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RE: followup to bug report not included in bug tracker; diverseautomatic

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: followup to bug report not included in bug tracker; diverseautomatic Subject lines; ACK noise
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 09:43:17 -0700

> > If you want to refer to the bug as bug #99 or attach the release
> > info 23.0.60 to it, why not do that in the message body?
> There needs to be some way of knowing which bug you're talking about.
> Normally with debbugs this is done using
> address@hidden mailing address. However, because emacs
> has been using mailing lists to track bugs for a long time, the
> decision was made to use the existing code in debbugs which is capable
> of associating a mail with a specific bug based on the subject. MUAs
> generally keep the subject intact, and the beginning of the subject is
> the part that's least likely to be munged by anything, save adding Re:
> or similar. 

I don't follow all of that, sorry.

Please keep the Subject line intact. It is annoying to have multiple different
strings of text prepended to the Subject line. Here is another example:

 bug#400: Acknowledgement (23.0.60; C-h v should pick up
 lispified name in Customize)

The actual Subject was this:

 C-h v should pick up lispified name in Customize

The (35-character!!) prefix "bug#400: Acknowledgement (23.0.60; " just
obfuscates things for the user and makes it difficult to group messages about
the same bug together in a mail client. 

Please put such metadata in the message body or other header fields. Preserve
the user's Subject line intact. Mail clients know about RE: and FW:. They don't
know about "bug#400: Acknowledgement (23.0.60; ".

The bug tracker might be more interested in the metadata, but users are more
interested in the data. It's not only about the tracker; it's also about the

The implementation of the tracker might impose certain constraints, but every
effort should be made to make things easy for the user. Do whatever you need to
do under the covers, but the mail thread should remain intact. 

> > There seems to be no such thing as a (single) thread for a given bug
> > anymore. And that's not to mention all of the generated ACK messages
> > that constitute essentially noise. Pretty silly.
> You can ditch the ack messages by adding "X-Debbugs-No-Ack: yes" or
> similar to your headers; the ack messages are on by default primarily
> for casual users.

No idea what that means. My mail client does not, AFAIK, let me do that. And it
is not the existence of the ACK messages that is annoying so much as it is their
content and Subject lines.

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