OL2013: Goofy sorting order for e-mails within a conversation


V

VanguardLH

Outlook 2013 x64
Windows 7 Home Premium x64

For some folders (not all), I wanted to use the Conversations view. I
also want messages to be sorted in ascending order (oldest to newest) so
I could see the posts in the order they were received and read them in
the order they were received or sent. I'm enabled the Classic Indented
view since I want some assemblance albeit poor showing the hierarchy of
the e-mails (like you see in a newsreader).

What I see for a conversation is something like:

<subject> @ 9/2/2014 1:01 AM
<sender> @ 8/31/2014 7:38 PM #1 __
<sender> @ 9/1/2014 7:56 PM | __ #3 __
<me> @ 9/2/2014 1:01 AM | | |__ #4
<me> @ 8/31/2014 8:01 PM |__ #2 __|

The entire conversation is sorted descending relative to other
conversations but messages within a conversation are not in descending
order. I expected the following order:

<subject> @ 9/2/2014 1:01 AM
<sender> @ 8/31/2014 7:38 PM #1 __
<me> @ 8/31/2014 8:01 PM |__ #2 __
<sender> @ 9/1/2014 7:56 PM |__ #3 __
<me> @ 9/2/2014 1:01 AM |__ #4

No one else is yet involved in this conversation so the identing should
be sequential; i.e., each reply should be at another indented level. I
have other conversation where I responded twice to the sender without a
subsequent reply from the sender and the ordering is still wrong: my 2nd
reply to the sender at a later time is listed before my earlier reply to
the same e-mail by the sender.

If I disable the Classic Indenting view option, yes, then the e-mail are
sorted correctly; however, the threading gets flattened. This is
similar to how you can have threading in a newsreader but a discussion
is flattened when looking at Microsoft's Answers forums (or any forum,
for that matter). You can't tell you said what to whom because it's all
flat. Without Classic Indenting, the conversation is shown like the
expected sample above, or as:

<subject> @ 9/2/2014 1:01 AM
<sender> @ 8/31/2014 7:38 PM #1 __
<me> @ 8/31/2014 8:01 PM |__ #2 __
<sender> @ 9/1/2014 7:56 PM |__ #3 __
<me> @ 9/2/2014 1:01 AM |__ #4

If someone replies to other than the last e-mail they received, you
can't tell which is the parent post when the conversation is flattened.
The sort order is only applied in arranging the conversations relative
to each other but is not effected on the messages within a conversation.

How do I get messages within a conversation to get sorted in the order
received with a threading view that will show me who replied to whom in
chronological order? How would I edit the current view (Hide Messages
Marked for Deletion) to clone it to a new view so that I'd have the
conversations grouping with messages within a conversation shown in the
order they were received or sent along with the indentation to visually
aid in seeing the hiearchy of which are the parent messages (i.e., to
see the threading)?

Another coincidental query is can I save the modified view into a new
view name to keep from modifying the original view (i.e., I want to edit
a current view but save it to a new view)? Or am I stuck creating a new
view and try to make it similar to the current view and then modify the
new view to get conversational threading and indentation to sort
correctly?

In addition, I don't want conversations grouped by week or month. I
don't want to see a group of conversation for "3 weeks ago", another
group of conversations for "1 week ago", and yet another group of
conversations for "today". I don't want them grouped by date boundaries
but I do want the messages as conversations. Is the date grouping due
to selecting the Conversations view? Does that mean I have to modify
the view rather than click on some ribbon item?

Sorting doesn't work for the messages within a conversation if the
Classic View mode is enabled. Messages are sorted correctly when NOT
using the Classic View mode but that view is flattened which means no
easy way to determine who said what to whom if something replies to an
earlier message.

After Microsoft removed the vertical gridlines showing the threading of
messages in a conversation, the only remaining visible cue is
indentation. Yet Microsoft seems that have phucked up sorting of
messages *within* a conversation when Classic Indent view is used. Take
away and screw up what's left.
 
