Carl Youngblood wrote:
> One of the most innovative things that Gmail does is organize your 
> emails into conversations.  Rather than having 10 rows in your inbox for 
> a message, there is only one, and the messages are all shown in the same 
> view, one after another, with only the relevant (non-quoted) parts 
> shown.  You can expand the quoted portions if you want, but by default 
> they're off, so it is really good at cutting to the chase and showing 
> you only what you need to see in as compact a form as possible.

gmail's conversation approach _is_ different. But the idea of collapsing 
threads isn't - many high-quality MUAs do this or can be configured to 
do it, e.g. mutt.

> The conversation system is not the same as a threaded view, by the way.  
> In the threaded view, you still have to wade through tons of 
> unwanted/previously-seen material before you get to what you want.  

Yes, if you don't collapse the threads.

> Thunderbird could really do well if they added something like this.  

I have no idea if you can have threads collapsed by default in 
thunderbird's email views - but it is the default in news views so it 
shouldn't be hard.


I like a lot of things about gmail. For one, I like that it is actually 
_usable_ which imho no other webmail is. I use it as a place to send 
stuff that I don't want to be deluged with, and a place to forward/send 
stuff that I need to get to from anywhere without configuring an imap 
server or installing putty or something.

I've tried the email list thing on gmail. At first it seemed good, but I 
soon realized it had some massive failings, for me. I don't mind not 
having threads in the initial view, but in the 'conversation view', I 
sorely miss threading. Reading a thread linearly doesn't cut it unless 
it's a linear thread. Some people apparently don't need to read a thread 
in logical order and are content to jump around in the thread in 
chronological or even no specific order. I get frustrated doing that - I 
need the context. Maybe it's because I have a deficient ability to 
maintain state in my head, or maybe I'm too impatient to want to figure 
out where I am in the thread now with other clues (e.g. quotations which 
I summarily ignore as much as possible).

So in other words, gmail is cool but it's not going to replace a 
threaded reader for list traffic anytime soon, in my world.