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"Re:" getting out of hand.

by skx (Parson)
on Dec 18, 2002 at 12:22 UTC ( #220826=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

 I'm a recent visitor to this site, and one thing that bugs me already is the way replies to entries/posts always get 'Re:' prepended to the subject - even if it's already there.

 This leads to comments having subjects like "Re: Re: Re: New pics needed".

 I've had a look at the Site How To and the Perl Monks Site FAQ but I didn't see any pointers to the sites' source code - or I'd submit the necessary, (and no doubt trivial), patch.


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Re: Collapsing Reply Titles
by cjf-II (Monk) on Dec 18, 2002 at 15:12 UTC
Re: "Re:" getting out of hand.
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Dec 18, 2002 at 12:49 UTC
    There has been quite a bit of discussion on the topic - Dog and Pony and I even wrote some proof of concept code a while back, but so far nothing's been implemented.

    Makeshifts last the longest.

      I didn't see any code in those threads that deals with most of the current situations that would need to be dealt with. Take this thread for example. Should my node be titled Re: " getting out of hand. ? We aren't talking about quotes getting out of hand.

      And take the title of my reply as just one example of the many, many alternates to "Re: " x $depth that are currently in use. Most of the code I've seen doesn't deal with most of those. If there is one that deals with nearly all of them, please point it out.

      And I don't understand the attempts to collapse "Re: (bob) Re:" but keep the "(bob)" part. I certainly don't want "(tye)" kept in every title to every reply to every reply to every reply to a reply of mine. That would just be silly.

      From my scratchpad (been there a long time):

      So, would this work for collapsing "Re: " and (most of) the many variants of it without removing other things?     s#^(\S*(?<=\W)re(?=\W)\S*\s*)+##i
      I don't have time to play with this, so I wanted to make a note of it. Personally, I like to be able to not only distinguish root nodes from replies but to also easily distinguish first-level replies (which are usually "answers") from lower-level replies (which are usually "corrections"). So I'm not yet sold on defaulting to simply one "Re: " for all types of replies, but I am getting interested in allowing people have "Re: "s and variants stripped from titles when they reply.

      Perhaps we could "standardize" on "Re: " then "Re2: ", "Re3: ", ... I think someone even proposed that. Something like:

      my $depth= 1; while( $title =~ s#^(\S*(?<=\W)re(?=\W)\S*)\s*## ) { my $re= $1; $depth += ( $re =~ /(\d+)/ ) ? $1 : 1; } $title= "Re$depth: $title";
      or perhaps just compute the depth from the root node.

      But you'll note that this also strips the current title down to Re: getting out of hand.. So I don't think anyone has come up with a full enough solution.

      And I have yet to see any concensus on what a good default replacement for "Re: " x $depth is. I personally don't much like most of the proposals I've seen and I suspect most people don't much like most of my proposals.

      So I don't see a solution yet. In the whole scheme of things I think this rates right up there with, um, well... not much. Something pretty trivial, I guess.

              - tye
        The problems with schemes you are proposing is that you are assuming the 'Re:' and/or discussion depth should be part of the title. Assuming everything is stored in a database, what you need is store the title without any 'Re' prefixes in the database, along with a depth count. A root node would get a depth count of 0, a reply of 1, a reply to that gets 2, etc. The displayed title (at the post itself, or in the newest node list) can get a 'Re:' prepended. Or 'Re: Re: Re: Re:'. Or 'Re^17:'. It could even be user configurable.

        One thing left open is whether a subject change should mean the depth count is reset or not.


        I agree that this is somewhat trivial. The only benefit from a standardized naming convention is to aid in finding nodes. Not being able to find something on Perl Monks is somewhat rare, although it does happen.

        As long as the node title is easily searchable, I see no reason to change it. And if it isn't, that node just doesn't get seen as often as it could.

        John J Reiser

        Perhaps first level replies in the Seekers of Perl Wisdom section could prepend "Ans: " as a default instead? If it's not an answer, the burden would be on the user to change it, though.

        I'm not very familiar with the inner workings of the Everything2 engine but is it possible to have it strip out the (user) denoter such as s/^\s*\($in_reply_to_user\)\s*// before the Re: is prepended? People aren't likely to manually retype (tye) into a post title, are they?

Re: "Re:" getting out of hand.
by shotgunefx (Parson) on Dec 18, 2002 at 12:30 UTC
    This has been the source of more than a bit of contention here in the past. It's apparently a "feature". ( I personally would like it to automatically fold, or at least a user option to.)

    The site runs on a custom version of the Everything Engine. The perlmonks modified source is not available to the GP (I believe) but the source for Everthing can be found here


    "To be civilized is to deny one's nature."
Re: "Re:" getting out of hand.
by Callum (Chaplain) on Dec 18, 2002 at 12:47 UTC
    I quite like the Re^2 etc convention many people employ, and wish that I would remember to use it. If a change is made then I'd advocate making this happen automatically.
      You can always go back and edit your titles to tidy things up, if you're so inclined.
Re: "Re:" getting out of hand.
by JayBonci (Curate) on Dec 19, 2002 at 08:26 UTC
    FYI, in ecore land, this is considered to be a deficiency in the ENoteAndPreview package, and we'd like to find a useful resolution for this. I have a site that uses it, and the Re: Re: Re: buildup in comments is an annoyance.

      Why they just can't have it stay where it is like e-mail is beyond me. You do find the odd e-mail that says "Re: Fwd: Re: (Fwd) My Resume" but that's not typical.

      One "Re:" is enough, isn't it?
        Back when I was using Windows, I used TheBat! for reading mail, and one of its favourite attention-to-detail features of mine was how it would set the subject to something like Re[2]:. I think the people who use Newest Nodes or a script that reads its ticker to browse the monastery (that includes me) find the information the Re: nesting provides quite useful.

        Makeshifts last the longest.

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[karlgoethebier]: Discipulus: i don't know. no msdog at hand no more
[Eily]: Discipulus I get the same thing on strawberry perl v5.20
[Eily]: hu, it came with 5.22 ...
Discipulus win32 is the vietnam of envs..
[Eily]: what's your perl version Discipulus ?

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