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From Thomas Wouters <>
Subject Re: Trimming
Date Sun, 29 Oct 2000 21:46:53 GMT
On Sun, Oct 29, 2000 at 04:21:40PM -0500, Bishop wrote:

[ Bishop explains why he doesn't trim messages, and doesn't want them
  trimmed ]

> People who regularly correspond with me will have, at least once in our
> relationship, trimmed a mail message when replying.  These people usually
> get a quick reply and request to re-send the message they intended to send,
> including the full text (minus redundant signatures if desired) of the
> reply chain.  I simply do not have enough time to grovel through the trash
> to find that one message that gives me a clue about what we were discussing
> That time.

Actually, the point of trimming is that you trim out everything *except* the
part that you are commenting on. The best trick is managing to keep it
small, but not taking it out of context. Adding explanations like I did
above (just for illustration, this instance didn't really call out for it)
works pretty well, at least in my eyes. It takes a bit more time, but it
also makes you think about what you are actually trying to say. (So, the
elaborate contexting is only for elaborate answers -- if you simply want to
say 'yes' or 'no', you can do with a simple 'yes' or 'no' ;)

As for attaching a complete mail archive (in the form of quoted mails,) I
don't really think that works, but that's just me. I'm also in the business
of getting around 2k mail a day, most of them only requiring a quick scan
before I delete them. But excessively-quoting mails only hinder me at doing
that, especially when the actual new content is above the quoted text. Then
I need to scroll down, find the passages that are relevant, scroll back up
again, and read the reply. I guess the trick is finding a balance that
annoys everyone roughly the same ammount ;-)

(The context-elaboration, by the way, I picked up from Tim Peters of Python
fame. Extremely useful if you have a tendency of dropping into threads in
the middle, as I tend to do on comp.lang.python ;)

Thomas Wouters <>

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