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Re: Lack of prefix in public-semweb-lifesci Subject line makes it difficult to recognize origin

From: Simon J. Hernandez <simon@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 07:03:26 -0500 (EST)
To: Bob Futrelle <bob.futrelle@gmail.com>
Cc: hclsig-pub <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.55.0601310646270.17375@ubzre.j3.bet>

Hi Bob.

On Sat, 28 Jan 2006, Bob Futrelle wrote:

> This note is for Simon J. Hernandez who handles mailing lists at W3C,
> among many other things.
> Point being that the  points I made below resulted in about 20 emails
> in the public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org list. Many of the notes discussed
> changing settings on their email clients to allow them to distinguish
> mail from public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org from other incoming mail.  But
> a number did agree that having the list administrator set a prefix for
> the subject line would work in every single client, since they all
> show the leading portion of the subject line in their summaries.

Interestingly, our discussion has been focused on how to get vendors to
fix their brokenness and use existent RFCs.

Our Postmaster, Gerald Oskoboiny, has now documented our position[1] on
this matter, which has strong consensus in the W3C Systems Team.

> Essentially all the discussion of this issue in this list so far has
> focused on the client side.  I think that a number of us would like to
> see a solution from the mailing list server side, the list management
> side.  A short prefix such as [pub-sw-lifesci] sounds reasonable.  If
> such could automatically be added to all outgoing list mail then we
> would be able to identify mail from "unknown parties" who turn out to
> be people  addressing the list. Personally, in this day and age, I
> have to be suspicious of email I get from people I don't know, with
> perhaps a subject that doesn't make it clear that it's from this list.
>  A prefix would also help me make a quick decision as to whether I
> want to open the mail now or later as I scan my bulging inbox.


As discussed in the above noted document, there is a standard,
RFC-documented method to accomplish the same thing.

We are always open to discussing systems issues, and we try to come to
some mutually agreed upon solution to address most problems.  In this
instance, your request prodded us to focus and and document our dirrection
on this topic.

I apologize if this is not the outcome you hoped for, but we feel using
the existing RFCs and placing the burden of such functionality on the
vendors of mail clients, is the more practical of the possible outcomes.



1.  http://www.w3.org/Mail/subject-tagging

Simon J. Hernandez    |    http://people.w3.org/simon/
Received on Tuesday, 31 January 2006 12:07:15 UTC

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