*:48 Elektronic mail Exam 11 October 1996 with correct answers

You can submit your exam in Swedish or English, but if you want the exam questions in English, you must say this at least one week in advance.

Allowed books during the exam: Ordinary language dictionaries.

Read the question carefully and check that your answer is a reply to the question. In one exam, one question was "Describe important properties with non-simultaneous computer conferencing systems, which make them different from electronic mail systems". One student wrote a length reply describing the differences between non-simultaneous computer conferencing and face-to-face meetings. Such a reply gives a score of zero!

1.Which are the problems with using e-mail for making decisions, and what can be done to alleviate these problems? 8

Correct reply

Examples of problems are difficulty to reach consensus (probably because of lack of body language and voice inflection, which are needed to communicate feelkings) too much or too little discussion on various issues (the wrong issues discussed), getting stuck in an improductive positional war, difficulty to clarify what has been agreed on, not satisfcatory security.

Examples of ways to alleviate these problems: Moderated lists, an active moderator who governs the discussion by saying when an item need not be discussed any more, by writing summaries, etc. Functions to formalise the collection of opinion, voting and agreements (this is often called "work flow management", Swedish "arbetsflödessystem"), combining with face-to-face meetings, increased security by the use of encryption, electronic seals and signatures.

(Only about half of what is mentioned above was necessary to get full score on this question.)

2.How can the problem be solved that too much is written in electronic discussion groups (mailing lists, newsgroups, etc.) and that the quality of what is written is not always so good? 6

Correct reply

Automatic or manual filtering of messages, based on content, author or thread, closed groups, moderaded groups, splitting of a large group into subgrops on different subtopics, tools for selecting, rating or digesting what is written, answering questions personally to the author of the question, who then summarises the replies to the group, specification of etchical rules for the users.

3.In which ways can a user of Internet e-mail control the generation of Delivery Status Notifications? 8

Correct reply

Request for Delivery Status Notification at success, request for Delivery Status Notification at failure (default if no request is given), request to get or supress delay notifications (all these requests can be given separately for each recipient) and request to get the full text, only headers, or no part of the message returned with the DSN.

(Italic text above was not required for full score on this question.)

4.The Message-ID field is mandatory in Usenet News, but not mandatory in e-mail. Why? 4

Correct reply

Distribution of articles in Usenet News is based on neighbouring servers getting lists of new items from their neighbours, and then requestion those new items they have not already got. In order to know what a server already has got, and what it wants, Message-ID­s are used. Without them, loops and duplicates of the same message will easily occur. Message-ID is also used in the Cancel command and to keep threads togehter.

(Italic text above was not required for full score on this question.)