Merge subject retention problem and/or Broken threading problem #bug


 

Hi Mark,

I was trying to move some of the messages of one topic into another one as they had gone off-topic.

Part-1:  There is a bug somewhere in the merge process that causes merged messages to remember their previous (pre-merge topic) subject and use that to pre-fill the subject field when replying online.

To replicate this: (happened in an unmoderated group)

1. Split let's say half of the messages in a topic (eg. TopicA) into another one, let's say TempTopic

2. Merge the new TempTopic into another one, let's say TopicB

3. Go now into TopicB.  If you online-reply to any of the original already-existing TopicB messages, the subject gets correctly pre-filled with Re:TopicB.

4. But if you online-reply to any of the merged messages from the old TempTopic, the subject gets incorrectly pre-filled with Re:TempTopic instead of the correct Re:TopicB.  Then for this case:

  4a - If one doesn't notice this erroneous pre-filled subject and leaves it as such, the online reply does correctly thread under TopicB (and the email does go out with Re:TopicB).  But, any subsequent online replies to this online reply still persist in pre-filling the subject with the incorrect Re:TempTopic, unless the cycle is broken by correcting the reply subject, and going forward.  The previous merged messages and uncorrected-subject replies still keep remembering the incorrect subject if one online-replies to them later on.
  4b - If one email-replies to the email sent out from the 4a online reply, and one online-replies to this emailed reply, it now correctly pre-fills with Re:TopicB and the cycle is broken going forward.
  4c - If one notices and restores the subject to the correct one in their 4a online reply, online-replying to that reply pre-fills the correct subject now and the cycle is broken going forward.


Part-2: Another weird thing also happened with this topic merge so I included it in here even if it may not be directly related.  It broke threading, and it could be a side-effect from a recent fix.

Namely, one used email to reply to one of the original TopicA messages which by now had gotten moved (through the merge) to TopicB.  Their emailed reply of course still has TopicA in the subject.  You'd think it would thread under TopicA due to having the same subject and stop there, but maybe because the reply message's InReplyTo value is referencing a message which now belongs to a different topic and therefore subjects no longer match between those two, something didn't work right in threading so it just created a brand new topic, with the same exact TopicA title.

 

So there's a bit of a mess going on and I put these topics in moderation so I can manually adjust the subjects as they come in, or at least that's the idea.  This happened yesterday and so far I haven't gotten any new replies to either TopicA, TopicB, or cloned TopicA, so I don't know yet if changing the subject will help thread correctly into them going forward.  I was going to merge the cloned TopicA back into the original TopicA but I left it there for now for your examination if needed.

Cheers,
Christos

 


 

I noticed this "mess" (I'd agree with the term;) a long time ago but did not go to as much trouble as you have gone to in sorting it all out. I just stopped merging whenever possible.

On Wed, Oct 13, 2021 at 7:36 AM Christos Psarras <christos@...> wrote:
Hi Mark,

I was trying to move some of the messages of one topic into another one as they had gone off-topic.

Part-1:  There is a bug somewhere in the merge process that causes merged messages to remember their previous (pre-merge topic) subject and use that to pre-fill the subject field when replying online.

To replicate this: (happened in an unmoderated group)

1. Split let's say half of the messages in a topic (eg. TopicA) into another one, let's say TempTopic

2. Merge the new TempTopic into another one, let's say TopicB

3. Go now into TopicB.  If you online-reply to any of the original already-existing TopicB messages, the subject gets correctly pre-filled with Re:TopicB.

4. But if you online-reply to any of the merged messages from the old TempTopic, the subject gets incorrectly pre-filled with Re:TempTopic instead of the correct Re:TopicB.  Then for this case:

  4a - If one doesn't notice this erroneous pre-filled subject and leaves it as such, the online reply does correctly thread under TopicB (and the email does go out with Re:TopicB).  But, any subsequent online replies to this online reply still persist in pre-filling the subject with the incorrect Re:TempTopic, unless the cycle is broken by correcting the reply subject, and going forward.  The previous merged messages and uncorrected-subject replies still keep remembering the incorrect subject if one online-replies to them later on.
  4b - If one email-replies to the email sent out from the 4a online reply, and one online-replies to this emailed reply, it now correctly pre-fills with Re:TopicB and the cycle is broken going forward.
  4c - If one notices and restores the subject to the correct one in their 4a online reply, online-replying to that reply pre-fills the correct subject now and the cycle is broken going forward.


Part-2: Another weird thing also happened with this topic merge so I included it in here even if it may not be directly related.  It broke threading, and it could be a side-effect from a recent fix.

Namely, one used email to reply to one of the original TopicA messages which by now had gotten moved (through the merge) to TopicB.  Their emailed reply of course still has TopicA in the subject.  You'd think it would thread under TopicA due to having the same subject and stop there, but maybe because the reply message's InReplyTo value is referencing a message which now belongs to a different topic and therefore subjects no longer match between those two, something didn't work right in threading so it just created a brand new topic, with the same exact TopicA title.

 

So there's a bit of a mess going on and I put these topics in moderation so I can manually adjust the subjects as they come in, or at least that's the idea.  This happened yesterday and so far I haven't gotten any new replies to either TopicA, TopicB, or cloned TopicA, so I don't know yet if changing the subject will help thread correctly into them going forward.  I was going to merge the cloned TopicA back into the original TopicA but I left it there for now for your examination if needed.

Cheers,
Christos

 


--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

>>> I just stopped merging whenever possible.

