Two naive questions

Christopher Faylor
Mon Apr 20 20:09:21 GMT 2020

On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 11:41:32AM -0600, Bill Stewart wrote:
>On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 11:20 AM Stephen Carrier wrote:
>>I think the OP's first question was asking how to effectively join an
>>existing thread when one is browsing the recent archives and not
>>subscribed to the list.
>>Joining the list after seeing a question one would like to answer
>>doesn't help, because the message you would like to respond to has
>>already gone by.
>>I think a good solution would be to get the message number from the web
>>archive and request that a particular message be sent to you.  Then you
>>could respond to that message and join the thread properly.
>>However, there doesn't seem to be a way to do that.  I used to be
>>notified how to retrieve messages I had missed (due to bouncing) but
>>the method did not work.  Furthermore, the mailman faq doesn't mention
>>any way to do this.
>I would say that this is a side-effect of using a mailing list when
>what's really being asked for is a discussion forum.
>A mailing list is convenient for self-subscription and replies, but
>replying to a past message (one that's "already gone by" as stated
>above) is not really possible (that I know of?).  Starting a new
>message to the list with an identical subject to an existing thread
>doesn't reply to the existing thread but rather starts a new thread
>with an identical subject (since the thread ID is different).

With mailman, if you click on a message in the archives and then click
on the email address at the top, your mail client of choice will be
opened with correct "In-Reply-To" set.  If you want to reply to the list
then replace the "To" with the email address of the mailing list.  You
can also download the mailbox-formatted archive, read it with a client
like "mutt" and reply that way.

OTOH, most message boards have a way to freeze old discussions and
discourage resurrecting dead threads.  The archives obviously don't
allow that so you might want to consider if your resurrection of an old
discussion would really be appreciated.  If the discussion is old it's
probably best to start a new thread and maybe include a link to the

But, really, if you want to be part of an active discussion then join
the mailing list.

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