[Haskell-cafe] Reply to

David Miani davidmiani at gmail.com
Wed May 6 12:43:14 EDT 2009

On Thursday 07 May 2009 01:28:36 Matthijs Kooijman wrote:
> Hi David,
> > - Do you use To for the mailing list or for the parent?
> > - Do you ever include the grand-parent in the recipient list?
> I use whatever my mail client does when I hit "list-reply" :-)
> For me (using mutt), that means to include any recipients and senders from
> the original message (so mailing list, parent and grand-parent in your
> example), unless the sender of the message I'm replying to has set the
> Mail-Followup-To header. My client sets the Mail-Followup-To properly to
> include all recipients and include myself when I am not subscribed to the
> list, and exclude myself when I am subscribed to the list. This is the only
> proper solution, since you can't guess from the addresses alone if someone
> is subscribed to the list and should thus be included or not.
> > - What's the difference between To and CC?
> Just a matter of style I guess, functionally they are the same AFAIK.
> > - If you send to only the mailing list, does it break the message thread?
> > (it seems like sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't)
> > - Does the mailing list do some kind of processing of the email headings
> > sent (I don't get how kmail managed to know your message was in reply to
> > Magnus Therning's message, since you didn't include him as a recipient)
> These two questions are the same: This is handled by email clients
> entirely. They set the In-Reply-To header, which refers to the message ID
> of the replied-to message, for proper threading. Alternatively, some
> clients (can) use the subject for guessing threads, but the mailing list
> doesn't handle this in any way (it doesn't have any info that the
> recipients don't have either).
> > - Is kmail's mailing list management completely bonkers (eg what is the
> > difference between Reply and Reply to mailing list)?
> Dunno, but it seems so from your example.
> > And don't get me started on whether to use html or plain text in
> > messages! (seen both pretty often here)
> As long as messages have a decent text/plain part, feel free to use
> anything as far as I'm concerned (flash, anyone? :-p)
Thanks for those answers, that really cleared up alot of my misconceptions. I 
think I was assuming the mailing list did a lot more than it actually does.
> > Anyway, I can't see why we still use mailing lists when we have reddit,
> > which has all the good parts of mailing lists (nested messages), while it
> > also:
> Hmm, what's this reddit thing? *googles*
Sorry, I should have put more about reddit in my original post :S
> At first glance, the reddit frontpage looks very crowded and incapable of
> conveying information to me...

Reddit is divided into different groups called "subreddits". Eg there is a 
pics one, politics one, economics on and so on. When you go to reddit.com, you 
get all the topics posted to the most popular 10 or so subreddits (if you 
register you can customize this though). That's why it appeared crowded :) If 
you want to only see the topics from one subreddit, you go to 
www.reddit.com/r/subredditname . There exists two haskell reddits I know of, 
haskell and haskell-proposals, it is www.reddit.com/r/haskell (for the haskell 
> At second glance, it looks like some kind of giant forum with random topics
> and links to other forums/news sites/blogs? 
> There's probably some way to
> organize threads belonging to a single topic that becomes evident when you
> login?
That's the subreddits :)
> > - is much simpler to use
> Can't say, never used it...
Heh just my opinion...
> > - allows voting up/down of good/inaccurate messages
> > - allows voting up/down of interesting/boring topics
> That's cool for when you're reading a topic back (ie would be nice on email
> archives) but not really useful for new questions and messages (which is
> what our mailing lists are usually about, right?).
You have three main ways of sorting the topics in a reddit (seen at the top of 
the screen):
- whats hot: puts articles getting lots of upvotes recently up higher
- new: puts more recent articles up higher
- top: puts the highest voted articles for hour/day/week/month/year/all-time 
up higher

For browsing, you would use top, and for reading new stuff, you would use new. 
Also, you can subscribe to the rss feed 
http://www.reddit.com/r/haskell/new.rss to get a link for every new discussion
> > - has a good web interface (mail-archive.com doesn't even come close)
> Nice, but does it have a non-web-interface? The only way I can actually
> manage all email traffic coming my way from a couple dozen mailing lists,
> is because mutt is so darn efficient when it comes to reading and
> processing mail. I would't want to do all that in a webinterface.

This managed mainly through being able to select what subreddits appear on the 
front page. It is also very efficient commenting, as no new window is opened 
when you choose to comment, just a new box appears below the comment you are 
replying to. However, I doubt that it could be as efficient as mutt though. It 
would probably work like this:
Proficiency  mailing list    reddit
Beginner     inefficient     efficient
Average      efficient       efficient
Expert       very efficient  efficient

> > - uses markdown (no more html vs plain text problems)
> That's cool :-) Though you can also just write markdown in plain text
> email, looks pretty as well :-p
Though it doesn't look as pretty :)
Seriously though there are a lot of haskell-cafe posts where the formatting 
for the code appears wrong even though it was probably right in the authors 
email client. This would fix that.
> > - allows messages to be edited after being sent
> You can always just reply with corrections. Editing messages after writing
> them only makes things confusing (since you probably won't be able to edit
> them before someone has read them...).
For minor edits (eg spelling), it works fine. For other edits, it is common 
practice to include something like "Edit:Fixed mistake in function" or "Edit: 
added additional info" at the end of the post. I find this much nicer than 
submitting corrections, as when browsing archives, you can often miss the 
correction if you think you have found what you were looking for.

> > - has rss feeds for article comments, and sub reddit topics
> Aren't RSS feeds just invented to turn the normal "pull" information flow
> of a website to a sortof "push" flow (or rather, to automate the polling of
> a website for new info). The cool thing about email is that it's push by
> design!
I used to think that as well, until I started using them more frequently. They 
are very easy to subscribe/unsubscribe to (no sending your email address), and 
you don't need to create a filter for them. Having a good reader is also 
necessary, I like akregator, google reader is also good.
> > - sends notifications when someone replies to one of your comments
> Like, via email? :-p
Hehe true, although with mailing lists, you have to get every single message 
sent by everyone. If you are only a light user of the list, this can get 
annoying. However with the reddit design, you can post a message, and if 
someone replies 2 months later, it will be the only message you get.

> I've been browsing a bit
> more, and reddit really looks like a collection of links to articles and
> topics, not like an actual discussion medium?
When you make a reddit post, you can either choose to link it to an article, 
or to nothing. Eg the article 
is a self post, just used for the discussion (about nonstrictness in this 
case). The article 
on the other hand has a link to a blog post talking about forcing evaluation. 
This could be useful for all those announcement posts on this list. Most of 
the front page links aren't self posts. Try www.reddit.com/r/askreddit and 
www.reddit.com/r/haskell_proposals to see more self posts (the haskell reddit 
doesn't really have many atm).

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