For reference: how to start new thread


#1

Email list@hacman.org.uk without the massive plus addressing bit.

tamarisk

p: 07949 151 100
e: tamarisk@tamarisk.it
t: @notquitehere


#2

Email list@hacman.org.uk without the massive plus addressing bit.

Which is why it needs to be &%$!ing not there in the first place!!!

Every other mailing list software I’ve come across manages to thread
stuff just fine without buggering around with the list address. If
Discourse can’t then it’s simply broken.

Alan Burlison


#3

Looking at the message fields that come through via email
The From field looks fine “Name of User list@hacman.org.uk

The Reply-To: and Return-Path: seem to be the ones with the long string of characters to say what thread it is. So maybe check on the settings on the mail client to see if it’s picking up those fields instead of From


#4

Looking at the message fields that come through via email
The From field looks fine “Name of User list@hacman.org.uk

That’s not fine, it contains the list address and not that of the author.

The Reply-To: and Return-Path: seem to be the ones with the long
string of characters to say what thread it is.

It shouldn’t be necessary in the Reply-To. Can you explain why it is? (Or point me to dcumentation). On the whole it seems like the system has been written without taking email into account, and when it has been added it fails to follow the standards, so pretty much doesn’t work as it should.

So maybe check on the
settings on the mail client to see if it’s picking up those fields
instead of From

It’s definitely in the Reply-To, which is annoying at the least.

Why are mail clients suddenly at fault? The only thing I know that’s changed is the delivery. The mail support doesn’t conform to any standards rendering it pretty much useless for those using mail.

I hoped Discourse would keep all mailing list functionality but add an improved web interface for those that wanted it. What it has done instead is removed mail functionality and added a web interface that is still much worse than all of the mail clients, even the crappy ones.

Simon


#5

The Reply-To: and Return-Path: seem to be the ones with the long
string of characters to say what thread it is. So maybe check on the
settings on the mail client to see if it’s picking up those fields
instead of From

It’s Discourse that is behaving incorrectly, not my MUA. Please go read
RFC2822.

Alan Burlison


#6

So does Google Groups.


#7

Looking at the message fields that come through via email The From
field looks fine “Name of User list@hacman.org.uk

That’s not fine, it contains the list address and not that of the
author.

Yes, and that’s a violation of RFC2822.

“In all cases, the “From:” field SHOULD NOT contain any mailbox that
does not belong to the author(s) of the message.”

The Reply-To: and Return-Path: seem to be the ones with the long
string of characters to say what thread it is.

It shouldn’t be necessary in the Reply-To. Can you explain why it is?
(Or point me to dcumentation). On the whole it seems like the system
has been written without taking email into account, and when it has
been added it fails to follow the standards, so pretty much doesn’t
work as it should.

That seems to be the case, it appears to have been written by someone
with extremely limited knowledge of how email headers work.

So maybe check on the settings on the mail client to see if it’s
picking up those fields instead of From

It’s definitely in the Reply-To, which is annoying at the least.

It’s also a violation of RFC2822 so any MUA that is RFC-compliant will
have problems with Discourse’s failure to follow the email standard that
everyone else follows. Even if I was prepared to fiddle with my MUA
(which I am not) I’d end up with something that worked with Discourse
and didn’t work properly with any other RFC-compliant MUA or mailing
list package.

https://woozle.org/~neale/papers/reply-to-still-harmful.html

In April of 2001, the IETF issued af new document, RFC 2822, which
obsoletes RFC 822. In this new RFC, the author addresses the Reply-To
header field in a few places, but the most relevant to this discussion
is the following in section 3.6.2 “Originator fields”:

When the “Reply-To:” field is present, it indicates the mailbox(es) to
which the author of the message suggests that replies be sent.

Your list software is not “the author of the message”, so it must not
set or in any way meddle with the Reply-To header field. That field
exists for the author and the author alone. If your list munges it, you
are violating the standard.
:
:
Some people want to munge Reply-To header fields. They believe it makes
reply-to-list easier, and it encourages more list traffic. It really
does neither, and not only is it a poor idea but it’s forbidden by
Internet standards.

