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    Starting a new thread
    From: Paul Hirose
    Date: 2014 Jan 28, 13:32 -0800

    Brad Morris wrote:
    > Its easy to start a new thread, just modify the
    > topic/subject line.
    That may not have the intended result. A few years ago I explained the
    reason, but it's worth reviewing.
    A reply contains the ID of the parent message. An email program uses the
    ID to position the reply properly in the inbox, so it appears below the
    parent, indented. That happens even if the subject field is different.
    Message ID has priority over subject.
    In general, that behavior is convenient. It lets you fix a spelling
    error or change the subject to something more descriptive, while keeping
    your reply "in thread". But it also causes a messed-up inbox when
    someone starts a new thread by clicking Reply and editing the subject
    field. Both threads become mingled in the message list.
    Of course the above is not always true. It depends on how the message is
    transmitted and received. For example, if the recipient selects a pure
    chronological inbox format, the message ID does not affect the list order.
    However, I recommend threaded format if you like to keep a complete
    thread on hand until the discussion dies out. In addition to clearly
    showing the sequence of replies, it reduces a long thread to a single
    line in the inbox. With one mouse click you can expand it to see all
    One hint for threaded format - if a thread is interesting, keep *all*
    its messages, whether or not they are interesting. If you delete a
    message, then someone replies to that message, the reply is an orphan.
    It cannot be displayed below the parent message, because there's no
    parent in the inbox. Therefore the email software lists the reply as a
    top level message (not indented), separate from the thread.
    Instead of deleting the uninteresting replies, mark the good ones. Most
    email programs have a column in the inbox where you can click to mark a
    message. For example, in Thunderbird there's a "flag" column. (It may or
    may not be visible, depending on fields you select to view.)

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