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PICList Thread
'BIG NEWS! Server Topic Filtering [ADMIN]'
2000\05\16@130819 by jamesnewton

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We (the list admins) have found a new feature in the list server software
that may provide a much better way of handling on and off topic (and sort of
off topic, etc..) posts. It would cause the list to work a bit differently
and might cause some confusion at first so we want to explain it and get
some feedback from the list on how best to implement it.

The new version of the list server can track "topics" by looking for
keywords or tags at the start of the subject line (after skipping past the
fw: or re:). It will then filter posts FOR the list members according to
which topics they wish to receive. For example, if we set the possible
topics to:
[PIC], [EE], [OT], and [AD]
we can set "topics of interest to subscribers" to [PIC] only and you will
only see posts with subject lines that start with "[PIC]:" (or "re: [PIC]:"
or "FW: [PIC]:" etc...). Of course you can send a simple command to the list
server that "turns on" the other topics as well. For example if you also
wanted to see [EE] posts (not directly related to the PIC, but still about
engineering) you could send:
spam_OUTLISTSERVTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU?body=SET PICLIST TOPICS: +[EE]

Now, that is not the really good part.... here it is... <GRIN> if someone
DOESN'T put a topic tag at the start of the subject line, the list server
puts the post in a special topic called "OTHER" and if you haven't told the
listserver that you want "OTHER" posts, you wont get it! Cool huh?

The default settings for new subscribers will be with all topics including
OTHER turned ON so if they post without a topic, they will see their own
post. Also, we can set up an autoresponder that gets ONLY "OTHER" posts and
replies with a nice message that says "Um, you forgot to add [PIC]: [EE]:
[OT]: or [AD]: to your subject line, so, pretty much, I'm the only person
who saw your post, didn't you read the welcome message or the piclist.com
page?" followed by an explanation of what the topic tags mean, a mailto link
to turn off the OTHER topic (and the... other ([EE], [OT], [AD]) topics as
well), and a brief review of the list guidelines. And before anyone freaks
about looping on the autoresponder idea, we will put an [AUTOMATIC RESPONSE]
tag in and the autoresponder will know not to autorespond to posts
containing that.

Now, this is all a bit backwards from the way we are doing it now; rather
than asking that people be good and add [OT] to off topic posts, we will say
that all posts are not only off topic, but also completely ignored by
everyone but the autoresponder, unless you remember to put the topic at the
start of the subject line.

To get to the list and be read by all us members who are interested in
PIC's, a person will have to type [PIC]: at the start of the subject line.
This has the huge benefit of reminding people to think about whether or not
their post is really about PIC's. I personally think that this is an easy,
automatic and very complete solution to the problem of constant off topic
posting on the list. If it's really not about [PIC]:, you can add [EE]: or
[OT]: or [AD]: and it will go though to those people.

Using the same [OT], [EE] and [AD] strings for the topic names will allow
people who have set up automatic filters, sorters and classification rules
to continue using them. I know a lot of people move [OT]'s into a separate
folder for lower priority reading.

Of course, replying to an existing post will not change at all and people
may still take a [PIC]: related thread off into never, never land, but...
admins have to have something to do right? The no-HTML thing has been such a
big help that this list may get to be semi-self running and then we can
focus on other things like improving the FAQ or archives.

Ok, sorry for the long explanation, but we think this is an important new
direction for the list and will solve a lot of problems and make life a lot
nicer for members. What do you think?

.....jamesnewtonKILLspamspam@spam@piclist.com?subject=TOPICS_YES> jamesnewtonspamKILLspampiclist.com?subject=TOPICS_YES_BUT <- please include
comments.
.....jamesnewtonKILLspamspam.....piclist.com?subject=TOPICS_NO <- please include why?

---
James Newton (PICList Admin #3)
EraseMEjamesnewtonspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTpiclist.com 1-619-652-0593
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com or .org

2000\05\16@133124 by Andrew Kunz

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I personally hate having machines think for me.

I would hope the default for current members would be to enable everything, and
only if they don't want it they can opt-out.

Andy

2000\05\16@135025 by PIC development

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picon face
On Tue, 16 May 2000, Andrew Kunz wrote:

> I personally hate having machines think for me.

Me too, they're so much better at it
>
> I would hope the default for current members would be to enable everything, and
> only if they don't want it they can opt-out.
>
> Andy
>
it would be a nice feature if the system would "drop" posts you make
that didn't conform to the categories you were registered for.
E.g. if I only wanted to hear about PICS (which is why I joined the
list - no comments about the inconsistency with this post please)
then I would register for [PIC], ok so far. Now if I post something
without [PIC] I would hope that the system would throw my post away
as I would not get to see any of the responses.

