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back to article Google shocks world with unthreaded Gmail

Google has shocked the tech world by letting Gmail users "unthread" their inbox — i.e., turn off the tool that was billed as an email revolution when Gmail launched six years ago, but ended up as an infamous annoyance that undoubtedly hampered uptake of the service among all-important business users. With a Wednesday blog post, …

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Utter BS

I can't see for the life of me why would someone turn threading off. That's the main differentiator in gmail IMO. It's easier to lose emails in a thread in the old (I still use that for work) outlook stile. Never met someone who didn't like threading.

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@Diego

Hi Diego,

Can I be your first? I don't like mandatory conversation/threading. Let's meet!

I don't like having 10 insignificant replies to scroll past to get to the important one I know is there. They're initally collapsed and I can expand them at me leisure you say? I already know what I want, don't make me click once to enter the 'conversation', then again at random to try and expand the relevant portion of it.

If I know that the reply I was looking for with the important details got sent today, I don't want the past week's worth of crap to be shown at the same time when I click to view it.

In my experience, a little education of email users into the delights of Reply, Reply-all, Forward, CC and BCC go a long way to a self-regulating 'conversation' feature.

Love,

An Ex-Threaded Conversation user.

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@diego

It's moronic "developers" who have the same "I love, it therefore you must do too" that trash applications and operating systems alike. Many applications and systems have been ruined by this kind of blinkered (lack of) thinking.

We're not all alike, we don't all have the same requirements and we don't all like to work the way that a random "developer" has arbitrarily decided that we must work.

Computers are tools, they're for our (human) use. We should not be slaves to how they happen to work - they should conform to our needs and requirements and not the other way round. If this requires multiple options or even multiple applications / environments then that's fair enough.

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Just because you like it doesn't mean I do - and vice versa of course, which is why this should *always* have been a *choice*.

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Sometimes good, sometimes bad...

I have few enough conversations via email that I could probably live without this feature, but a lot depends on how the other end of the conversation handles their email management. I don't think I shall switch this off, but if the control were finer-grained, so I could switch off conversation-threading as part of a filter, I can see where I might do that.

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Why would anyone want unthreaded email?

There's only one thing worse - where people send the WHOLE previous email back to you underneath their answer.

No wonder facebook is replacing email.

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FAIL

Infamous annoyance?

"That undoubtedly hampered uptake of the service among all-important business users."

Ah, yes the <whine>but it's not exactly like Outlook</whine> crowd.

I have to use outlook at work, and use gmail everywhere else and I can tell you that unthreaded emails suck royally once you get past the fact that it is not the same as what you are used to.

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Gmail = Awesome!

When it comes to intelligence, I think Google gives most users too much credit. That is why FBook is so popular.... it appeals to the lowest common denominator...STUPIDITY!

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Flame

Oh delicious irony!

Outlook 2010 default email list view: "threaded" !! Not a word of a lie, Google have just allowed you to change to the view MS have just departed from.

Personally I can't see what all fuss is about, threading is a far better method of email viewing than standard and I can't see how all the previous "I can find things faster the old way" excuses fly, sounds like even techies shunning a new system for the familarities of old? Aren't you nay-sayers just like your luser base who don't want to upgrade their Office or Windoze packages?

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Happy

Not sure what your point is here..

If you like threaded view then turn it on - both in Outlook and Gmail.

If you don't - like me, then turn it off. The point is that whilst I can turn it off in Outlook I had not (until now) been able to turn it off in GMail.

The argument is not whether threaded is better/worse than non-threaded, but whether or not you can choose to view mails in the way YOU want to.

Outlook does have a threaded view you know.

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Yes there is

... when they send you the whole 10 week old email trail, and their reponse is "Yes"

;)

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FAIL

worse...

How about emails that consist of nothing but a 150K Microsoft Word document that turn out to be typed entirely in capitals and making no use of a single Word feature to justify the format...

Or the time I received some correspondence relating to a job interview that turned out to be a powerpoint document. It took two days and borrowing a disc from my then current job to get it installed so I could open this document - and it turned out to be nothing more than a "how to find us" location map!! argh!

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Does that mean

that they are going to allow manual threading at some point?

i.e. the ability to add a message to a thread, and to split a thread?

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Re: Does that mean

Yes!

