[Mailman-Developers] sort by thread for digest mode in mailman?

Jim Hebert jhebert@compu-aid.com
Tue, 30 May 2000 14:26:11 -0400 (EDT)

On Mon, 29 May 2000, J C Lawrence wrote:

> Ideally digests should never be read, but should be received and
> then burst back into their original discrete messages.  Your MUA can

I've seen this said a few times now, and I finally solidified in my head
what irked me about it.

This simply isn't how probably 99% of the list subscribers regard digests
on lists I (and presumably many other Mailman admins) manage.

What is one major reason people get the digest of a high traffic list?

They aren't savvy enough, or their mua isn't featureful enough, or both,
to do mail-sorts and segregate all the traffic to a given list into a

But if this is the reason, then they likely similarly lack the skills
and/or software to explode a mime digest, right?

Me, as soon as I figured out procmail, I stopped getting digests, since
the minor bandwidth savings of a bulk transfer was negligible compared to
the convenience of being on the "real" list and simply segregating the
lists with procmail.

I'm sure there's some counter example scenario someone can manufacture
where a person doesn't have procmail or similar functionality but does
have a mime-digest exploder, or some example where bandwidth saved is
critical. I'm sure those users exist too. That's fine: I'm certainly not
saying "get rid of digests." Rather, I'm saying that their usefulness in
their current incarnation is going to be somewhat limited if
digest-related features are always adopted/dismissed based on a usage
scenario that has got to be a minority.

Admittedly, there probably needs to be a line drawn at which point the web
archives are the better choice than the digest: if the person wants
basically sort by {author, subject, thread, date header, date received}
and the reverses of all those then yeah, that's a little much to build
into the digest perhaps...


PS I'm also aware that there are potential problems with increasing the
number of "customizations" people can have for a digest -- higher server
load as it bakes all these different forms of the digest for people, to
name a big one. I guess I'm just trying to say, generally, I hope mailman
development wrt digests doesn't follow this "people should be using
exploders anyways" mantra to the exclusion of good feature suggestions...

Jim Hebert                                       http://www.cosource.com/
jim@cosource.com          The cooperative market for open source software

"Well actually I was considering opening a market in flying pigs. Mostly
because it would be more practical...." -- Alan Cox