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Think before you click 'send'

Yesterday, someone accidentally sent a private message to an internal mailing list, using Microsoft Outlook. Realising what she had done, she sighs and hits the "Recall" button. This causes another message to be sent, which states:

content-class: urn:content-classes:recallmessage
Subject: Recall: <the subject>

The sender would like to recall the message, "<the subject>".

The message contains no In-Reply-To or References headers.

How does Microsoft expect email to work? Of course, to them, it's only supposed to work between Outlook/Outlook Express/Hotmail clients and \Exchange. And reportedly, recalling messages with the above "technique" works in pure-Microsoft email infrastructures (but none of the other readers of said internal mailing list use Microsoft). I do still wonder how the exchange server (or the Outlook client) match the recall request with the message to be recalled? Is it always the latest with a given subject sent by the person initiating the recall?

So I have definitely learnt my lesson when it comes to thinking twice before you send (c.f. some of my messages in the Debian list archives), and I have learnt it the direct way.

Because Microsoft seems to foster the naïvite of its users with "technologies" like the aforementioned recall procedure, those poor users have to learn the indirect way, as the unfortunate sender of the private message had to when everyone had read the message and she still couldn't believe it:

"But I immediately recalled it; you cannot have read it."

Thanks, once again, Microsoft. If you were to make cars with built-in obstacle avoidance, you'd encourage your users never to use the brake on public streets because "there are no other cars, so nothing can happen."

PS: This semi-negative rant about Microsoft is explicitly not dedicated to helix. My last post should have been, but it was too late so I forgot. I'll do it on the next one.

NP: Mice Parade, Bem-Vinda Vontade