- Alice mails a support question to Fogbugz, Bob, Carol and Dick. Case #500 is created. Alice gets an email that case #500 is created.
- Not having a FogBugz account, Bob does a Reply-All to Alice, Fogbugz, Carol, and Dick. Case #501 is created. Bob gets an email that case #501 is created and is confused.
- Dick has a FogBugz account, but he wants to reply to Bob about scheduling a shipment to Alice and he doesn't think its being tracked by FogBugz because he sees no case number, so he also makes a Reply-All to Bob, Alice, Fogbugz, and Carol. Case #502 is created. Dick gets an email that case #502 is created and shrugs it off.
- Carol should know better, but does a Reply-All to Dick, Bob, Alice, and Fogbugz anyway. Case #503 is created. Carol gets an email that case #503 is created and then smacks her forehead.
- Ellen is a programmer with a FogBugz account and gets emails each time new cases appear from the Internet. She gets case #500, adjusts the details, and sets a date for the bugfix. She then marks cases #501, #502, and #503 as duplicates. She would like to email Bob, Carol, and Dick to remind them not to cc the FogBugz account on Reply-Alls, but the problem really lies with Alice, who started the mess. But Alice is a customer who could have never forseen the train of events she was about to kick off because all email addresses are supposed to be equal. And Bob, Carol, and Dick are pretty busy themselves and don't have time to pick through and verify every member of a distribution list.
Solution: Ellen thinks that FogBugz should start storing the Message-ID: from the header of email that creates a new case. Should a new email come in that has no case number in the Subject: line but does have a References: line that contains a Message-ID from an existing case, FogBugz should attach this email to the existing case instead of creating a new one. Just to be safe, should more than one case match in the References: line (vanishingly rare), a new case could be created (although Ellen thinks it would also be acceptable to match the first mentioned Message-ID in the References header line).
Note: This situation happens several times a week here because of how support used to work with a shared mailbox (cc's were encouraged). It is a pretty annoying workflow disruption.