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From Ben Laurie <>
Subject Re: Trimming
Date Mon, 30 Oct 2000 09:52:48 GMT
Bishop wrote:
> Ben;
> I'd like to offer another view of the problem.
> I receive a staggering amount of email on a daily basis, and as someone who
> I'm sure works very long hours himself you can certainly understand what
> happens to the mind after so many hours uptime for so long.
> 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.
> Additionally, in my work life I'm often handed off an issue that has been
> in the works for more than a few days, either because the person in charge
> is now sick/vacationing, or because the subject of the discussion is one in
> which my meagre talents make me one of the people who now should be
> involved at that point.  The inclusion of the complete reply chain has
> saved days of repeated work, as correspondents in different time zones are
> not requested to repeat certain tests whose results showed up in a letter
> far earlier but are not the active discussion item.  It also helps even in
> the little points, like knowing "Jim's" email address because it's actually
> included in a letter a week ago that's in the chain.  In  such a case and
> probably for reasons like this, all mail that goes through the office often
> has the full reply chain for the incident being discussed.
> It's not due to negligence, but more by design, and it usually only comes
> out when the mail crosses more than 8 hours of longitude, the amount of
> mail being received is very high, there's more than 2 people involved in
> the conversation or people can possibly be brought into the discussion
> somewhere later on.  Personally, when I start seeing something interesting
> on the list, I LIKE the reply chain so I know the context of what's being
> said.  The interspersal (if you will) of comments inline is a bit tricky to
> follow, but it's all worth it.
> Then again, my own patterns of behaviour and those in my office are borne
> of repeated exposure to the types of mail traffic I've described.
> Surprisingly enough, maybe you haven't run into those yet, or haven't had
> an opportunity to see the different in such an environment.  Perhaps you
> have a much better memory that I or my co-workers have (caffeine kills
> brain cells).  After the first week of >900 new significant mail a day,
> give it a try;  that's about when I began requesting it of my
> correspondents a few years back.

I've been under that kind of mail load for years. Believe me, I know the
problem you describe intimately, so I won't argue with this, because I
agree. My objection was to things like a reply of "I agree" to a 1,000
line mail, 99% of which was a list of filenames, leaving them all in,
or, as I've seen before, 75% of a mail being multiply indented

That is, one should trim to sufficient context to make it clear what one
is talking about.




"There is no limit to what a man can do or how far he can go if he
doesn't mind who gets the credit."

Robert Woodruff

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