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?

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.

-- 
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