Subjects, Topics and Threading

Ian S. King isking at
Wed Sep 14 20:36:50 CDT 2016

On Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 3:55 PM, Dale H. Cook <radiotest at> wrote:

> At 06:30 PM 9/14/2016, J. wrote:
> >How is sending a new email any different than replying / changing subject
> line?
> The message headers contain data that identify which thread a message is
> part of. Subscribers normally do not see that data because very few people
> have a reason to look at the full headers of a message. Replying to an
> existing thread without changing the subject maintains that data. Replying
> to an existing thread but changing the subject line also maintains that
> data, which identifies the reply as part of the original thread. In both
> cases the message appears in the list archives as part of the original
> thread.
> Starting a new thread with a new subject assigns new data identifying the
> new thread. It appears in the list archives as part of a new thread,
> independent from the original thread. That is part of the way in which
> mailing list software, in general, works.
> Oh boy, oh boy!  We haven't had a 'mailing-list-behavior' thread in, oh,
days!  I was getting bored with all the conversation about vintage hardware
and software - it was so, well, meaningful.  We haven't had a good
food-fight here in... days!

Ian S. King, MSIS, MSCS, Ph.D. Candidate
The Information School <>
Dissertation: "Why the Conversation Mattered: Constructing a Sociotechnical
Narrative Through a Design Lens

Archivist, Voices From the Rwanda Tribunal <>
Value Sensitive Design Research Lab <>

University of Washington

There is an old Vulcan saying: "Only Nixon could go to China."

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