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I looked at recent threads and didn't see any addressing this issue, so if I am repeating some old thread, I'm sorry but a reminder is needed.
I have found the PM (private messages) system to be inadequate when trying to look up old messages.
First issue is the system treats each message individually,then separates between sent and received. This makes it very difficult to follow a back and forth conversation, especially if other PMs were sent or received during the same time period. Following an old conversation currently requires checking and comparing dates and times while flipping between two webpages with the list pages being reset every single time.
Potential Solution, connect a PM reply to the PM it was a reply too into a chain which can be viewed like a thread.
Issue 2, looking at a page of PMs, if you select one far down, you then have to scroll up to see it, then be careful to hit the back link and not the browser back button, then hit the page number (most of the time but not always) then scroll down again.
Solution, for single PMs, open right in the list, or for PM chains open in new tab or a new column, or just improve the code to return view to the right spot on the lost. In any case, make each page of PMs an actual web page like with threads, so the browser navigation works as expected.
A better solution all around is to revamp the PM subsystem to functon similarly to threads. Thread titles would include the participants and each response would simply add to the chain. I'm not sure about all the backend stuff as web is not my field, but I imagine the PM threads could be done "lighter."
Being able to organize the PMs would be nice, but that probably requires more work than is worth it.
Also, "prev" and "next" buttons to jump from one PM vhain to the next would be nice. Not as the primary way to navigate perhaps, but useful still.