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For quite some time now there's been a unofficial convention, used by a few senior monks, of using one's name in a reply, to allow a subthread to be tracked in Newest Nodes. It's quite common to see

(tye)Re: Sending strings to win32:process-GetOwner() object
On occassion, the subthread titles get a bit out of control, resulting in
(Ovid) Re(3 or 4): Script (ovid's) explanation
or worse.

Lately, though, we've seen an outbreak of typographic dingbats in titles. First (I think) from merlyn, who seems to be using it as a shortcut for identifying his posts and their responses, and lately one or more Anonymous posters.

What do you think about this? Is this a good thing to allow and encourage, or not?

I think not, on two grounds: First, it's an eyesore -- a garrish technique to draw attention to a post by slapping a funky sticker on it, rather than by building up a name and reputation. (On this count, merlyn hardly needs a special adornment. His name is enough to draw people to his posts).

The second ground is technical: HTML entities are limited, and, beyond a relatively small base set, aren't consistent across browsers and browser versions. What looks O.K. in IE5 might render as crap on someone's Netscape 4.6.

I would just as soon see the practice stopped, by restricting HTML entities in Node replies to a small subset (such as <, >, and &).

That's my opinion. What's yours?

Edited 2-27-2002 by japhy -- removed an unbalanced BLOCKQUOTE tag

In reply to Dingbats in node titles: What's your opinion by dws

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