Hmmmm,
Pete

2000\05\16@135821 by jamesnewton

face picon face
Yes, the default for new (and old) members would be for all the topics to be
enabled. Most current members would turn off the OTHER: topic pretty quick.
Anyone who didn't want off topic discussions would turn off [OT]: Don't want
advertisements? Turn of [AD]:, Really not interested in non-PIC engineering
posts? Off goes [EE]: That leaves just [PIC]: as the minimum...

---
James Newton (PICList Admin #3)
jamesnewtonspamspam_OUTpiclist.com 1-619-652-0593
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com or .org

-----Original Message-----
From: pic microcontroller discussion list
[@spam@PICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of Andrew Kunz
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2000 10:29
To: KILLspamPICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: BIG NEWS! Server Topic Filtering [ADMIN]


I personally hate having machines think for me.

I would hope the default for current members would be to enable everything,
and
only if they don't want it they can opt-out.

Andy

2000\05\16@140030 by jamesnewton

face picon face
Correct, Actually it would tag it as being of topic OTHER: and send it only
to people who have OTHER: turned on.

---
James Newton (PICList Admin #3)
RemoveMEjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspampiclist.com 1-619-652-0593
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com or .org

{Original Message removed}

2000\05\16@143946 by Jeff Frohwein

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What would happen, say, if you had [PIC] turned on but [AD] turned off
but they were both in the subject line?

Thanks,

Jeff


The following is an off-topic joke:
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> YOU HAVE NOW RECEIVED THE UNIX VIRUS
>
> This virus works on the honor system:
>
> If you're running a variant of unix or linux, please forward this message
> to everyone you know and delete a bunch of your files at random.

2000\05\16@170316 by Quentin

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I'm concerned that we now have to add a [PIC] tag. I mean this is what
the list is all about, most posts are about it (yup, believe it or not
:-) ) and the changes you propose is to filter out all the other stuff
from the PIC stuff. Now you want PIC posts on a PIC list to be filtered
as well.

Or am I missing the boat here?

Quentin

2000\05\16@172337 by Mark Willis

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face
The way it works is that if someone sends a message with topics [PIC]
and [AD], and you have EITHER [PIC] or [AD] one turned on, you get the
message.

So, use filtering, Trash anything with [AD] in it, is the best I can
suggest.

 Mark

Jeff Frohwein wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--
I re-ship for small US & overseas businesses, world-wide.
(For private individuals at cost; ask.)

2000\05\16@172946 by jamesnewton

face picon face
That is a very good point and is the one down point I can see in this.

Right now, if you want to post something about PICs to the PICList, you have
to:
A) Click on "New Message" or whatever button triggers your email client to
send email
B) Enter spamBeGonePICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU in the "To..." field
C) Enter a subject line
D) Enter the post text in the body.

With the new system, step C would be modified to read:
C) Enter [PIC]: and the rest of the subject line.

Replying to a message would not be any different.

So... we are talking about requiring 6 extra keystrokes when posting. Its
not a lot, but it is extra work and I do understand that basically, this is
asking 99% of the PICList to do (a little) more so that the 1% that can't
bother to add [OT] reliably, will be reminded that they are on the subject
of PICs.

That's why we are asking for feedback on this idea. I still think its the
way to go, but I really will respect whatever the bulk of the list decides.
It may just not be worth it.

TakeThisOuTjamesnewtonEraseMEspamspam_OUTpiclist.com?subject=TOPICS_YES> RemoveMEjamesnewtonspamTakeThisOuTpiclist.com?subject=TOPICS_YES_BUT <- please include
comments.
jamesnewtonEraseMEspam.....piclist.com?subject=TOPICS_NO <- please include why?

---
James Newton (PICList Admin #3)
EraseMEjamesnewtonspampiclist.com 1-619-652-0593
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com or .org

{Original Message removed}

2000\05\17@013537 by Josh Koffman

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Notice however, that any posts marked [ADMIN] would go to the [OTHER]
autoresponder, and get a rude message back :) Just a thought...


Josh Koffman
RemoveMEjoshyEraseMEspamEraseMEmb.sympatico.ca

2000\05\17@161649 by Mark Willis

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Awww, you spoiled my surprise for James <G>

 Mark

Josh Koffman wrote:
> Notice however, that any posts marked [ADMIN] would go to the [OTHER]
> autoresponder, and get a rude message back :) Just a thought...
>
> Josh Koffman
> RemoveMEjoshyspam_OUTspamKILLspammb.sympatico.ca

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