- Problem: Replying to one of the messages in a digest is difficult.
- You need to copy the subject and the text you want to reply to.
- Your answer will not appear correctly threaded in the mailing list archives, because threading relies on the correct message ID being provided via the In-Reply-To header.
- Non-solution – don’t use digests: To avoid digests, you could automatically file messages from a mailing list to a common folder (by filtering who sends them). Alas, many mobile devices do not support that kind of filtering and make it difficult to access folders other than the inbox.
- Solution: one mailto link embedded next to each message in the digest.
- Clicking that link opens a new message in your email client, with Subject, To, and In-Reply-To already filled in.
- Supporting In-Reply-To: Most email clients don’t support the In-Reply-To header in mailto links, they simply ignore it [if you are aware of any that do support it, let me know]. The work-around is to additionally put the ID of the message one replies to in the body of the message. Then you can manually add an In-Reply-To header and fill in the correct value.
Demo of a a message plus a mailto link (clicking on the link should open a new message in your default email client):
From: John Doe <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: May 17, 2011 4:20:08 GMT+02:00 Subject: I have a question [Reply] Why is there something and not nothing?
- RFC 2368 - The mailto URL scheme
- Generate emails with mailto URLs and Python [includes a quick intro to the syntax of mailto links]
- Enabling In-Reply-To headers in Mozilla apps: How to Add an Arbitrary Custom Header to Email in Mozilla Thunderbird, Mozilla SeaMonkey or Netscape