A few monks have done the "vanity" thing (actually, it's quite helpful for differentiating replies to the same node) of adding their names to the subject lines of their replies. (e.g.) (not a real node) " (arturo):flummoxing pheasants with Avian::Confuse "

I'd thought it was automatic, but since it doesn't appear to be, perhaps we could have an option in user settings to make it come true?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Automatically add name to replies
by mirod (Canon) on Dec 08, 2000 at 22:40 UTC

    I actually don't like this "vanity" thing.

    The name of the author of a post is given clearly enough, whether in the Newest Nodes list or in the threads, and I frankly I find it quite obnoxious to get the name once again in the title.

    Now despite being French I would not recommend parading in the streets with the heads of the those guys on stakes but still, I do not think such an option would enhance the site.

    Update: if the problem is that posts are hard to distinguish in the serach results, then let's just add the name of the author to the search results instead, so both arturo and I are happy.

      No, it's not about vanity. If I see two nodes and one is by chromatic and another is by some dumb monk wannabe, I know that chromatic's post is more likely to be relevant. Alternately, if I just prefer how chromatic answers, I may single out his posts that way.

      However, some also include a subject in the title if the subject changes. When the discussion veers from the why B-trees are superior to binary trees to forgetting that @_ aliases variables, it's a lot easier to pick that out of the title than to wade through all of the message. However, adding a "synopsis" field to new posts would be overkill, so people just note it in the title.

      Adding a name is not vanity. But I do agree that it would be nice to have the author's name show up on a search.


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      Actually, it wasn't *really* about vanity, but about the thing in parentheses -- having some way of identifying different replies to the same node (if you get the list of replies in a search,the name isn't there -- if it were, then maybe my reason for wanting this would go away).

      Often a discussion will trail off into separate threads. I do think it would be nice if when that happened, monks happened to change the titles, but I know that for me it's an afterthought (at best).

      Philosophy can be made out of anything. Or less -- Jerry A. Fodor

Re (tilly) 1 (not vanity): Automatically add name to replies
by tilly (Archbishop) on Dec 09, 2000 at 00:17 UTC
    I don't do it for vanity. I do it because it was pointed out to me why it was a useful thing to do by kudra. In fact she used to have a link on her home page to Suggestion for post-naming convention and an explanation about why her posts look weird.

    I think having it done automatically is an excellent idea.

      If the author field were shown along with the title field everywhere, it wouldn't be necessary. I think that's a better idea. Image what a subject title would look like if it were done automatically:
        Re: (chipmunk) (tilly) 1(not vanity) (arturo) Automatically add name to replies
      And that's after only two replies!
        That is only if it is done wrong.

        If you look at how the people who are doing it do it manually we tend to strip out the header from the previous person and put our own in. Take a look through my posts to see what I mean.

        There is no reason why an automatic process could not do likewise.

Re: Automatically add name to replies
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Dec 10, 2000 at 10:53 UTC
    I used to do it, but I think it's addressing the wrong issue. The problem is, questions and notes don't have to have unique names.

    Imagine, if you will, that the same thing applied to domain names. I could set up on firewheel or snafu. vroom could set it up on yoda, buddha, or yeti. All three, if he wants. Assuming reasonable competence on the part of NSI (gets you in trouble), maybe typing that in your browser will bring up lots of different possibilities.

    In the same way, writeups and notes have one unique characteristic -- the IP address of Everything, node_id. As we can link to any specific node with the special [id://\d+] syntax, it's not as touchy an issue as it seems.

    Adding more distinguishing information to searches is a good idea, though, and solves the other strong possible objection -- differentiating between posts by different authors. However, if I post twice to the same discussion with a namespaced title, or if I reply to a question in March and a question in August and both had the same title, the efficacy of the name-adding has actually decreased.

    I will guarantee you, though, as the person who's written the most about the Everything Engine, if there are ever two different nodes with the same node_id, you will have bigger worries than search results.

Re: Automatically add name to replies
by arturo (Vicar) on Dec 09, 2000 at 00:53 UTC

    OK, replying to myself ... the discussion that followed was worth it -- I think at least one very good idea came out of it, and that's that on node searches, it would be good if the author's name came up as well as the node title. (Would this clog the DB with extra lookups? I haven't looked at the everything code at all, so I don't know about these things). Were anything like this to be added the code would probably have to be smart enough to see when the subject line is getting out of hand and do some intelligent truncation as per chipmunk's point, above).

    the Big P.S. that's not really a P.S. : I carefully (but evidently not carefully enough) chose to put those quotes around "vanity" -- it was not my intent to suggest that those who've adopted the convention are doing so for that reason. I added the parenthetical comment as outlining what I took were the real reasons for it.

    Philosophy can be made out of anything. Or less -- Jerry A. Fodor

(subject one-liners) Re: Automatically add name to replies
by mwp (Hermit) on Dec 09, 2000 at 03:18 UTC
    I like the concept of differentiating the different replies for a node. kudra's solution seemed okay but not exactly what I wanted, so I've been prefixing my nodes with a brief subject one-liner, like CGI::Vars, or sendmail. Seems to work rather well for me, although I wish more people would do it. ;)



      I'm actually inclined to agree with alakaboo. Were the change mirod suggested made (namely that search results include the author's name), I would see no further reason to put my name in the title and would stick with just my summary instead of the name/summary combination I use now.

      At the time that I made my original proposal, supersearch couldn't be limited by name, and newest nodes didn't show the author's name by the post in most instances. Things have obviously changed a bit since then, and in light of that I would much rather vroom implement the one additional change that would make name-attaching useless than have him automatically attach names.

      Oh, and tilly, I still have that link on my page, it's just called 'My title scheme' instead of what you remembered.

Re: Automatically add name to replies
by swiftone (Curate) on Dec 09, 2000 at 00:27 UTC
    I don't think it has anything to do with vanity, but I don't like it (thus, I don't follow it). Subject lines are nasty enough, we should put the author elsewhere (in the Search results, for example).