, you have to click the "Reply" link and then click the "Private" link on the far right of the screen, which causes the green "Reply to Group" button to change into a blue "Reply To Sender" button. Worth putting that in my group's FAQ...

Samuel


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

Saa umuel,

          How threading is presented is generally controllable within the e-mail client itself.  Even in your example, the end result in following classic threaded view versus conversation view is whether the date sort is ascending or descending for all practical intents and purposes.  Outlook can be set to use the "classic indented view" in conversations and give you the threaded view you show.

           As has already been pointed out, threading is generally handled in different ways by different clients.  But whatever the method, within a client the behavior is consistent.  Threading can easily be broken in many where both subject and header information must match or where only subject must match.  One tiny tweak to the subject line breaks threading, and that happens in Groups.io all the time.   One of my primary tasks as a moderator is "re-threading" topics that have been accidentally split by one of the end users tweaking the subject line.   It drives me utterly insane when there's been a topic on, say, "Knitting a Classic Cable Sweater," where at various times users do things like changing the subject, mid-topic, to something like, "I know this tip for making this sweater!," or, "Thanks for all the help" at the end.  Long term users of e-mail lists and online forums both were taught, at one time, that you never, ever, ever do this.

            As a general rule, I believe in educating users to the conventions that have been commonly in use for decades now for communities such as this one.  Others wish to come up with ways for the software to "figure out" how to manage behaviors [as far as subject changes, etc.] that they shouldn't have to manage in the first place.  In my experience, all that does is make things messier, and messier, and messier as people keep  doing all sorts of stuff they need to know that you just don't do.

            Cyber society, like society at large, has conventions that those entering it are obligated to learn and use.  Their own choices of platforms imposes the obligation on them to learn how to accomplish the same thing multiple ways.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

           ~ Jay Gould, U.S. financier & railroad robber baron (1836 - 1892)


Chris Jones
 

On Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 10:52 AM, Samuel Murray wrote:
By the way, I've just noticed that when you reply via the web interface, the original e-mail is not quoted. Now I understand why people [think that they need to] copy/paste stuff when replying via the web interface.
Quoting an entire previous message when replying to it is "very bad form" IMO unless it is absolutely essental  All I had to do to include the selective quote from your message was to highlight the bit I wanted to focus on and then click on "Reply". The highlighted passage was automatically imported into the reply for me. It could hardly be easier.

Chris


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

On Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 11:09 AM, Chris Jones wrote:
All I had to do to include the selective quote from your message was to highlight the bit I wanted to focus on and then click on "Reply". The highlighted passage was automatically imported into the reply for me. It could hardly be easier.
And this has been "standard operating procedure" on a wide variety of web forum interfaces for a very long time now.

It makes me crazy on the other site where I am heavily involved as a moderator that it doesn't work this way.  Your only choice with the quoting mechanism is to quote the whole message and then take out what you don't want/need in the reply composition window.  That's a grand PITA when you want a single line or two as context from a hugely long previous post.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

           ~ Jay Gould, U.S. financier & railroad robber baron (1836 - 1892)


KWKloeber
 

Re: copy/paste:
 
Maybe I’m misinterpreting, but I see no need to use separate windows.  I find it simple. 
There’s pry nothing more convoluted than doing such bottom-copying, than on an iOS phone.  Certainly on a tab or windows laptop is easier. 
 
I just:
1) Highlight (”select-all” or handles, depending); 
2) Reply; 
3) Paste into my reply email.  
 
Why are separate windows necessary - I’m in only the email app.  What am I missing?
 
And if I’m using a web io UI window it’s even easier to copy the orig msg.  OR, copy/paste only the txt you want bottom-copied and block quote it (apply indent and the left side bar [pipe?]).
 
I don't know why my example (of the reply running together with orig msg) didn't work.  It was in my reply ”correctly” - but for whatever reason io stripped out something or other. 
 
BTW - unrelated but it's not just iMail that ran together the example I tried to show (delivered email lost the indent & pipe) - the Outlook app did it as well. 
 
Email has been around forever; why can't they all just play nice together?
 
-k


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/02/27 05:14 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:

On Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 11:09 AM, Chris Jones wrote:
All I had to do to include the selective quote from your message
was to highlight the bit I wanted to focus on and then click on
"Reply". The highlighted passage was /automatically/ imported into
the reply for me. It could hardly be easier.
And this has been "standard operating procedure" on a wide variety of
web forum interfaces for a very long time now.
Which just goes to show that we all move in some very different circles. I have never encountered the behaviour you/Chris mention (although it might exist without me knowing about it), and it would never have occurred to me to even try it.

(It does work that way in my e-mail program, although I guess I've never gotten into the habit of using it because it means you have to decide what text you want to quote BEFORE you click "Reply", heh-heh.)

What I have seen on may web forums is that there is both a "Reply" and a
"Quote" button (but yes: the "Quote" button quotes everything).

Your only choice with the quoting mechanism is to quote the whole
message and then take out what you don't want/need in the reply
composition window.
I've been doing this for years. (-:

Samuel


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/02/27 07:21 PM, Ken Kloeber via Groups.Io wrote:

I don't know why my example (of the reply running together with orig msg) didn't work.  It was in my reply ”correctly” - but for whatever reason io stripped out something or other.
I think I saw what you were trying to illustrate:
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/20008

Here's what it looked like in my e-mail program (attachment).

Samuel


KWKloeber
 

<<here’s what it looked like....>>

email clients, like modems used to be, are a box of chocolates. In my delivery, most of the screen you pasted was truncated.  Sorta, but not exactly like the (unexpanded) IO UI display below. 








Everything below the [...] (more) click-on is truncated and the [ ... ] click-on itself (above, IO UI) is vaporized in the iMail that I received  

-k