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There are already many fine nodes On Responsible Considerations, but I just want to add a clarification, specific to the topic of considerations for title changes.

Editing and consideration is a touchy topic, and I want to clarify my opinions first. Though I didn't reply to Don't Retitle This Node, I'm firmly in the camp that says the title is part of the author's submission, and changing it should not be undertaken lightly, but with Care and Discretion.

Generally, the only time I think a node should be put on NTC for retitle is one with a single-word title in SOPW, or one that's a close duplicate of a well-known node (like fullpage chat). The reason has to do with how the Search box in the top bar works. To see this for yourself, try typing each of the following in the search box, and note the results:

  • VSarkiss
  • question
  • while
In other words, if there's a single node title matching the word, it's pulled up immediately. If more than one node has the same matching title, you get the "Multiple nodes were drunk" page. And if there's not a complete match, you get a list of matching titles. (Let's leave out the discussion of what happens when you search for a number.)

This behavior is the reason why I think certain single-word titles are poor choices; there's nothing wrong with one-word titles per se. Most nicks (and hence homenodes) are a single word, as are many obfuscations. But it's unlikely that a newcomer, who most likely isn't clear on exactly how the search bar works, will type !1 in there, or search for Saturn. It's more likely that they'll search for dbi or loop, and it's better if they end up at a list of titles rather than a single node. (Old timers know to search for Saturn asdf if they want a list.)

That's the motivation. Now to repeat some guidelines:

  • If you put up a node on NTC for retitle, always add a suggestion for what it change it to.
  • If at all possible, try to preserve most or all of the original title. This makes it easier for the OP to find the node, and is also less obtrusive IMO. (In other words, if the node was titled "DBI", you may want to change it to "DBI: how to use fetchall" or some such.)

The janitors and newbies thank you.


In reply to Considering nodes for re-titling by VSarkiss

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