I love threading, it's the only thing that keeps me sane at work. As a kmail user I have a decent amount of options when it comes to how things get threaded, but I usually have to leave it in subject-based mode or people using crappy clients don't insert the relevant headers. This does lead to messages in threads they don't belong to (I believe one of users' biggest complaints about gmail).

I have yet to find any mail client where you can say "remove this message from a thread", or even disband a particular thread.

(On a related note, who else hates "(no subject)"?)

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Paris Hilton

Higher priority features?

I think the higher priority feature would be scheduled delivery, especially as an anti-early-morning delivery feature for email that is going to phones.

Another feature I'd rate higher would be picture removal without IMAP. (It's the attached pictures of Paris Hilton that I want to remove from my email, of course. What a waste of my allocated disk space, eh?)

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Troll

(no subject)

I hate that it's not technically an option here.

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Oxymoron

"email traditionalists" + "Outlook users" = oxymoron

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Headmaster

Yep

>"email traditionalists" + "Outlook users" = oxymoron

Yep. Any sentence with "outlook" and "moron" in it is automatically grammatically correct.

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Happy

THANK F---ING GOD!

I sure as hell hope this rolls down to Android soon, because it's literally impossible to delete just one email w/o deleting the entire rest of the conversation. (or at least I haven't found how in 3 months of searching...)

It's progress, at least, at long last.

I need a "dancing the Snoopy dance for joy, ignoring all my coworkers' bewildered looks" icon, I guess the smiley face will have to do.

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Down arrow next to "Reply"

You can delete individual messages (even middle messages in a conversation) by clicking on the down arrow next to the "Reply" option on the right. Look for the option that says "Delete this message"

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Just don't understand

I have never understood how people can be against threaded messaging...It just makes sense. Just like a real conversation, it is a logical flow. Can somebody please give me a good reason against it?

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Working in a Business Environment

Threaded email is a nightmare.

When you receive a business email you don't immediately respond to the email. You think I'll check this answer before I respond.

So you go away and check the answer. Then you receive more emails, 'CC' emails 'BCC' emails from others saying are you going to answer that email. All the emails are threaded together so end up with a concertina of emails and you left wondering which is the correct email from the correct person to respond to.

The amount of emails that get lost, disappear or just get forgotten because they are folded up with other emails.

Hope this helps. I used to like Googlemail before we went corporate with it. This change will help.

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reply

I need to move or delete messages individually, regardless of the thread they are attached to. I need to be able to deal with entirely separate conversations that may have originated from one group email. I may have BCCed someone in a thread. That BCC contact and subsequent conversation may need to be kept ENTIRELY separate from the primary conversation. I may receive many and varied responses to one group message. These messages need to be immediately visible to me, and dealt with separately if needed.

Essentially, I need to be completely free to organize and conceptualize my correspondence as necessary, and not be tied into one particular vision of email "conversations".

Threading is a fantastic feature, I agree. it is, however, entirely inappropriate for some email users. In fact, it makes the product unusable, even dangerous and irresponsible, for some of us.

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I disagree

I have used Gmail almost since the service started, and I would hate to lose conversation view. I subscribe to a number of mailing lists, so I frequently read deep-threaded conversations. I have never had the problem you speak of. Finding the correct person to respond to is trivial, and if you need ways to find the messages you haven't responded to, there are a number of options.

I could see there are times when switching to non-conversation view might be handy, but I can't say I have ever wished that I could do it.

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"Can somebody please give me a good reason against it?"

Yes, you can lose a reply because its stuffed in amongst the other messages.

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@irish donkey

"When you receive a business email you don't immediately respond to the email"

Perhaps you should consider sending an "I'll look into that and get back to you" email as a courtesy? Blaming your email client for your own inadequacies seems a bit rich but then that is the way we do business these days eh?

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What's the big deal?

Threaded messages could be several thousand back from your current head.

Don't really understand what all this fuss is about - mutt has had the simple key sequences "ot" (sort threaded) and "or" (sort by order of arrival) for decades. With this you do "or", put the cursor on the pertinent message, then "ot" to see it in its thread.

Is this Google monstrosity something you have to configure rather than a runtime toggle? Yuck!

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FAIL

@Goat Jam

Courtesy response?

