[Techtalk] Hijacking a thread (was Re: Clearing a port)

Terri Oda terri at zone12.com
Wed Jul 9 17:25:06 UTC 2008

On 9-Jul-08, at 11:51 AM, B Seeger wrote:
> Or perhaps you mean a new *email* thread?
> If that's the case, I'm not sure I understand how I hijacked one  
> unless
> there's something in the message headers I haven't seen.  In which  
> case,
> sorry.

I believe Michelle means a new email thread.  Usually what happens is  
that someone has hit "reply" on an existing message and changed the  
subject, meaning to start a new thread but doing so doesn't change  
the headers that say you're replying to a previous message.  It's  
basically bad form, and can mess up threading in the archives and in  
people's mail clients.

In your message, the problematic headers read:

In-Reply-To: <1215088854.23672.6.camel at athena.prosensing.com>
References: <20080629224228.2cc035f6.anotheranne at fables.co.za>
	<64e01c4d0806291653h12e8af9bn9edf86ccc47d080d at mail.gmail.com>
	<1214831141.18323.6.camel at athena.prosensing.com>
	<20080702143705.GB28305 at freenet.de>
	<1215088854.23672.6.camel at athena.prosensing.com>

Actually, my mail client is ignoring these headers and threading it  
the way you intended because of the subject change, and yours might  
do the same, but not all mail clients would discard this information  
that way.

And finally...

As a list admin, I've go to say it:  Berating people for thread  
hijacking isn't really polite or helpful, especially when they may  
have no idea what you're talking about.  If you do notice someone  
doing this, a brief message explaining that they should start a new  
message addressed to the list when they want to start a new thread  
would be much more instructive!  Or you can link them to this message  
in the archives.


PS - Sorry, I don't know offhand how to clear a port.

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