OT -- A "HOWTO" is a guide not a question


#1

This is way offtopic, but I’ve seen this several times recently and
it’s annoying me.

If you put “HOWTO” in your subject that means that you’re posting a
guide on a particular topic. It doesn’t mean that you’re asking a
question about “how to” do something.

It’s not like it’s a crisis, but it screws up searches for real
“HOWTO” guides by poisoning the results with these posts (including
this one, yay).

– James


#2

At 11:48 AM -0600 1/5/06, James L. wrote:

If you put “HOWTO” in your subject that means that you’re posting a
guide on a particular topic. It doesn’t mean that you’re asking a
question about “how to” do something.

More generally, I’d like to propose the adoption of a bit of
useful Ruby syntax for email Subject lines. You may recall
that the names of some Ruby methods end in the sigil “?”,
indicating that they are asking a question. What if we were
to place this sigil at the end of Subject lines, when a post
is asking a question? (:slight_smile:

-r

Technical editing and writing, programming, and web development:
http://www.cfcl.com/rdm/resume.html

Contact information: removed_email_address@domain.invalid, +1 650-873-7841


#3

On Thursday 05 January 2006 04:49 pm, Rich M. wrote:

is asking a question? (:slight_smile:
Not only that, personally, I’d appreciate it if the subject described
the
question, not the poster, and not the fact that they have a question.
“Newbie
has a question” has no value while skimming the 400+ rails messages per
day.
“How do you proxie lighthttpd through Mozilla?” describes exactly what
question is being asked, and would immediately capture the attention of
anyone looking for such info, or anyone willing to quickly answer the
question. Personally, I tend to skim at best, or often skip, posts with
the
“newbie has first question” or “question about rails” type subject.

SteveT

Steve L.
Author:


#4

Hi James,

Is there a guide for posting to the rails mailing list somewhere? I
don’t
recall seeing one when I signed up. I have picked up on some obvious
conventions since I started reading (e.g. [ANN] or [REQ]), but would
appreciate knowing what is “standard” here.

Also, why does everyone put [Rails] in front of the subject? Is that to
help people filter by subject instead of filtering by recipient (i.e.
removed_email_address@domain.invalid)? I forgot the [Rails] prefix on one of my
posts and it didn’t get any replies.

Thanks,

Eden


#5

On Jan 5, 2006, at 10:00 AM, Eden B. wrote:

prefix on one of my posts and it didn’t get any replies.

Thanks,

Eden

Eden-

The rails list server automatically puts the [Rails] in the subject

line. You don’t need to do it yourself.

this one, yay).
http://lists.rubyonrails.org/mailman/listinfo/rails
-Ezra Z.
Yakima Herald-Republic
WebMaster
http://yakimaherald.com
509-577-7732
removed_email_address@domain.invalid


#6

Guilty!

Sorry about that. Thanks for the info. I’ll remember that.

Regards,

Gerard.

On Thursday 05 January 2006 19:00, Eden B. tried to type something
like:

posts and it didn’t get any replies.

guide on a particular topic. It doesn’t mean that you’re asking a
http://lists.rubyonrails.org/mailman/listinfo/rails

“Who cares if it doesn’t do anything? It was made with our new
Triple-Iso-Bifurcated-Krypton-Gate-MOS process …”

My $Grtz =~ Gerard;
~
:wq!


#7

Eden B. wrote:

Also, why does everyone put [Rails] in front of the subject? Is that to
help people filter by subject instead of filtering by recipient (i.e.
removed_email_address@domain.invalid
mailto:removed_email_address@domain.invalid)? I
forgot the [Rails] prefix on one of my posts and it didn’t get any replies.

Hehe, this is just the prefix that is automatically added by the mailing
list software. It prefixes the subject line to make it easier for the
user to filter into separate folders or whatever they like.

If you posted without the prefix, it will be added. You’ll never need to
manually write it. Your message probably just didn’t get any replies.
You could try being more descriptive in the subject line or body. (But
I’ve not looked at the link).

Cheers,

Tom


#8

Strange. When I look at the rails mailing list email, my messages don’t
include [Rails] when I view them from Gmail. Maybe it is showing me a
copy
of what I sent instead of what I should have received (being both the
sender
and a recipient). If you are curious, you can search for this subject
line:

*Dynamic Finders and Legacy Schemas

*or search for messages from me. Let me know if the [Rails] bit got
added
to my subject line.

Rich => Is that sarcasm I detect with the whole “Ruby syntax => ?” bit?
Maybe we could even start using Ruby syntax in written English so that
sentences that are questions end in the nifty Ruby ? operator. :wink:

Eden


#9

On 1/5/06, Eden B. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Strange. When I look at the rails mailing list email, my messages don’t
include [Rails] when I view them from Gmail. Maybe it is showing me a copy
of what I sent instead of what I should have received (being both the sender
and a recipient). If you are curious, you can search for this subject line:

This is one of those things that I do not love about Gmail.

http://gmail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=6588&ctx=en:match

Annoying for people using POP clients. It would make more sense to
either allow this to be user configured, or to replace the sent email
with the one that arrives from the list server once it comes in.

– James


#10

At 2:27 PM -0800 1/5/06, Eden B. wrote:

Maybe we could even start using Ruby syntax in written
English so that sentences that are questions end in the
nifty Ruby ? operator. :wink:

Although I wouldn’t want to encourage a general adoption
of Ruby syntax in English (or whatever) text, I think that
the “?” and even “!” sigils could be useful… :-).

-r

Technical editing and writing, programming, and web development:
http://www.cfcl.com/rdm/resume.html

Contact information: removed_email_address@domain.invalid, +1 650-873-7841


#11

Rich M. wrote:

The problem is that almost all threads here start with a question. Most
people wouldn’t bother trimming off the trailing ? when answering (I
know I’d forget 97% of the time), so you’d end up with ?s splattered all
over the place. Not a pretty sight, as I’m sure you can imagine…


Alex