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[Xmca-l] Re: Email Format Conventions

On 17 August 2014 19:20, David H Kirshner <dkirsh@lsu.edu> wrote:

> David,
> Thanks for your insightful post.
> In scrolling down below your message, to recover the context, I was
> faced--as all of us so often are--with the garbling effect that comes from
> use of the ">" program that separates out the various generations of
> response by inserting a new level of ">" for each new message.
> That formatting option may serve a valuable function in case two or more
> authors are replying to each other with comments embedded in the prior
> text. But that kind of communicative format is not used very frequently,
> and even when it is, the line-break function of the program tends to
> fragment sentences to the point of incoherence (see below).

Hi David,

Actually embedded replies are used frequently and productively in many
technical arenas!

> I suspect this format continues to be in popular use because people who
> use it feel a sense of comfort with the tradition of usage that trumps
> functionality concerns, or perhaps they just don't know how to change
> formats.
> Are there other reasons?

The email software conventions programmed into email clients (applications)
indent the content of email that is replied to.  Overriding this by not
indenting old text would be unusual.

Text formats etc are usually filterable by the mail server.  Additionally
the mail server can also perform simple functions such as cutting all text
below a specially marked piece of text (e.g:
http://www.redmine.org/issues/4409) to help prevent very long trailing