Subject Line question (was Re: Dragaera and Shakespeare [Spoiler for POTD])

Fri Feb 28 13:00:45 PST 2003

David Rodemaker wrote:
>>Me, I'm on the other side, as usual.  I apprciate having the mailgroup
>>name in the subject line, where that's provided.
> I agree. If it's trivial one way, I don't see how it's not trivial the
> other. Having something there would make life much easier.
> David

There are several reasons why many people don't like mailing list names 
in subjects. One is that it's a waste of space. For filtering purposes, 
the list already adds several unique headers to each message, and any 
respectable mail client will allow you to filter based on a header.

Another reason is that having the list name at the front of every 
subject can screw up threading and sorting. Most mail clients 
automatically insert "Re: " in front of the subject when replying, which 
would result in "Re: [Dragaera] Blah blah blah".

Furthermore, filtering by subject is a bad idea because it screws up 
personal replies. Some people, myself included, prefer to have personal 
replies to list messages go to my inbox, whereas public list messages 
get filtered into their own folder. If someone is filtering by subject, 
a personal reply to a message that was originally posted to the list 
will probably still contain the "[Dragaera]" tag and will thus be 
filtered into the list folder with all the public list messages, making 
it difficult to differentiate between what's public and what's private.

If you want a reliable filter that will always catch messages posted to 
the list, regardless of subject, filter based on the "Mailing-List" 
header. For this list, that header always contains the text "contact 
dragaera-help at dragaera.info; run by ezmlm". This keeps redundancy out of 
the subject, it allows you to keep public and private messages 
separated, and it doesn't screw up threading or sorting.

Ryan Grove
ryan at wonko.com