[Bug 1082495] Re: Support bracketed prefixes in subject as filters

Gordon P. Hemsley gphemsley at gmail.com
Fri Nov 23 21:27:57 CET 2012

** Description changed:

  Many large mailing lists use bracketed prefixes in subjects as a way to
  filter messages into smaller buckets, allowing some subscribers to read
  all mail sent to the list while allowing others to filter messages (in
  their mail client) to read only the messages they are interested in.
  For example, the W3C's www-style mailing list uses these tags to filter
  messages based on which CSS spec they refer to. Thus, a subject line
  that begins "[css3-fonts]" will be assumed to be about only the
  css3-fonts spec, with a target audience of only those interested in that
  particular spec and not, say, the css3-flexbox spec (whose subject lines
  would be prefixed with "[css3-flexbox]").
  To handle this, the Mailman archive interface would provide an option to
  filter only on particular prefixes (as well as messages that don't have
  any prefixes), allowing a user of the archive to use it as they
  otherwise would, but filtering the output such that they only see the
  messages they want to see, instead of the whole archive.
  In addition, it would be helpful to allow mailing lists to automatically
  prefix subject lines when the message is sent to an e-mail address using
  a plus alias.
  For example, sending mail to www-style+css3-fonts at w3.org would prefix
  the subject line of the message with "[css3-fonts]" in the message sent
  to subscribers and in the archive, whereas sending mail to www-
  style+css3-flexbox at w3.org would prefix the message with
  It should also be allowed to have multiple prefixes on a message, and
  having such messages be treated as if they had any prefix individually.
  In terms of plus aliasing, there are two ways to handle it: (1) allow
  aliases to specify multiple prefixes in a plus alias using some
  separator (e.g. a comma: www-style+css3-fonts,css3-flexbox at w3.org); or
  (2) detecting and intercepting when a single message was sent to
  multiple e-mail addresses with different plus aliases for a single
  mailing list (e.g. sending the same e-mail to both www-
  style+css3-fonts at w3.org and www-style+css3-flexbox at w3.org), treating it
  as a single message with multiple subject prefixes when sent to
  subscribers or stored in the archive.
  Now, I understand that this is likely a huge undertaking, but I think it
  would go a long way to helping users with large and diverse mailing
+ [EDIT: It appears the W3C may not actually use Mailman. But my point is
+ still the same, so take my usage of W3C e-mails as a hypothetical
+ example, if necessary.]

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  Support bracketed prefixes in subject as filters

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