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V

VanguardLH

Now for another screw up in layout with Classic Indent view: save sent
messages in the Sent Items group instead of in the same folder for the
parent post to which you replied.

I want replies to go into the same folder as the parent message to which
I replied. That way the received and sent messages for the messages
organized by folder are kept together. In fact, I'd like Outlook to
also save *new* messages in the folder that had focus. So not only
would replies be saved with their parent message (i.e., the message to
which I'm replying) but even the starter message would be saved in the
folder to which that message was germane. Alas, that option isn't
available so I have to be satisfied with replies to going the same
folder as the parent message to which I replied.

With the option "When replying to a message that is not in the Inbox,
save the reply in the same folder" enabled, I got the threading order of
messages within a conversation as mentioned in my prior post. I decided
to test what would happen if my replies were in the Sent Items folder
(as though this option were disabled) and enable "Show Messages from
Other Folders". Here's the ordering that I got:

<subject> @ 9/2/2014 1:01 AM
<sender> @ 8/31/2014 7:38 PM #1 __
<me> @ 8/31/2014 8:01 PM |__ #2 __
<sender> @ 9/1/2014 7:56 PM |__ #3 __
<me> @ 9/2/2014 1:01 AM |__ #4

So the indentation is closer to what it should be but not all correct.
The first message is from the sender (#1). I reply (#2) to his message
(#1). The sender replies (#3) to my reply (#2) to his message (#1). I
reply (#4) to the sender's reply (#3) to my reply (#2) to his original
message (#1). My replies are showing indented in the conversation but
his replies to mine are not indented. It should've been:

<subject> @ 9/2/2014 1:01 AM
<sender> @ 8/31/2014 7:38 PM #1 __
<me> @ 8/31/2014 8:01 PM |__ #2 __
<sender> @ 9/1/2014 7:56 PM |__ #3 __
<me> @ 9/2/2014 1:01 AM |__ #4

The *order* of messages within a conversation is now correct when my
replies are in (were moved to) the Sent Items folder and "Show Message
in Other Folders" was enabled; however, indentation is still a bit off.
His replies to mine are not indented.

I really don't want my replies in the Sent Items folder. When whatever
the cause for the conversation is over then I want to delete all
messages in a conversation (both received and sent). These
conversations are for auctions at Craigslist or eBay and once the
transaction is complete and some time has elapsed then I don't want
those conversations anymore, and that means also my replies. Many of
the items are free and I don't care what happens with the item after the
other person picks it up. It was free. There are no guarantees.
Rather than trash it, someone else could have it. I'm done with that
transaction and no longer want its messages in my message store.


Aside:

By the way, is Conversations view using the Subject header to group
messages or is it using the References header in the e-mails to thread
them together? Or is it using something else that it generates when
receiving a message and then when replying to that message to link
together a chain of messages? That scheme would only permit chaining of
2 posts: the one received and the one sent in a reply. A subsequent
message from the sender wouldn't have that "link" for chaining to your
reply.

When I was using Thunderbird, someone that replied whose e-mail client
omitted the References header would break the chaining in Thunderbird.
Their reply would appear as a whole new thread. The Android apps (the
included one or the Outlook app for Android) don't add the References
header and those users get complaints when they participate in a mailing
list but end up breaking the chains for threads.

Using the Subject header for grouping messages would be stupid as it
would mix together posts for different threads if those posts had the
same Subject header, and sometimes users use very simple, terse, and
common Subject lines. You'd get a bunch of "Hello" posts mixed together
in the same thread. The client must use the References header to chain
the posts into a proper hierachy (unless it uses its own chaining scheme
to effect the same use as the References header). That's how
newsreaders chain together the posts within a thread to present them in
the proper hierarchy regarding indentation.

It's getting to look like Microsoft does not (and perhaps never did)
have a proper hierarchical representation of chaining of messages within
a thread when using their [classic] indentation view. They seem to have
figured it out in Outlook Express and Windows Live Mail for newsgroup
posts but can't figure out how to do the same for e-mails in Outlook.
 

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