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Re: “Get rid of digests”

From: J.B. Nicholson
Subject: Re: “Get rid of digests”
Date: Sat, 2 Nov 2019 11:09:23 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.7.2

Dmitry Alexandrov wrote:
Is there something wrong with them per se?  Except, that most of the
people have no clue how to use them properly, I mean.

I find that most MUAs don't handle digests well and this creates needless thread breaking. I don't blame the software mishandling on the user. Digests also lead to followup posts with excessive quoted material from people who don't edit out the superfluous text. That I do blame on the user, as they could take time to edit that out, but I also blame on digests because the digesting (by its nature) gives users so much more text to work with.

I don't believe digests have been in high demand for the past decade or so (based on what I have seen of the mailing lists I've administered). These days people seem to have no problem getting email accounts with high quotas. Storage seems to only get cheaper per volume with time. So I don't find storage-related arguments to be convincing. Paying for bandwidth to the endpoint also strikes me as a poor argument; people don't seem to object to using webmail or mail client protocols which do a good job of letting people download the specific set of emails they want to read (IMAP, for example, and I think JMAP looks like it will continue in this way).

Taken as a whole, I'm convinced that whatever benefit came from mailing list digests has passed and thus support for digested mailing is not worth taking on the complexity of "proper" (as you say) implementation or use.

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