I guess you don't work for a big corporate then. My Inbox has quite enough pouring into it every hour without also being bombarded with "I'll look into that" messages, thank you very much.

Do the world a favour, don't give the sheep ideas.......

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Grenade

What?

So you're user a threading system that can't arrange by date!?! Without threading you get the same number of emails but instead of being sat together in one big thread they're spread all over your inbox and just as you go to delete 2 pointless BCCs you take out the quote inbetween them too.

Smacks of luddite talk

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Wrong client

If you can't delete a single email from a thread then you either need a new email client, more training on email clients or to be reunited with your carer.

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Anonymous Coward

Surely

The liklihood is greater if the same number of emails are arranged randomly in your inbox and not just under one header?

Is that too much comon sense?

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translation..

I'm too lazy/busy* to read it properly...

*take your pick

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@Joe35

"Yes, you can lose a reply because its stuffed in amongst the other messages."

Have you noticed the little star next to each reply in a thread? I use it to mark important replies making it much easier to find the important ones when you need to go back.

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A solution?

You can mark the message (that star icon) before you go and do the checking.

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Gates Halo

Now add folders

Just think how many more subscribers Google could entice if they simply mimic Outlook.

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Folders

I find the tagging feature pretty much exactly mimics folders.

GJC

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Stop

errr.... labels??

been using Gmail for some time now, one of the first things i did was set up a number of filters to auto label and archive certain types of messages (based on sender, subject etc..). not that difficult really.

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Apple Mail Threading

>> "We would add that with threaded Gmail conversations, it's far to easy to miss an important email as it gets tucked in with countless subsequent messages on the same thread."

I've never used GMail, so I can't compare, but I particularly like how this is handled in the Mac OS X Mail application: When a new message arrives that belongs to an existing thread, the entire thread is bumped up to the top of the list and highlighted in "bold" letters. Consequently, the thread will remain in this state until all new messages inside it have been marked as read.

This calls your attention that there are new messages in that conversation, even if the thread was started a long time ago.

-dZ.

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Make 2 versions

...one for Google Mail users... and one for Luddites

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RE: Apple Mail Threading

Yup, that is how gmail does it too. Love it.

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@DZ-Jay

Yep, that's how gmail does it too.

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Happy

That was Gmails biggest flaw

The ability to turn it on will be handy sometimes, but I suspect I will mostly switch threading off.

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It's About Time

That is all.

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Thank God for that

Now if we can just get M$ to dump that bloody stupid ribbon...

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Anonymous Coward

@Neil23

>> Now if we can just get M$ to dump that bloody stupid ribbon...

Absolutely.

Threading has its place, just as other options for arranging / managing / sorting messages also have their uses.

It's refreshing to see a technology giant recognising that different users have different needs and preferences and that a "one size fits all" approach imposed by software vendors / service providers inevitably alienates some of the user population.

Well done Google!

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Gates Halo

I quite like the ribbon.

It took me a while to get used to it, and it still occasionally trips me up when trying to find a rarely-used feature or option that I know is there, but mostly it works as designed, allowing me to get to the most commonly used features much quicker and more reliably than the old menu system. So, overall, I'd rather keep it, I think. Not that my liking for it is strong enough that I'd complain if it was taken away, mind you, so my support for it is fairly weak.

GJC

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Anonymous Coward

I also know people who like it....I don't

But nobody wants M$ to get rid of it (well perhaps some do) ...just give individuals the option to turn it off and go back to proper menus.

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threading made me switch

Google's threading (*) is what made me switch to Gmail. I hate being without it, or suffering other clients' poor imitations of it.

(*) Well, in fairness, that and the appalling mess that was Thunderbird 3 when it first came out. I don't know if Thunderbird has improved since then. I loved 2.x but I haven't looked back since switching to Chocolate-Factory Email.

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Headmaster

Only part of the story

Opera, probably because it also does NNTP, has had threading for ages. Sensibly you can set it on a per view basis. I find it makes sense for mailing lists but less for personal e-mail. Fortunately, Opera automatically detects mailing lists and lets you filter them away from personal e-mail. Best of all worlds because you should have a choice. And if that makes me sound smug it's because I am. The mail client is probably my main reason for using Opera.

Now, if only they'd fix personal certificates and add PGP support...

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