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Replying to All, an option for SOPW

by Petras (Friar)
on Aug 07, 2003 at 01:14 UTC ( #281671=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

So I was thinking the other day, being a newbie I do a lot more SOPWing than anything else around the monastary (yes, I do do the tutorials!). Sometimes I ask a question and get one answer that shines above the rest, or solves the problem, or clears up what everyone else was trying to say (by speaking adequate newbie!). Look at this ficticious example:

Petras has asked his fellow monks for Perl wisdom:
I have a file and want to know how many times the letter 'd' appears in it. What should I do?

Vroom writes: I would make a visual basic program that counts it for me!
Merlyn writes: You could dump the whole file into a Java String object, use substring() to move all the instances of 'd' into a new String, then check the length.
chromatic writes: I do all my files in ISO 9002 Chinese characters, so don't worry about those silly 'd' characters!
castorbaway writes: Use a regex, but becareful to excape the letter 'd' in it, since it is used to count digits in a string.

While all of these suggestions are somewhat wise, I'd like to be able to do something like:
Reply All: Thanks for the input. The answer that helped me the most was ________

I could do this by sending out several replies, but that's not nice to the server, and really it's rather redundant.

What does anyone else think?

Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

-Howard Aiken

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Replying to All, an option for SOPW
by Coruscate (Sexton) on Aug 07, 2003 at 06:37 UTC


    'No' to private messages to all authors of nodes parented beneath a certain node. I don't need my inbox cluttered with general "thanks for everyone's help" messages. Please don't force me to create a private message filter bot. I can just see it now: perlmonks private messaging spam filter. Uch.

    If you wish to say thank you to everyone who posts a reply to your node, simply throw a "thanks to all in advance" note at the bottom of the original node. Very straight forward; besides, everyone knows that the original poster will appreciate any replies... is that not the reason why they post in the first place?

    If you are smacked hard by an awesome answer that you used to come up with a super good result, a single /msg to the author of that answer is good enough. Seriously, if I post a reply to your node, but someone else posts a better reply, I don't need a /msg telling me that "hey, this other person's answer helped me the best". If I care to know the best answer, I will bookmark the node and return later to check it out (or I'll follow through from Newest Nodes).


    If the above content is missing any vital points or you feel that any of the information is misleading, incorrect or irrelevant, please feel free to downvote the post. At the same time, please reply to this node or /msg me to inform me as to what is wrong with the post, so that I may update the node to the best of my ability.

      eek...I was actually thinking of the /msg feature to be used judiciously. But I see your point

      Currently, I will go ahead and /msg someone if they are helpful in a significant way and I envisioned my suggestion facilitating this...I didn't even think about it potentially /msg bombing those that post frequently with a bunch of "gee thanks so much <insert saint here>".

      Gads, if done wrong something like this could even cause some folks to not want to participate and we certainly aren't looking for that result!

      Perhaps there is a way to implement this so that the individuals could 'opt in' of receiving thank you's...something like a button in user settings that said "add /msg me to my replies" or some such....sort of like the current " /msg me when there's a reply to one of my posts" feature

      I like the idea of encouraging thank you's and other such polite replies as I think that if done right it would encourage more participation in this forum, but I must stress the "done right" part.

      BTW, Thanks for pointing out the flaw in my thinking

Re: Replying to All, an option for SOPW (one reply)
by tye (Sage) on Aug 07, 2003 at 13:57 UTC

    I appreciate it when someone posts a reply saying which solution worked for them, etc. My first choice is that you simply reply to the node that contains that solution. There is no problem with including "thanks to all" in such a reply.

    If there is no one node that a reply most belongs to, then you can always just reply to the root node with a summary of how well different solutions worked (and with thanks). In this case, feel free to /msg authors of nodes who might learn something from your reply, if you are so inclined.

    And please don't post a node that is *only* a "thank you" note. While all can learn from a summary of how things worked out, there's no reason to tell everyone that you wanted to thank someone. Mere "thanks" belong, at most, in a private /msg or in public chatter.

                    - tye
      It would be a lame pain in the server to have node space be just, "thank you." Better replies would be like, "Thanks. Here's what I learned, and I think what you said might be really useful in this way." A simple "thank you" really only warrants a /msg, if that.
Re: Replying to All, an option for SOPW
by phydeauxarff (Priest) on Aug 07, 2003 at 02:12 UTC
    Nice idea...even better a "/msg all" so I don't end up posting a bunch of "thank you, thank you" nodes but instead send a private message thanking the respondants for their assistance.
      Yeah, so something like, after each post in a thread that *you and only you* are the author of, have there be a small text box that will send a msg to the author of the post?

      Better yet, let's say I start a thread. Several people post in the thread. I don't necesarily want to post a thank you to them all, nor do I want to post twenty times, "The best answer was here". Similar to the voting radio buttons, have a /msg check box and a reply check box. Then, at the bottom of the thread is a text box where I can type a message or reply that will go to all of the people whose boxes I check. There's got to be a better interface designer than me somewhere, but I think I like what you are thinking.

      Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

      -Howard Aiken

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