Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(July 2002)

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Subject: Re: The role of the mailing list
From: bwarsaw @ python . org (Barry A. Warsaw)
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 11:11:32 -0400
To: Nick Simicich <njs @ scifi . squawk . com>
Cc: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
References: <5 . 1 . 0 . 14 . 2 . 20020711122418 . 0d2c2ec0 @ 127 . 0 . 0 . 1>

>>>>> "NS" == Nick Simicich <njs @
 scifi .
 squawk .
 com> writes:

    NS> Well, that is one. The point I made to the person I was
    NS> talking to about how her sympa installation enforced mime
    NS> digests was that there was enough information in the mime form
    NS> to allow the MUA to do all sorts of wonderful things, such as
    NS> making up a list of subjects with links to each message, and
    NS> allowing you to reply to each message of the digest while
    NS> getting subjects and attributions correct so that people would
    NS> not reply to a digest and quote the entire digest in their
    NS> replies while making the subject the digest subject instead of
    NS> an individual message subject.

This is a critical point about digests, IMO.  A digest is a way to
amortize the interruption factor of email.  While email is great, it's
also disruptive in the way a phone call at the office is disruptive.
It tends (or does for me ;) to want to pull your attention to the
email immediately, pre-empting all other work.  This happens for me
because until I look at some part of the email, I don't know whether
it's my boss asking me a question, or a fellow bass player asking
whether it's useful to boil strings. :)

So, because most digests only get delivered once or a few times a day,
I cut down on the number of interruptions to my daily workflow.

But -- and this is crucial -- when I burst a digest I want it to
contain all the information necessary to ignore the fact that it came
to me in a digest.  I.e. I want to be able to reply to it, folder it,
search on it, etc. just as if it were an immediate delivery.

Early on, list-managers digests weren't arranged that way and I'm
thrilled to see that they are now.  I've strived hard in Mailman to
make sure that both its MIME and RFC 1153 digests work this way.

Indexed By Date Previous: Re: Surveying list users.
From: bwarsaw @ python . org (Barry A. Warsaw)
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