The IETF has spoken, and if you violate their standard and munge your
Reply-To header fields you’re just creating problems for everybody.

Why are mail clients suddenly at fault? The only thing I know that’s
changed is the delivery. The mail support doesn’t conform to any
standards rendering it pretty much useless for those using mail.

Exactly so. Discourse is simply broken and in its current form is not
fit for purpose as a mailing list server. End of discussion.

I hoped Discourse would keep all mailing list functionality but add
an improved web interface for those that wanted it. What it has done
instead is removed mail functionality and added a web interface that
is still much worse than all of the mail clients, even the crappy
ones.

Amen.

Alan Burlison


#8

So does Google Groups.

Yes, it is broken as well:

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/apps/bbaBknYlpWk

Although I believe they may have added a setting that allows the group
administrator to choose the correct behaviour
(http://webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/50802/how-to-configure-google-groups-to-reply-to-author-only)

In the case of Discourse it adds its own additional layers of broken on
top of Google’s version of broken.

Alan Burlison


#9

I did find a similar conversation here, with a possible plugin to get around it
Although it would likely need to be tested etc

"https://meta.discourse.org/t/allow-reply-to-individual-instead-of-topic-forum-mailing-list-feature/44905/27"
https://github.com/tareko/discourse-replyto-individual

Something to bear in mind is that a conventional mailing list filters / groups everything based purely on the subject line
But with discourse instead the grouping is done based on that special number
This allows for messages to appear within catagories on the web front end
Essentially it’s a mailing list / forum hybrid trying to achieve functionality of both at the same time

The general gist is you can subscribe to just parts of the list without recieving everything
So if I just want to recieve emails or notifications within the web browser for anything within the “Hack-the-Space” catagory but ignore everything else then that’s possible
vs getting everything into the mail client and filtering it there instead (which from my personal point of view would suck)

Personally I think it’s better to try and solve a problem then simply give up and say end of discussion, that seems a little dismissive


#10

I did find a similar conversation here, with a possible plugin to get
around it Although it would likely need to be tested etc

"https://meta.discourse.org/t/allow-reply-to-individual-instead-of-topic-forum-mailing-list-feature/44905/27"
https://github.com/tareko/discourse-replyto-individual

That does seem closer to correct behaviour.

Something to bear in mind is that a conventional mailing list filters
/ groups everything based purely on the subject line

No, they do not, they use other headers such as Message-Id, References,
In-Reply-To and Original-Message-ID. Please stop making assertions based
on your incorrect understanding of how email works.

But with discourse instead the grouping is done based on that special
number This allows for messages to appear within catagories on the
web front end Essentially it’s a mailing list / forum hybrid trying
to achieve functionality of both at the same time

Other mail forum gateways work just fine by using the RFC-defined fields
that are used by email software for threading. Discourse does not.

The general gist is you can subscribe to just parts of the list
without recieving everything So if I just want to recieve emails or
notifications within the web browser for anything within the
"Hack-the-Space" catagory but ignore everything else then that’s
possible vs getting everything into the mail client and filtering it
there instead (which from my personal point of view would suck)

I turned on mailing list mode in Discourse because I wanted it to
behave like a mailing list and send me everything because I use that to
keep track of what’s going in at Hacman. That’s the way mailing lists
work and is why MUAs often provide a “mute” function to ignore threads
you aren’t interested in. What you see or don’t via the web interface is
irrelevant to people subscribing via email as they don’t use the web
interface. If you prefer the web interface, fine. But that shouldn’t
force people who want a mailing list interface to accept something
that’s broken because the Discourse authors think they know better than
everyone else about how email should work.

Personally I think it’s better to try and solve a problem then simply
give up and say end of discussion, that seems a little dismissive

And telling people that their perfectly correct MUAs needed hacking
around with to compensate for Discourse’s brokenness wasn’t dismissive?

Alan Burlison


#11

So does Google Groups.

Erm, let me see… No! (See attached.) But if it did it would be incorrect too.

Simon


#12

Personally I think it’s better to try and solve a problem then simply
give up and say end of discussion, that seems a little dismissive

With respect to mailing lists it’s already a solved problem. Web forum type stuff is still up in the air. We’re trying to do both, bu it’s apparent that the Discourse philosophy eschews mail as a communication medium to the extent that it intentionally violates its rules, so I have no confidence that it will be fixed properly in Discourse without a concerted external effort.

