[License-discuss] Threading and topic drift (was: License licenses)

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri May 31 18:14:10 UTC 2019

Quoting Kevin P. Fleming (kevin+osi at km6g.us):

> As a regular Discourse user, I can say that this is one *huge* benefit
> of that tool over regular mailing lists: threads can be split off into
> separate topics, so that readers and others can follow the topics they
> care about and don't have to wade through things they don't care
> about.

Not intending to sound peremptory, but:  false dilemma.

When there is topic drift on a mailing list, there is a _very easy_
way to split off the morphed discussion to a new thread:  Just delete
the In-Reply-To header, which by definition breaks the thread.  It is
also a good idea to change the Subject header, particularly for the
benefit of poorly engineered Mail User Agents [**COUGH** Outlook **COUGH**]
that cluelessly implement threading based on the Subject header.

I have just done both, as an example.

And the above is Internet 101.  People's failure to do The Right Thing
doesn't mean The Right Thing isn't nonetheless standing there,
beckoning, and saying 'Who am I, then?  Chopped liver?'

More broadly, don't blame the tool when the user cannot be bothered to
master its basics and drives a nail through his or her foot.  

(Also, as an observer of Discourse, I can say that one of its huge
detriments is that it does has a deliberately flat display model 
and doesn't even _attempt_ to do threading -- which is predictable
since it's basically pitched at smartphone users with tiny diplays and
an addiction to continuous scrolling.  More at:

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