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Re: [GNU-Emacs] request: better subject lines

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: [GNU-Emacs] request: better subject lines
Date: Tue, 2 May 2017 14:43:24 -0600
User-agent: NeoMutt/20170306 (1.8.0)

Carlos Konstanski wrote:
> If you're like me, you get a whole lot of spam. You need to scan the
> subject lines in your INBOX to decide what's spam and what's ham. If you
> have to open an email to decide because the subject line is
> inconclusive, that's bad.

I think this is an XY problem.  The underlying problem is that you are
getting too much spam.  That is bad and should be solved.  And a
secondary problem is not filtering mail by mailing list.  That is
something this emacs help topic list can help with fixing.

I see that you are using gnus.  Could another gnus user make a
suggestion as to how Carlos can improve the gnus work flow to be able
to read through help-gnu-emacs mail more efficiently and effectively?
(I am not a gnus user or I would jump in there.)  How can Carlos using
gnus limit the mailbox to only the messages that came through the
help-gnu-mailing list?  (List-Id: .*<>)

If you read the help-gnu-emacs mailing list messages you should see
very little spam here.  Every so often one sneaks in through the
Standford newsgroup gateway.  That is impossible to prevent without
cutting off the newsgroup.  But other than those few I hope readers
see very little spam from this mailing list.

> The subject lines for this mailing list need to have a [thing] injected
> so that it's obvious that it is email for this list. Note my example in
> the subject line of this email. Please?

Subject line tags cause problems in many different ways.  One of them
is that people *think* (wrongly) they are the only way to filter
email.  Therefore if they don't see something in the subject line then
they feel they are prevented from filtering mail!  This is generally
damaging to the ecosystem by encouraging an ignorance of email.

Those tags take up a lot of space in the subject lines.  It is not
unusual to see the entirety of the subject line consumed by multiple

Those tags often get mangled by mail clients setting up the reply.  It
isn't unusual to see "Re: [subject tag] Re: [subject tag] Re: " appear
in mailing lists with subject tags.

Those tags don't survive very well in the context of cross posts.
Because each list wants to see its tag added to the line.  It isn't
unusual to see "Re: [TAG111] [TAG222] [TAG111] [TAG222] " appear in
mailing lists that use tags.

But I am all for people writing better subject lines on their
messages!  That is what I thought I would hear when I first read that
subject line. :-)


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