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From Mike Matrigali <mikem_...@sbcglobal.net>
Subject Re: Naming individuals in the subject line of posts
Date Mon, 13 Feb 2006 19:28:49 GMT
I just wanted to apologize for my 2 recent posts with names in
the subject line.  I didn't realize it was a problem.  I actually
didn't even mean to direct the posts to those people alone.

I had 2 goals with those posts.

1) Enlist discussion from the entire list about those 2 issues.  They
    are continuing regression test failures which could be causing
    problems for all developers.

2) I admit I did want to draw attention to those who had assigned
    themselves to the JIRA issues.  I figured that was a sort of
    accepted ownership of an issue.  I also didn't want to procede
    without their advice as it seemed likely since they had assigned
    themselves to the issue that they were in fact likely experts
    on those issues.

Can I ask advice on how best to achieve #2?
   o send direct private email asking about status?  Now the discussion
     is off the list.
   o post comments to JIRA entry asking for status?  Now
   o subject it with just JIRA entry and assume owner will read?

For me personally I have no problem with people directing a public
query to me about an issue I have assigned myself in JIRA.  I try
to only assign issues to myself that I am actively working on.

For the last couple of weeks my particular itch has been to try to
get the nightly test regressions under control.  But it has been
quite frustrating as I believe we are actually in worst shape now
than when I started (more new issues came in than were resolved).
I have to believe it is frustrating for new developers to be told
to run as set of tests and then spend time figuring out what are
the "acceptable" failures -- which have been around for weeks.

Jean T. Anderson wrote:
> Rick Hillegas wrote:
>>Hi Jean,
>>I think that sometimes there's is no substitute for a response from a
>>particular individual, perhaps because of their expertise or keenness
>>for some issue. Somehow you have to cut through the blizzard of Derby
>>mail which buries all of our mailboxes. I don't see the point in being
>>coy about whose feedback you're seeking. To my way of thinking, naming
>>someone in the subject line is preferable to back-channel communication
>>and also to losing your query through the cracks. I have seen this
>>technique work on other large mailing lists. Sometimes you get a
>>response from a colleague telling you that the person you're trying to
>>reach is on vacation or otherwise unreachable. That's useful to know.
> Hi, Rick,
> By focusing on a single individual are you likely to miss other
> potential contributors who might be lurking?
> I don't think the subject line needs to be coy -- if it's carefully
> worded to convey what the post is about people with that interest will
> naturally be drawn to it -- and you might find some contributors emerge
> that you didn't expect. Currently there are 238 subscribers to derby-dev
> (see http://people.apache.org/~coar/mlists.html#db.apache.org).
> Carefully worded subject lines also make searching topics in archives
> easier.
> And if somebody isn't available, that's all the reason more for the
> subject line to not be exclusionary.
>>I understand your concern about people feeling cornered, but I think
>>that's part of the price you pay for being an expert. Personally, I
>>don't feel put off by these direct pages and I don't feel excluded from
>>responding if I have something to say. Also, I am not a big fan of
>>addressing people in the third person or through other indirection.
> We directly address each other a lot in the body of our posts -- and I
> think that's fine. It's the direct address in the subject line that I
> find jarring.
>  -jean
>>Both approaches (direct paging and indirect fishing) can be off-putting
>>in their own ways. I don't know how to fine-tune this, particularly
>>given all the warmth and emotional cues we lose by communicating through

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