Simon


#13

I did find a similar conversation here, with a possible plugin to get
around it
Although it would likely need to be tested etc

"https://meta.discourse.org/t/allow-reply-to-individual-instead-of-topic-forum-mailing-list-feature/44905/27"
https://github.com/tareko/discourse-replyto-individual

Something to bear in mind is that a conventional mailing list filters
/ groups everything based purely on the subject line
But with discourse instead the grouping is done based on that special
number

That special number can be and is already in other headers, there is no need to put it in the Reply-To header.

This allows for messages to appear within catagories on the web front
end

When we changed the subject it appeared in the same “topic” in the forum, and no subject change in email.

Essentially it’s a mailing list / forum hybrid trying to achieve
functionality of both at the same time

By removing all of the already working and mature email functionality to do similar, and not taking advantage of said functionality to achieve the features in the forum interface. I’m sorry if I’m missing something here.

The general gist is you can subscribe to just parts of the list
without recieving everything

You can do that with topics in Mailman.

Simon


#14

So this is what I’ve received in that email:

  1. Some kind of markup crap in a plain-text email.

So does Google Groups.

Erm, let me see… No! (See attached.) But if it did it would be incorrect too.

Simon

  1. A HTML-encoded link that’s impossible to follow instead of an actual
    attachment.

So we can add completely broken plaintext email support to the long list
of defects in Discourse.

It’s clear that the mailing list support in Discourse is just
half-hearted attempt that’s been done purely so they can tick the ‘i haz
mailing list’ box. The Discourse agenda is “We know forum interfaces are
better for you, you will use them”:

Discourse is a from-scratch reboot, an attempt to reimagine what a
modern Internet discussion platform should be today, in a world of
ubiquitous smartphones, tablets, Facebook, and Twitter.

We’re civilized.

I’m so tempted to invoke Godwin’s Law at this point, but I’ll resist…

Alan Burlison


#15

Erm, let me see… No! (See attached.) But if it did it would be incorrect too.

The ‘From’ header in Hacman’s GG is correct, the ‘Reply-To’ is not.

Alan Burlison


#16

So now I come and visit the web interface and I find that the post I sent via email trying to explain the brokenness with plain text email has been so completely screwed up by Discourse that it bears almost no relation to what I actually sent and completely fails to show what the problem is. Here is what I actually sent via email:

On 18/09/2016 13:01, Simon Ward wrote:

So this is what I've received in that email:

>> [quote="sward, post:4, topic:2069"]
>> That's not fine, it contains the list address and not that of the
>> author.
>> [/quote]

1. Some kind of markup crap in a plain-text email.

>> So does Google Groups.
>
> Erm, let me see... No! (See attached.) But if it did it would be incorrect too.
>
> Simon
>
> <img src='/uploads/default/original/1X/396bdc3a8a5c2b8ca69bd76ec43fc5a5950acb5f.png' width='514' height='500'>

2. A HTML-encoded link that's impossible to follow instead of an actual attachment.

So we can add completely broken plaintext email support to the long list of defects in Discourse.

It's clear that the mailing list support in Discourse is just half-hearted attempt that's been done purely so they can tick the 'i haz mailing list' box. The Discourse agenda is "We know forum interfaces are better for you, you will use them":

----------
Discourse is a from-scratch reboot, an attempt to reimagine what a modern Internet discussion platform should be today, in a world of ubiquitous smartphones, tablets, Facebook, and Twitter.

We’re civilized.
----------

I'm *so* tempted to invoke Godwin's Law at this point, but I'll resist...

#17

This is where proper threading and sensible quoting comes into play, for I responded to a message that said this:


#18

Oh FFS, when I entered that in the web UI it didn’t even render remotely correctly in the preview - what it showed me and what appears in the final web post look completely different.


#19

And because there’s no proper threading in the Discourse web UI, the last message I sent is out of context and makes no sense. Brilliant.


#20

you should have hit the reply button. That would do it :slight_smile: