META: Ruby Talk Noise/Signal

Dear Fellow Ruby Talkers,

Short of creating a new list, is there means by which we can collectively reduce the noise/signal?

For instance, the Freecycle mailing list and for-sale newsgroups use a prepending of a class of subject to the title or subject of a post.

I'll give it a guernsey. But what?... Well, here's my first (best?) take:

CORE: A discussion of Ruby syntax largely without the implementation specifics involving much C code and which might be otherwise more appropriate for the core mailing list.
CORELIB: Discussions to do with extensions/modifications to the core library but not syntax.
STDLIB: Discussion to do with extensions/modifications to the standard library.
LIB: Discussion of existing non-core or non-standard libraries or other bits of code. Additionally this could be for if you're not sure if it should go 'in' CORELIB, STDLIB, or if you're being lazy...?
NEWLIB: Announcements of, or proposals for, and discussion of new libraries. The suggested expiry on newness is a clear month. So, if a library is released/suggested in January, then through the remainder of January and all through February it is deemed new, but come March it is then it becomes LIB:. I can see it now, libraries all being released around the start of the month! Is that such a bad thing? The 1st could be Library Day!
META: Discussion about the list itself. Perhaps ad hominem nonsense can go here?

And rather than having a MISC: category it is probably better to make it optional and to assume that everything else is not easily placed into the above; although an explicit MISC: won't go astray I suppose...

Also, I understand that things go OT and that some posts may be in two or more categories (in which case just use / to delimit each I suppose), but is anyone else prepared to give this or some other prepending a go?

I'll volunteer to persist in using it for a very long time from now and I've already started the ball as of the title of this post.

Sincerely,

t

P.S. I note the existing use of [ANN]. Are there others than [ANN] which use this notation of []? These could be combined unless there is conflict, as in: LIB:[ANN], NEWLIB:[ANN], or is [ANN]LIB: and [ANN]NEWLIB: better? I find LIB:[ANN] clearer.

P.P.S. The use of an inverse ratio is deliberate. As in, less is more, just like Ruby.

I like the []s, like [OT] and [ANN]. Perhaps we can use more of these,
or combine the two: [ANN:NEWLIB].

Honestly, I think the signal/noise ratio is very good here. I'm always
impressed with the amount of quality discussion going on here (as
opposed to the PHP mailing list which I am woefully still subscribed
to).

Perhaps....
For special circumstances, like announcements and discussions that are
off-topic, we use capitalized labels, much like we do now: [ANN].
However, for normal discussion, labels that are not capitalized could
be used, [stdlib] or even [syntax] or possibly [hpricot] for example.

Just thinking out loud.

M.T.

The problem is that a thread can move in and out of several of those categories without becoming off topic. It is unlikely that people will change the prefix so the prefixes will become useless
as an indicator as to what the thread or part of the thread is about. It could start in CORE, move through CORELIB, STDLIB and LIB, perhaps touch on NEWLIB and will undoubtedly contain vast quantities of MISC.

How will the OP being CORE help the signal to noise ratio?

For it to work would require each and every poster to use the tags in the same way and update the subject lines as the thread progresses. Whilst we're at it I'd like a pony :slight_smile:

I see that there will be very little payback for the effort involved and will lead to much flaming of people getting the tags wrong or missing them off.

thoran@thoran.com wrote:

Short of creating a new list, is there means by which we can collectively reduce the noise/signal?

This is the reason that I read ruby-talk via the
news:comp.lang.ruby gateway: I can hit 'k' in Thunderbird's
newsreader and kill a thread that I don't have time
or interest to follow.

Regards,

···

--
Bil Kleb
http://fun3d.larc.nasa.gov

} Dear Fellow Ruby Talkers,
}
} Short of creating a new list, is there means by which we can
} collectively reduce the noise/signal?
}
} For instance, the Freecycle mailing list and for-sale newsgroups use a
} prepending of a class of subject to the title or subject of a post.
[...]
} Also, I understand that things go OT and that some posts may be in two
} or more categories (in which case just use / to delimit each I
} suppose), but is anyone else prepared to give this or some other
} prepending a go?
}
} I'll volunteer to persist in using it for a very long time from now
} and I've already started the ball as of the title of this post.

This idea has come up on nearly every significant technical mailing list
I've been on. It's a nice thought but it has two problems:

1) people new to the list
2) questions and requests for help

People new to the list will not know about these conventions. If you
put it in the welcome email, it still won't get read. New people are
joining every day.

Questions and requests for help make up the majority of the traffic on the
list. It makes little sense to categorize them, and the more subject line
that is dedicated to the actual question the easier it is for me to decide
which threads I'm interested in reading.

Anyway, it's a nice idea, but it never works and ultimately doesn't make
that much sense. Typically if topics are separate enough to warrant
separate tags, they are separate enough to warrent different mailing lists.
Exceptions include [ANN] and [ADV], both of which are already pretty well
socialized across most lists I'm on (and have been on).

} Sincerely,
} t
--Greg

···

On Thu, Aug 24, 2006 at 09:38:32PM +0900, thoran@thoran.com wrote:

thoran@thoran.com wrote:

Dear Fellow Ruby Talkers,

Short of creating a new list, is there means by which we can collectively reduce the noise/signal?

For instance, the Freecycle mailing list and for-sale newsgroups use a prepending of a class of subject to the title or subject of a post.

I'll give it a guernsey. But what?... Well, here's my first (best?) take:

Looks like work.

That's bad.

···

--
James Britt

"Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally
  for machines to execute."
   - H. Abelson and G. Sussman
   (in "The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs)

Hi,

At Thu, 24 Aug 2006 21:38:32 +0900,
thoran@thoran.com wrote in [ruby-talk:210302]:

CORE: A discussion of Ruby syntax largely without the implementation
specifics involving much C code and which might be otherwise more
appropriate for the core mailing list.
CORELIB: Discussions to do with extensions/modifications to the core
library but not syntax.
STDLIB: Discussion to do with extensions/modifications to the standard
library.

Move to ruby-core.

···

--
Nobu Nakada

It's pretty low already. I think what you mean is "Is there any means
by which I can sort out what you guys are saying by my personal interest
level so that it's easier to ignore stuff I don't like?"

Here's what I'd really like to see in subject lines:

1. much shorter upper-limit subject length
When subject lines run more than eighty characters, there is something
desperately wrong. When the subject line at the very beginning is more
than about sixty, if the thread runs more than twenty replies deep,
there's a decent likelihood that the subject line will end up more than
eighty characters. When someone "changes" the subject line to suit a
new topic of discussion by attaching the new subject to the beginning or
end without eliminating the rest of the subject line, an original
subject line of more than forty characters can be a problem. Can we
please keep subject lines under forty characters? What good is a
subject line that requires scrolling?

2. mailing list identification
Some of the subject lines in this list look like spam. If there was a
simple [ruby-talk] at the beginning of subject lines, or maybe just
[ruby], or even [rt], it'd be a lot easier to filter appropriately.
Thank goodness I use a console-based mail user agent, or some of those
spam emails I've opened thinking they were list traffic might have
infected my graphical mail client with a macro virus or otherwise
executed foreign code on my system. As things stand, the waste of time
involved is kind of annoying.

3. useful subjects
Even when I correctly guess whether an email is list traffic, it's kind
of annoying to have no clue what the actual discussion topic might be.
I know wishing for this to change is a little like wishing Microsoft
would suddenly open the Windows source under a BSD license (good
friggin' luck), I like to dream big. This is probably a much more
likely solution to the "ignore stuff I don't like" problem in the OP's
email, though. That should tell you how unlikely it is, on a social
level, for the subject line category tag system to be implemented to any
useful degree of consistency.

Maybe that's just me, though. I'm just glad that this list's reply-to
is unsurprising, unlike another list of which I'm a member.

···

On Thu, Aug 24, 2006 at 09:38:32PM +0900, thoran@thoran.com wrote:

Dear Fellow Ruby Talkers,

Short of creating a new list, is there means by which we can
collectively reduce the noise/signal?

--
CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
"Real ugliness is not harsh-looking syntax, but having to
build programs out of the wrong concepts." - Paul Graham

thoran@thoran.com <thoran@thoran.com> writes:

Dear Fellow Ruby Talkers,

Short of creating a new list, is there means by which we can
collectively reduce the noise/signal?

For instance, the Freecycle mailing list and for-sale newsgroups use a
prepending of a class of subject to the title or subject of a post.

YAGNI.

Use a mail-client that supports killing threads if you are only
interested in some (few?) threads.

···

--
Christian Neukirchen <chneukirchen@gmail.com> http://chneukirchen.org

No I do not think so it will never work;)
As one can be wrong however -especially meself - the idea to better label
our posts is not a bad one.
Maybe one could create and use very simple labels that become second nature
like ANN. The only way to achieve this is to use it.
Maybe tomorrow I will label my posts with [IDEA] or [PBM] maybe some will
follow, probably not. I would not seek any further in practice right now.
And it would not be common to this ML but to ML in general.
Nice idea though.

Cheers
Robert

That's bad.

I agree, see above

···

On 8/24/06, James Britt <james.britt@gmail.com> wrote:

thoran@thoran.com wrote:
> Dear Fellow Ruby Talkers,
>
> Short of creating a new list, is there means by which we can
> collectively reduce the noise/signal?
>
> For instance, the Freecycle mailing list and for-sale newsgroups use a
> prepending of a class of subject to the title or subject of a post.
>
> I'll give it a guernsey. But what?... Well, here's my first (best?)
take:

Looks like work.

--

James Britt

"Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally
  for machines to execute."
   - H. Abelson and G. Sussman
   (in "The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs)

Robert

--
Deux choses sont infinies : l'univers et la bêtise humaine ; en ce qui
concerne l'univers, je n'en ai pas acquis la certitude absolue.

- Albert Einstein

This is one of a dozen or so reasons I use mutt as my mail user agent.
I can hit Ctrl+D and delete a whole thread without having to deal with a
newsreader.

···

On Thu, Aug 24, 2006 at 10:05:09PM +0900, Bil Kleb wrote:

thoran@thoran.com wrote:
>
>Short of creating a new list, is there means by which we can
>collectively reduce the noise/signal?

This is the reason that I read ruby-talk via the
news:comp.lang.ruby gateway: I can hit 'k' in Thunderbird's
newsreader and kill a thread that I don't have time
or interest to follow.

--
CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
"The ability to quote is a serviceable
substitute for wit." - W. Somerset Maugham

Chad Perrin wrote:

  

Dear Fellow Ruby Talkers,

Short of creating a new list, is there means by which we can collectively reduce the noise/signal?

<snip>

2. mailing list identification
Some of the subject lines in this list look like spam. If there was a
simple [ruby-talk] at the beginning of subject lines, or maybe just
[ruby], or even [rt], it'd be a lot easier to filter appropriately.
Thank goodness I use a console-based mail user agent, or some of those
spam emails I've opened thinking they were list traffic might have
infected my graphical mail client with a macro virus or otherwise
executed foreign code on my system. As things stand, the waste of time
involved is kind of annoying.
    
I have it sorted out to a different folder based on the to: field, which is 'ruby-talk@ruby-lang.org'

Works perfectly for me. And that way I can have Thunderbird show that folder in a threaded view without affecting anything else.

-Justin

···

On Thu, Aug 24, 2006 at 09:38:32PM +0900, thoran@thoran.com wrote:

And ruby-talk's third problem with something like this: it's gatewayed
to both a web forum (ruby-forum.com) and a newsgroup (comp.lang.ruby)

Personally, I'm not really sure what the OP is talking about with the
signal/noise problem. The last time questions about this came up, I
*did* point out that I do my best to read every message that comes
through here -- all 3,000 a month.

It's feasible.

-austin

···

On 8/24/06, Gregory Seidman <gsslist+ruby@anthropohedron.net> wrote:

This idea has come up on nearly every significant technical mailing list
I've been on. It's a nice thought but it has two problems:
1) people new to the list
2) questions and requests for help

--
Austin Ziegler * halostatue@gmail.com * http://www.halostatue.ca/
               * austin@halostatue.ca * http://www.halostatue.ca/feed/
               * austin@zieglers.ca

Even assuming for the moment that you said "directory", which is what my
system uses (there are no "folders" here, since there are no little
folder icons in a CLI), I don't want a separate "folder" for every
single mailing list. What I really want is to be able to filter by the
subject line.

I'm not betting money on getting it, though.

···

On Fri, Aug 25, 2006 at 03:13:12AM +0900, Justin Collins wrote:

I have it sorted out to a different folder based on the to: field, which
is 'ruby-talk@ruby-lang.org'

Works perfectly for me. And that way I can have Thunderbird show that
folder in a threaded view without affecting anything else.

--
CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
"A script is what you give the actors. A program
is what you give the audience." - Larry Wall

Chad Perrin wrote:

···

On Fri, Aug 25, 2006 at 03:13:12AM +0900, Justin Collins wrote:
  

I have it sorted out to a different folder based on the to: field, which is 'ruby-talk@ruby-lang.org'

Works perfectly for me. And that way I can have Thunderbird show that folder in a threaded view without affecting anything else.
    
Even assuming for the moment that you said "directory", which is what my
system uses (there are no "folders" here, since there are no little
folder icons in a CLI), I don't want a separate "folder" for every
single mailing list. What I really want is to be able to filter by the
subject line.

I'm not betting money on getting it, though.

I realize that there are no folder icons on the commandline :slight_smile: I was just letting you know what I do, because it might have been of help to you, but obviously it was not.

-Justin

I do appreciate the effort. I know that the option you describe simply
doesn't occur to people at times. With the volume of email that I
receive every day, though, I find it's easier to stay caught up if all
new email is in the same view -- otherwise, there'd be stuff I'd miss
because I'd forget to read the new stuff in all appropriate directories.
Having the new material all in the same view makes it difficult to avoid
noticing when there's something new.

···

On Fri, Aug 25, 2006 at 03:22:44AM +0900, Justin Collins wrote:

I realize that there are no folder icons on the commandline :slight_smile: I was
just letting you know what I do, because it might have been of help to
you, but obviously it was not.

--
CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
"It's just incredible that a trillion-synapse computer could actually
spend Saturday afternoon watching a football game." - Marvin Minsky

Chad Perrin wrote:
>
>> I have it sorted out to a different folder based on the to: field,
which
>> is 'ruby-talk@ruby-lang.org'
>>
>> Works perfectly for me. And that way I can have Thunderbird show that
>> folder in a threaded view without affecting anything else.
>>
>
> Even assuming for the moment that you said "directory", which is what my
> system uses (there are no "folders" here, since there are no little
> folder icons in a CLI), I don't want a separate "folder" for every
> single mailing list. What I really want is to be able to filter by the
> subject line.
>
> I'm not betting money on getting it, though.
>

I realize that there are no folder icons on the commandline :slight_smile: I was

Are you sure? /__/

just letting you know what I do, because it might have been of help to

you, but obviously it was not.

Just(in) to keep you consoled

-Justin

Robert

···

On 8/24/06, Justin Collins <collinsj@seattleu.edu> wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 25, 2006 at 03:13:12AM +0900, Justin Collins wrote:

--
Deux choses sont infinies : l'univers et la bêtise humaine ; en ce qui
concerne l'univers, je n'en ai pas acquis la certitude absolue.

- Albert Einstein

Robert Dober wrote:

···

On 8/24/06, Justin Collins <collinsj@seattleu.edu> wrote:

Chad Perrin wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 25, 2006 at 03:13:12AM +0900, Justin Collins wrote:
>
>> I have it sorted out to a different folder based on the to: field,
which
>> is 'ruby-talk@ruby-lang.org'
>>
>> Works perfectly for me. And that way I can have Thunderbird show that
>> folder in a threaded view without affecting anything else.
>>
>
> Even assuming for the moment that you said "directory", which is what my
> system uses (there are no "folders" here, since there are no little
> folder icons in a CLI), I don't want a separate "folder" for every
> single mailing list. What I really want is to be able to filter by the
> subject line.
>
> I'm not betting money on getting it, though.
>

I realize that there are no folder icons on the commandline :slight_smile: I was

Are you sure? /__/

just letting you know what I do, because it might have been of help to

you, but obviously it was not.

Just(in) to keep you consoled

-Justin

Robert

I suppose you could consider those to be icons...

But the puns in your email are killing me :slight_smile: Or did you not intend "consoled" to be a pun?

-Justin

I am stupidly honest, the only good thing in my post was not done on
purpose.

CU around though I hope;)
Robert

···

On 8/24/06, Justin Collins <collinsj@seattleu.edu> wrote:

Robert Dober wrote:
> On 8/24/06, Justin Collins <collinsj@seattleu.edu> wrote:
>>
>> Chad Perrin wrote:
>> > On Fri, Aug 25, 2006 at 03:13:12AM +0900, Justin Collins wrote:
>> >
>> >> I have it sorted out to a different folder based on the to: field,
>> which
>> >> is 'ruby-talk@ruby-lang.org'
>> >>
>> >> Works perfectly for me. And that way I can have Thunderbird show
that
>> >> folder in a threaded view without affecting anything else.
>> >>
>> >
>> > Even assuming for the moment that you said "directory", which is
>> what my
>> > system uses (there are no "folders" here, since there are no little
>> > folder icons in a CLI), I don't want a separate "folder" for every
>> > single mailing list. What I really want is to be able to filter by
>> the
>> > subject line.
>> >
>> > I'm not betting money on getting it, though.
>> >
>>
>> I realize that there are no folder icons on the commandline :slight_smile: I was
>
> Are you sure? /__/
>
> just letting you know what I do, because it might have been of help to
>> you, but obviously it was not.
>
> Just(in) to keep you consoled
>
> -Justin
>>
> Robert
>

I suppose you could consider those to be icons...

But the puns in your email are killing me :slight_smile: Or did you not intend
"consoled" to be a pun?

-Justin