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Subject: [RAME] message headers (was: Barbara Dare ...)
From: Fred Lucite <hardnosed@rame.net>
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 18:18:09 CST

On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 at 12:13 -0600, Barbara underline Dare underline Fan at yahoo dot com scribbled: ->Can anyone explain why those Google "geniuses" allow the ability to ->just change the title of a thread? This makes no sense whatsoever.

[remainder snipped -- namely, my posting which replied to a different part of the text that had nothing to do with Barbara Dare]

First, the technical answer to your question, as posted by Guido Ostkamp on Mon, 17 Jan 2005 at 20:00:43 -0000, on another newsgroup: -> Threading is done using the 'References:' info which states all -> message-IDs of the previous postings in that subthread, and the -> 'Message-ID' line which identifies the message itself. Otherwise -> you would not be able to determine who responded to whom in what -> order because subject lines don't contain this information and -> also are allowed to be changed.

In short, to rephrase things into plain language:

(*) Subject titles have always been changeable.

(*) The original netiquette dating back decades called for them to be changed so as to accurately reflect the contents.

(*) Some people DON'T like "thread drift." (I.e., where the discussion in the message text no longer has anything to do with what the title line says.) Thread-drift used to be considered the bane of the Usenet, until spam became a bigger problem.

(*) Not everybody reads by threads. (People with less patience and/or less time on their hands are perhaps more likely to look for more efficient ways to hone in on reading only those postings they think they need to read. The old-fashioned accurate subject header greatly helps that cause.)

(*) Google is not the Usenet. Google is simply an online place that has collected these Usenet postings and made it a business.

(*) Not everybody uses Google to read the Usenet.

(*) Google doesn't "allow" header changes. That's like saying that Congress "allows" the sun to rise. (Whereas everybody knows that it's actually the United Nations. <grin!>)

(*) Not everybody uses the same newsreader software.

(*) Threading is based on other reference and message-ID headers that are part of the "full" message header information sent out with each posting. It is not based on the subject line.

(*) If your display isn't doing that, you should recheck your newsreader program's configuration settings.

Sorry to be so technical, but the bottom line is that how you see what's on your screen is based on how you have the configuration settings set for your newsreader program. It's not determined by the sender who posts a message; it's determined by your own configuration settings. There's likely to be a myriad of possible configuration settings available to you, and while it's always a pain to have to tinker around with all that stuff, that's what it's there for.... so that you can set your displays the way you want them.

My apologies for being off-topic, but this is the sort of thing that needs to be included in FAQ files (and if you know where to look on the Usenet it already is) and frequently posted (ditto -- it already is -- in the dot-news heirarchy) so that modern-day users can see the answers to these questions and issues. --

>>>----------------------------------------------<<< >>> david moeser -- erasmus39 on yahoo <<< >>> Censornati, Ohio - USA <<< >>>----------------------------------------------<<<

  • "User" is a four-letter word! *

(Headers munged to foil spammers; real info in taglines. Also, e-mail addresses broken up in order to foil harvesting by spammers.)

P.S. It can also be noted that editing the subject header to insert "(RAME)" is another anti-spammer tactic that's meant for the purpose of making the display process more efficient for the reader. I.e., making it easier to weed out the spam.

And, of course, once again I've changed the subject header so as to accurately reflect the contents of the posting, which STILL have nothing to do with Barbara Dare. But in the spirit of trying to be helpful I've added the "was:" line.


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