Technical communication problems

Chris Burford 100423.2040 at
Sat Sep 28 02:37:33 MDT 1996

I see that Hans (presumably) has been working in the background, filing
the archives in the last few hours, but in the last 24 there were some
puzzling communications problems at a time of intense political confusion.

1) I have had to reforward a letter, for reasons that are not clear, as
I have checked it for the sort of words that may divert mail to the
queue for personal inspection (BTW could these be published?) If this
was a random glitch OK.

2) Robert's book did not appear in the digest version of the list at all,
so it was necessary to guess from allusions that 2/3 of the list had
had this experience, and it was not just a threat. Since distinguishing between
threat and reality seems to be part of the exercise of reading this list,
such a difference between those who have instant sub and those who have digest
sub is significant, in terms of irritation levels as well as
exposure to material.

3) Jay's important letter "The Stinking book", checking on possible
reactions to circulating Bob's picture, was quoted by a number of people
but did not appear in the digest. Nor did it appear yesterday in
the gopher list of the current file as accessed through the web
yesterday. Again if this was a random glitch, it was a random glitch.

But it does raise
a policy question about how much the headings are edited in the digest.
This for example is all we get:

From: jplant at (Jj Plant)
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 96 16:16 BST-1
Subject: Re: The stinking book...

Although these three lines are wonderfully uncluttered I think it is
desirable to have two more lines:

a) what message is being replied to
b) who is being copied. This is especially important as sometimes
the meaning of a post is substantially different if it is
mainly a personal communication, and secondarily copied to the list
rather than vice versa. Also when the copies indicate it is
mainly part of a communication thread in a subgroup, which is
being shared with the list.



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