|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
(tye)Re: Dingbats in node titles: What's your opinionby tye (Sage)
|on Feb 28, 2002 at 19:16 UTC||Need Help??|
I don't like decorating node titles with funky characters. But I certainly don't plan on spending any of my time trying to remove such characters. I also don't plan on encouraging other editors to spend time removing them. Not because I think they should be allowed, but because I think removing them would be a really inefficient way to deal with them.
I'd rather deal with them like obnoxious fonts and colors: Complain to the people who use them. Ask them to remove them and stop adding them. Help them do so on nodes that they can't edit themselves if they want me to. Note that nodes that use them are likely to get voted down (based on current trends).
I've also been hoping to tighten up the site's handling of unusual characters. For example, I don't like seeing titles like "Bsystem/B fails" or "using codetr/code" showing up because people tried "<B>system</B> fails" or "using <code>tr</code>". Part of that fix-up might result in a title that is entered as "I ♥ Perl" being displayed as "I ♥ Perl" rather than the current "I ♥ Perl" (note, those two might look the same, depending on your choice of browsers -- for some browsers the latter actually shows a heart-shaped character). But maybe not. Feel free to weigh in on that trade-off. It will certainly be the case that less-than and greater-than will be properly encoded rather than being stripped.
As for "(tye)"...
I use "(tye)" because it is the least intrusive string that I feel confident that noone else will use to "decorate" their titles. The point is to have the title be unique (that is, have no duplicates, not "be distinctive").
Which points out the problems with using some funky character. It isn't "the least intrusive" according to many responses seen. You don't have any good reason to claim that someone else won't use it so you can end up with duplicate titles unless everyone who uses the same character cooperates to keep the resulting titles unique. It actually makes linking to nodes via the title harder (while other methods of making titles unique make this easier).
There are many places where duplicate titles are at least a minor problem. Even in the list of my nodes, I am glad that I've altered titles so that they are unique ("(tye)Re:" vs. "(tye)Re3:"). There is also the minor benefit that I can see who authored many nodes when finding nodes via a method that doesn't report the author. Sure, enhance these so that the author is reported -- but that isn't the only or even the primary reason that I choose to make my titles unique.
I need to edit the title anyway because I hate titles of "Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Subject". I drop any previous "decorations" and am happy when people drop my decoration when they reply to one of my replies (though I certainly don't mind when people choose not to go to the effort of altering the title of their replies [and I really don't like seeing "(joe)Re: (bob)Re: (joe)Re: (bob)Re: Title" but I don't intend to advocate that anything be done to prevent that other than telling the author and hoping they agree]).
Sometimes it is nice to link by title. Compare the results of clicking Re: Dingbats in node titles: What's your opinion vs. (tye)Re: Dingbats in node titles: What's your opinion. The point isn't that I wrote that node. The point (for me) is that I can link to nodes by title when they have unique titles.
Updating the search results to list author would not cause me to alter my titling scheme. That is only a side benefit to me. What would cause me to alter my scheme would be altering the default subject of replies to build a tree:
I don't like to and I am not good at memorizing node ID numbers. So when I want to determine if two similar nodes reported in different places are the same, I really appreciate if the titles are different.
I just don't much care for duplicate node titles. I have listed some of the concrete reasons that I can recall. I'm pretty sure there are other concrete reasons that I've run into but don't recall now. It has also now become a personal preference of mine to avoid duplicate titles.- tye (but my friends call me "Tye")