[Tutor] Seismometer alarm

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Sun Jan 4 16:55:27 CET 2015

On Sun, Jan 04, 2015 at 09:35:55AM -0500, Dave Angel wrote:
> On 01/04/2015 08:17 AM, Ted wrote:
> >On 03/01/15 19:19, Ted wrote:
> >>Alan Thank you so much for the reply,  attached is a screenshot of a
> >>4.9M earthquake in Challis Idaho, about 150 miles north.
> >>this is what I need the alarm for.
> >>
> Ted, I don't know what mail program you're using, but you're not doing a 
> reply, you're leaving a new message, which breaks the thread.  Further 
> (and probably related), you're not adding the ">" characters in front of 
> the parts you quote, and in fact, many times you're just adding to the 
> end of an existing line.  You're also not trimming the quoted parts, to 
> what's relevant in your reply.  For example, your message ends with 
> Alan's footer, making it look like he wrote it.
> As a result, it's practically impossible for most of us to follow what 
> you're saying now, and what's already been said.

Dave, if you look at the full headers, you'll see that Ted appears to be 
using "Windows Live Mail", whatever that is. Is that the new name for 

X-Mailer: Microsoft Windows Live Mail 16.4.3528.331

Ah, it's the new name for Outlook!

Ted, I'm sorry, but I cannot work out for the life of me what parts are 
written by you and what parts are written by other people.

There is a long, long tradition of quoting in email, where parts written 
by others are prefixed with one (or more) > symbols. If you click the 
Reply or Reply-All button, your email program should quote the text by 
inserting such > symbols automatically. If it doesn't do that, that's 
rather like a car with no windshield wipers, forcing the driver to lean 
out the window with a squeegee whenever it rains.

Apparently Live Mail (formerly Outlook) decided to go against decades of 
tradition in email quoting and remove the > symbols in favour of not 
quoting text at all since 2011, making it *literally impossible* to 
work out who said what except by context.




If this is correct, Ted, I'm afraid that you are going to have a lot of 
pain communicating with technical forums like this, unless you can 
upgrade to an older version.

Given that inserting > characters by hand is too painful, I can make two 

(1) Give up quoting altogether, and go back to the way people used to 
write correspondence before the invention of email, e.g.:

    In your last message, you asked me whether I had done such-and-such.
    I'm afraid I have not. Can you explain more about this?

Although that too will become unbelievably tedious for technical 
discussions, especially when it comes to program code.

(2) Email is a tool. You wouldn't try cutting down a tree with a 
one-inch pen knife, or building a house with a set of plastic children's 
tools. If Live Mail doesn't include such vital functionality as quoting, 
replace it with a tool that does the job.


Good luck.


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