[messaging] UI problems with forced total ordering [was: Re: Minimal requirements for group chat]

Joseph Bonneau jbonneau at gmail.com
Thu Apr 17 14:24:08 PDT 2014

On Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 5:03 PM, Daniel Kahn Gillmor
<dkg at fifthhorseman.net>wrote:

> On 04/17/2014 04:25 PM, Joseph Bonneau wrote:
> > There appears to be a tension between UI from protocol complexity here.
> We
> > can imagine designing a simple protocol that requires a baroque UI with
> > messages threading and rejoining, or a very complicated protocol that
> > allows a simple UI (linearized messages).
> >
> > Personally I'd lean towards the latter approach.
> I have an ill-formed worry about serious UI problems with the latter
> (enforced linearized) approach.

I think it's a very reasonable worry and I agree that clients will
auto-retry to send messages in practice. Is this much different from how
IRC or email threads work though? Messages are sometimes displayed with
additional messages before them that the sender didn't read and people seem
to be able to cope with it.

If C sees:
A: Anybody want ice cream?

and replies "Definitely" which doesn't get displayed until:

A: Anybody want ice cream?
B: No, but anybody want to kill the president?
C: Definitely!

This kind of things happens sometimes and gets addressed at a human level
without serious problems.
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