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

Vonda vtrucs at gmail.com
Wed Jul 9 17:52:22 UTC 2008

Terri Oda wrote:
> 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.

I ran afoul of this myself. Some threading emailers, like Mutt, follow
this convention, where a change to the subject line does not move it out
of the original thread.

The emailer I've always used in Linux and Unix, which is Pine, does not   
share this characteristic. The email subject changes and that's that.
The emailer I'm now using on M$, Thunderbird, also just shrugs and changes
the subject line.  So this issue doesn't exist for anyone who hasn't used
an emailer that makes it one.

Now if I could just get Thunderbird to space properly -


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