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Truncating email text on system auto update


HHH
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Some support systems have a "Reply above the line" in emails sent out and any text below the line is automatically truncated from the request update.

Is there a way to get similar functionality in Hornbill to prevent our own email text from being entered into the timeline when a customer replies to an email, thus cluttering the timeline.

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  • 2 years later...

Hi @HHH

There is nothing in the backlog for making a change to this area.  When you say "truncated" are you wanting to completely remove part of the email from a certain point, or just hide the previous email chain at the bottom of the email?  The display of the full email was originally done as a result of customer requests to make sure that the full email was accessible and one didn't have to go into the actual email to view the entire trail.  As mentioned before, the only option is the setting that I originally mentioned which will still add the email entry to the timeline, but not include the contents of the email and the email can be viewed using the View Email option.

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@HHH

There is really no reliable way to make this work.  The diversity of formats found in emails, apart from plain text which is generally easier to deal with, most email now days has an HTML body, and even worse there is no standard format adopted, so email can come in almost in any format.  So trying to intelligently segment the email message to what is meaningful and what is not, is basically an impossible task - at least to get to to work consistently. 
 

Quote

Some support systems have a "Reply above the line" in emails sent out and any text below the line is automatically truncated from the request update.

My understanding of what "Reply Above The Line" typically does, is provides a placeholder somewhere in the middle of the email message where the originator of the message would like you to insert your reply, most email systems that I have seen do not recognise this nor do they truncate the content either, thats left up to the email replier to make a judgement, that is at least what I have seen before.  

So there are two problems, the first is identifying "the line", which could for example appear in HTML like <p><span>the li</span> ne that needs to be recognised</p>, or any one of a billion combinations to achieve the same.  The second problem is then deciding how to truncate that message without breaking the HTML structure.  

The general reply above the line practices that have been adopted by some people and systems appears to be generally considered a very bad idea and for the above reasons I tend to agree.  The problem comes down to the way people use email, they basically *expect* the recipient to do all the work, and that has more to do with email culture than it has to do with technical limitations. 

I am happy to hear alternative views or ideas here, but as I am often wearing the "how to implement" hat I see the problem through that lens. 

Gerry

 

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@James Ainsworth@Gerry
The description provided by Gerry is correct.
In Hornbill's email templates, the placeholder is inserted (if wanted)
*Reply above the line---------------------------------------------Reply above the line*

Then not the email system but Hornbill itself would when raising or updating a request from email only keep the part above the line.
So basically the placeholder is defined by Hornbill and added to the email templates as wanted, that way only one placholder definition would need to be recognized.

When someone emails Service Manager ad-hoc, there would of course not be anything defined but at least we would keep the multiple email threads in reply emails at bay

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On 4/29/2022 at 9:11 PM, James Ainsworth said:

Hi @HHH

When you say "truncated" are you wanting to completely remove part of the email from a certain point, or just hide the previous email chain at the bottom of the email? 
 

Delete everything below the line

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@HHH

I was not aware we even had a such a line in the template, and to be honest I am not sure why we ever would have added this.  The issue here is, even if its our line that we have added to our template, there is absolutely no guarantee that a receiving or even a relaying MTA would not alter the underlying markup, in a way that we would be able to reliably re-detect.   From a pure technical point of view there is no easy way to detect this, at the very least it would be unreliable to try and do so...

"Delete everything below the line"  and thats the other part of the problem, *even if* we detect the line, we cannot blindly just remove all text below the line, because its HTML markup and the structure of the message body would break, causing other problems either for Hornbill or other email systems. This is the problem with trying to do this...

Gerry

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17 hours ago, Gerry said:

@HHH

I was not aware we even had a such a line in the template, and to be honest I am not sure why we ever would have added this.

You don't, which is why we would like it

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@HHH

obviously you can add such a line to any of the email templates you use, but thats not going to address any of the issues I have highlighted above.  Basically, there is way to reliably do what you are asking, to attempt to add such a function would basically lead to a feature that does not work sometimes that would be unsupportable. 

 

Gerry

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@Gerry
I think we are talking past each other here, (the problem with written posts).
I'm not talking about the emails themselves being truncated but about the routing rule engine doing it to the email body when updating the timeline.
Since email body is converted to text before updating the timeline it should be possible to match some kind of pattern in the text and removing anything after that.
Sorry for being unclear

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