This messaging system allows you to read threaded messages. A thread is a series of messages on
a related topic. It consists of an initial article and its replies, any and all of which may themselves
have replies. You have the option of reading messages by these threads, allowing you to follow the logical
flow of the articles. You may also read chronologically, seeing messages sequentially in the order in which
they were posted.
Viewing the message index
When you begin, you will be presented with the Message Index, listing the Authors, Dates, and Subjects, sorted
Click on threads to sort by threads.
If there are a lot of message which you haven't read yet, you'll probably want to read by threads.
mostly caught up with the messages, sorting by date allows you to easily see which messages are new.
You may view just the messages which have been posted within a specified number of days. For example, to
see all messages which have posted since you were last here two and a half days ago, enter 2.5 and click on the
days button. You may also sort by author's name. This is useful for finding all of the articles which
you have written. If your browser accepts cookies, your sorting preference will be saved, and the next time you
view the message index, it will be sorted the same way it was the last time you viewed it. (The message system is
otherwise fully functional without cookies.)
Each article's subject is shown.
Articles sorted by threads are indented to indicate which messages are followups to
which other ones. All messages which are replies to the same article will be indented to the same level.
You may click on any Subject to see that specific article. It is recommended that you start with a "base"
message so that you may read it and all of its replies in order. Note that messages in the same thread do
not necessarily have the same Subject. Also, just giving a new message the same Subject as an existing
thread will not add the message to the thread -- to do that, you must click on the Followup link.
Navigating the messages
When viewing a message, you have many options. Depending on where the message is in its thread and
among other threads, you may have options to view the message which this is a followup to, the first, previous
and next message in this thread, the previous and next thread, and the previous and next message by date.
The "threaded" reading recommendation is always shown larger than the other options. This will be "Next message
in this thread" if there is one, or "Next thread".
Posting a followup
To post a followup to a message, click on the Followup link, then fill in the form.
Entering an email address
If you enter your email address, it will not be displayed in your message. People will be able
to send an email reply to you only through our system, and we will not reveal your email address to them.
We will not put you on any mailing list or distribute your email address to anyone. Enter your email address
only if you want people to have the option of replying to you by email. Since no one will have direct access
to it, you can safely use your real email address. Do not use "munged" email addresses such as
"aoluserREMOVETHIS at aol dot com" because no humans will ever see it and be able to interpret it,
so replies to your message will not be possible.
Deleting the irrelevant portions of the original message
When composing a followup, the entire text of the original article will appear quoted in the composition area.
It is recommended that you only leave any relevant portions and delete the rest.
Most html is excluded
Messages may not contain html in general. For example, If you type
<FONT COLOR="red">, that exact text will appear in the
message, rather than the effect which was probably desired.
URLs within the text of your message will automatically be made into active links. Do not enter
something like <A HREF="http://www.nanday.com/">Go here!</A>
as this will not work as expected. Instead, just enter
http://www.nanday.com/ and the program will take care of turning it into a link. Enter the full URL
including the http:// part. If you just enter something like
www.nanday.com/ it will not be converted into a link.
You may also use code in the format mailto://email@example.com if you want to include a
mailto: link. This is not standard html, but will be converted to a link in the correct form.
Note that this displays the given email address. If you want to keep the email address private but still
have the ability to receive email replies to your message, you should instead use the Email field
at the top of the form.
Exceptions to excluded html
There are a few bits of formatting html which are allowed in your messages:
<B> </B> <I> </I> <U> </U>
When composing a new or followup article, you may check the spelling by clicking on the Spell Check button.
The text of your message appears, and any words which are not found in our dictionary are listed.
A misspelled word is listed in a dropdown menu, marked with the following symbol: ×. The dropdown menu contains
suggested replacements for the misspelled word, with the most likely suggestions first. Select a replacement, and
repeat with any other misspellings. If no acceptable replacements
are found, there's no dropdown menu, but the misspelled word is displayed in red. If a correctly spelled word is
erroneously marked as misspelled, you should, of course, keep your original word. If you think the word should be
added to our dictionary, please use the link provided to notify us.
If the replacement word you need is not in the dropdown menu, you may keep
your original word or select the closest replacement, then edit it later.
When done with spell check, click Continue
to return to your original form, and any corrections you have selected will be applied. You may then edit the message
further, or submit it to be posted.
Everybody has full access to read and post messages. No registration is required, but there is an optional registration.
Registered users gain the following benefits:
Register, login, or edit your account information by clicking on the appropriate links on a message page.
If you are logging in from a public or shared terminal such as a library or cybercafe, you should select the Public
terminal login option, and your session will time out after a short time of inactivity. You should still logout when you are done,
to prevent anyone else from using your account.
If you are logging in from your own private computer, you may choose the Private terminal login option. Your session
will remain active even after a long period of inactivity. Cookies are required to login to the message system.
You may read and post messages without cookies, but you cannot login. (Note that, although Message and Galleries use the
same user name and password, cookies are not required to login to the gallery system.)
- You may choose to have your name and/or email address entered automatically whenever you compose
a message. (You may change or delete them for each individual message.)
- Your name may optionally be reserved, and no one else can write messages using the same name. Note that
you must be logged in to use your name if you've reserved it.
- You will be able to edit your messages after you have posted them. You can edit your posts no matter what name you
used when you composed them (your reserved message name, a different name, or no name at all) as long as you were
logged in when you posted. It's best not to use the editing feature very often. If you edit an article, people who have
already read it as originally posted will most likely not see your edited version. It's generally better to post a
followup message instead.
- In the message index, you can choose to list just those messages which have been posted after the newest message
you've read while logged in. This does not keep a list of all of the messages which you have read -- it only
remembers the single newest message you've read. So if you read out of chronological order, this will not show any
messages which you've skipped.
All articles are subject to editing and/or deletion. Any articles which are off-topic or offensive or
abusive or commercial (unless relevant) are subject to deletion. If you see such a message, please do not
post a followup to it. Instead, please use the Contact link at the bottom of the page to write to us, and
we will investigate the offending article.
Responding by email
If the author of an article has provided an email address, you may reply to their message by email.
You will know when this option is available to you because
the author's name will be displayed as an active link rather than as black text. You may click on the name to begin
composing an email to the author. In order to protect the privacy of the author, you will not see the
email address of the recipient. The text of the original message will appear quoted in the composition area. It is
recommended that you only leave any relevant portions and delete the rest.
Most pages in the messaging system have a link block at the bottom, with options to begin a new message thread,
return to the Message Index, go to this site's
Home Page, or go to a Contact page where you can write directly to the people who run this site.