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the alternative to stupid email wars (was Re: hpn_buffer_size)

On Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 09:51:22AM -0400, Thor Lancelot Simon wrote:
> For a reader (and perhaps more important, respondent) using the tools
> many of us traditionally use to interact here, on the NetBSD mailing lists,
> 500 word lines are a lot like that.  They display strangely in most user
> agents for character-cell terminals.  They're hard to quote properly when
> responding because one effectively has to reflow the text by hand.  Sure,
> one could quote them as 500 word lines; but that just kicks the can down
> the road to the next person who might want to respond to (and, as is
> polite, quote) only part of a paragraph.  They basically scream "I don't
> care how much work you have to do to have a conversation with me, it's
> all about what _I_ have to say."  Is it as bad as top-posting, where
> rearranging a message into a sane order for response could take 10 minutes?
> No.  But it's still rude, in the same way.  Or so it seems to me.

It seems to me that the time spent having these arguments would be
better spent designing or writing filters that do helpful things such as

* re-wrap lengthy emails at whichever width one prefers,

* convert a discussion thread consisting of top- and bottom-posted
  replies into one style or the other

* processes an mbox-format file containing a lengthy discussion thread
  containing quotes, and quotes of quotes, and re-prints the entire
  discussion as one document without any duplicate text


David Young    Urbana, IL    (217) 721-9981

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