[Mailman-Users] Digest indexes

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Thu Dec 18 09:22:11 CET 2014

Peter Shute writes:

 > They create problems when they reply by constructing the reply by
 > hand with a different subject line, or by simply replying to the
 > digest email, with unchanged subject line and quoting the digest in
 > full. The only reason they use digest mode in the first place is
 > because they don't know how to create message rules to keep their
 > Inbox clear of list mail. 
 > You can probably tell I don't like digest mode at all. I'd rather
 > encourage people to learn how to use message rules.

Yes, it's a shame that to be a popular MUA you have to suck.  None of
the above are necessary concommittents of digest mode.  They happen
because things that the MUA could deal with with only a tiny bit of
thought on the part of the programmer are ignored in favor of tweaking
the gradients used on the buttons.

Digest messages would actually be a better workflow for your users if
the MUAs bothered to implement:

    1.  Display digest messages in the summary as single messages.

    2.  If the user clicks on the digest message, it is opened as a
        folder, not as a message.

This is *such* a no-brainer, and it shouldn't be hard to do (as
implementing MUA features goes) since most MUAs already have to deal
with both mbox imports (very similar to "plain" digests) and MIME

Message rules OTOH are a serious cognitive burden, even on experienced
users.  At least for me, several of my "communities" overlap, and my
employer has turned into my most unruly source of "spam" (not to
mention the fact that a lot of *real* spam gets accepted by its
mailing lists!)  GMail's "filter mail like this" feature does a *very*
poor job of creating usable filters for them.  Especially, it doesn't
seem to know about how to determine that mail is forwarded through a
list (and so "mail like this" should use "List-ID" and "List-Post",
not "From" or "Subject")

If that's a common experience, it means that users need to learn how
"author" is defined (which, especially with DMARC From-munging and
Outlook's "on behalf of" mistreatment of Mailman mail, is often hardly
intuitive to the average user), how to properly specify list tags in
Subject, and so on.

I don't disagree with you that with current popular MUAs, you'd be
better off with your users learning how to use rules, but really,
digest mode *should* be a feature. :-(

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