Yeah, I didn't have a choice in this case, because when I initially split the topic (which works fine), there were some later messages carried over to the new off-topic thread that had to be moved back to the old topic as they belonged there, so I had to then play that back-n-forth split & merge game to corral the messages back to their correct pens ... the joys of having an unmoderated group with no subject discipline and a worn-out flogging stick.

What would make something like this a lot easier would be to be able to multi-select individual messages within a topic and either do a Split-into-new-topic or Merge/Move-into-existing-topic, maybe something like the /topics-test page.  (#sneakysuggestion)

Cheers,
Christos

 


 

A “cut and slice” feature. 😀


On Oct 13, 2021, at 4:47 PM, Christos Psarras <christos@...> wrote:



>>> I just stopped merging whenever possible.

Yeah, I didn't have a choice in this case, because when I initially split the topic (which works fine), there were some later messages carried over to the new off-topic thread that had to be moved back to the old topic as they belonged there, so I had to then play that back-n-forth split & merge game to corral the messages back to their correct pens ... the joys of having an unmoderated group with no subject discipline and a worn-out flogging stick.

What would make something like this a lot easier would be to be able to multi-select individual messages within a topic and either do a Split-into-new-topic or Merge/Move-into-existing-topic, maybe something like the /topics-test page.  (#sneakysuggestion)

Cheers,
Christos

 


--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

Typo, should read “splice”


On Oct 13, 2021, at 5:07 PM, J_Catlady via groups.io <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:

A “cut and slice” feature. 😀


On Oct 13, 2021, at 4:47 PM, Christos Psarras <christos@...> wrote:



>>> I just stopped merging whenever possible.

Yeah, I didn't have a choice in this case, because when I initially split the topic (which works fine), there were some later messages carried over to the new off-topic thread that had to be moved back to the old topic as they belonged there, so I had to then play that back-n-forth split & merge game to corral the messages back to their correct pens ... the joys of having an unmoderated group with no subject discipline and a worn-out flogging stick.

What would make something like this a lot easier would be to be able to multi-select individual messages within a topic and either do a Split-into-new-topic or Merge/Move-into-existing-topic, maybe something like the /topics-test page.  (#sneakysuggestion)

Cheers,
Christos

 


--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

>>> A “cut and splice” feature.

Yep, like we used to do with cassette tapes back when!


 

On Wed, Oct 13, 2021 at 7:36 AM Christos Psarras <christos@...> wrote:

I was trying to move some of the messages of one topic into another one as they had gone off-topic.

Part-1:  There is a bug somewhere in the merge process that causes merged messages to remember their previous (pre-merge topic) subject and use that to pre-fill the subject field when replying online.

To replicate this: (happened in an unmoderated group)

1. Split let's say half of the messages in a topic (eg. TopicA) into another one, let's say TempTopic

2. Merge the new TempTopic into another one, let's say TopicB

3. Go now into TopicB.  If you online-reply to any of the original already-existing TopicB messages, the subject gets correctly pre-filled with Re:TopicB.

4. But if you online-reply to any of the merged messages from the old TempTopic, the subject gets incorrectly pre-filled with Re:TempTopic instead of the correct Re:TopicB.  Then for this case:


This should be fixed now. 

Part-2: Another weird thing also happened with this topic merge so I included it in here even if it may not be directly related.  It broke threading, and it could be a side-effect from a recent fix.

Namely, one used email to reply to one of the original TopicA messages which by now had gotten moved (through the merge) to TopicB.  Their emailed reply of course still has TopicA in the subject.  You'd think it would thread under TopicA due to having the same subject and stop there, but maybe because the reply message's InReplyTo value is referencing a message which now belongs to a different topic and therefore subjects no longer match between those two, something didn't work right in threading so it just created a brand new topic, with the same exact TopicA title.


When replying via email to a message that has been merged into a different topic (with a different subject), we automatically rewrite the incoming reply's subject line to match the merged-into topic subject, and we should thread it properly into the merged-into topic. I just tested it and it worked for me. Off-list, if you send me the group name, the subject of the message, the sender's email address, and when this happened, I can investigate and try to find out why it didn't work in your case.

Thanks,
Mark


 

Hi Mark,

>>> Part-1:  There is a bug somewhere in the merge process ...
> This should be fixed now. 

Yes it definitely is, clicking on Reply prefills the correct subject now, thanks!

>>> Part-2
> When replying via email to a message that has been merged into a different topic (with a different subject),
> we automatically rewrite the incoming reply's subject line to match the merged-into topic subject,
> and we should thread it properly into the merged-into topic. I just tested it and it worked for me.

Works for you?? Doggone it, I now had to tax my grey matter again, lol, but seriously, your reply made me setup a test case in a test group and I was able to replicate both your successful and my unsuccessful threading outcomes.

Turns out this Part2 threading problem is not merge-related, it's split-related.  Change merged into split in your statement above, and now an email-reply to a message which used to belong to TopicA-subject (but has been split into TopicB-subject) and hence still has the original TopicA-subject in the reply email, eludes detection and no subject-rewriting takes place, no subject-matching takes place (even if there exists an active TopicA-subject in the archive), and instead creates a new "clone" TopicA-subject.  So in merged threads it does what you stated but in split threads it behaves differently.

I just emailed you both the real-world and test-case details to the support address.

Thanks and Cheers,
Christos


 

On Thu, Oct 14, 2021 at 6:16 PM Christos Psarras <christos@...> wrote:
Turns out this Part2 threading problem is not merge-related, it's split-related. 

I believe I have now fixed this. Please let me know if you see it again.

Thanks,
Mark