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/msh brainpan the whole world is reading this!

by brainpan (Monk)
on Nov 12, 2000 at 14:50 UTC ( #41174=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

In general I dislike "features" that exist solely for the purpose of working around luser ignorance / stupidity. This request is for just such a feature.

Around the monastery there are three basic types of communication: creating a node, talking in the ChatterboxTM and using /msg or /tell. Creating a node is the most "formal" method, as anyone can read what you have written months after the fact. Fortunately, creating a node is a very intentional thing; it is nearly impossible to do accidentally. Talking in the Chatterbox is also world readable, but communication here is transient; you don't need to worry about something stupid you said in the Chatterbox turning up in a search next month. The only time someone accidentally posts to the chatterbox is either by confusing it with the search box or by hitting reload and re-submitting what they said previously. Finally, there's using /msg or /tell to talk one on one with another member of the monastery (or, of you believe the tabloids, speak with the dearly departed). The problem lies in that, since /msgs and /tells are typed into the same field as the Chatterbox, mistyping this means that the whole world can read what you intended to say to one other person. At one of my local supermarkets the phones at the registers have a button on the handset that broadcasts whatever is said over the store's P.A. system. Any cashier propping the phone on their shoulder is liable to have their conversation with payroll overheard by shoppers.

As amusing as it may be to hear that Thelma can't work next Tuesday while Kenny G. plays softly in the background, this can't be the highlight of her day. Likewise, having other people wondering the monastery catch a snippet of your private conversation is something that I'd rather avoid. What I'd like to see implemented is a feature that would stop

/msh jcwren I love the stats page!

from being posted for all to see. My thought would be to have anything preceded by / to return an error to the one who submitted it unless it is a reserved string like /me. Anyone intending to post /msg hello world to the Chatterbox could escape it as //msg hello world or something.

On the other hand, /telling into an otherwise quiet Chatterbox is a proven way of inciting conversation.

And no, I don't own 27 pairs of sweatpants.

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(jcwren) RE: /msh brainpan the whole world is reading this!
by jcwren (Prior) on Nov 12, 2000 at 18:46 UTC
    Think of it as vroom's way of helping you improve your typing, or to cause you to innovate a little software to make sure it doesn't happen.

    Seriously, I'd rather not see it change. I have a... history... of some rather classic /msh's in the older days, and was an initial proponent of having it fixed. I've changed my mind. This node, (jcwren) RE: Bigger Chatterboxes?, still pretty well describes how I feel.

    I think it adds a little spice around here, and keeps people on their toes. I'm of the opinion that part of what helps this site keep it's charm is it's little imperfections. How many other sites can you /msh at, press the stumbit button, or know that sexisgood?

    --Chris

    e-mail jcwren

      So can we make it an option in the user settings*? I agree with brainpan: this is one amusing PM oddity (and see this for how I feel about them) can be awkward at best, annoying at worst. If someone with strict chatterboxing (jabborwocking?) wants to "make a funny" he or she can just escape the command and get the intended effect. Of course, this means some poor sap has to code it, but that's not my problem! {eg}

      And shouldn't you escape that command with a backslash? I mean, after all, this is perlmonks...

      Alakaboo

      * I avoided the obligatory use strict 'Chatterbox'; joke. Or tried, at any rate.

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