[Mailman-Users] archive - ergonomics of date
rustym at main.nc.us
Fri Jul 18 16:36:33 CEST 2003
Tyrus Maynard wrote:
> I have questions about the way that index listings of postings is
displayed in Mailman for all sorted listing ...sorted by
Date,Subject/Thread or Author. This is not about search tools, only the
sorted lists offered for browsing.
> 1. Why is date not shown for all sorted posting lists in Mailman ?
> (Why is date not shown for ANY sorted posting lists )
> 1a Why is date not provided/shown for a list by DATE sorting?
> Now WHY would I want an index sorted by DATE that scrolls over
more than a screenfull WITHOUT having the Date provided on each entry.
> How many clicks do I want to execute to find the "sweet spot" in a
long list that approximates April 15,2002 ...Mailman archiving
forces the opening of multiple irrelevant postings just to find an
approximate date to begin browsing for old content.
> It is unthinkable to me to provide a SORTED list without the
content of the SORT FIELD being displayed ...if you don't believe me
try the same for a subject sort or an author sort. I really don't do
games on computers ....except at a Mailman Date archive, where I can
play hit the "pinnata" with multiple blind mouse clicks.
> 1b Why is date not shown for a listing by Thread/Subject?
> Let me propose that the date of a message is also important to
evaluating its significance. For threads that are familiar (whether
followed or particpating poster) I retain a rough chronology of the
conversation. Also,when I visit a new thread, I know that sometimes an
important post is an OUTLIER .... separated in time from the starting
post. Outliers often provide thoughtful informative followup (on an
active list an outlier may be hours old compared to minutes old). I
don't claim that outliers are always significant, but the TIME SEQUENCE
of a SUBJECT THREAD gives important clues to the conversation. Also it
is important to revisiting a thread which is well remembered, because
the basic FLOW of CONVERSATION may also be recalled on a revisit. Date
is an important clue in a sorted listing by subject.
> 1c Why is date not shown for listing by Author ?
> Do lists have dominant Authors posting important stuff? Yes.
> The way I remember an old post is this:
> "That important security issue, that I can't remember the name of
(and which probably doesn't have "security" as a search term)"
> Posted by "Guru Joe" (who knows alot about security on this list)
> Posted in "January or February of 2002"
> Naturally I would like to browse the Author listing of Guru Joe and
find the region around Jan Feb 2002 ....not much fun in a Mailman
archive ...unless you enjoy !
> Interestingly solving 1a,1b,1c does not require any new algorithm,
...just piping the existing data into the display ... the existing
spacing of sorted list display has available whitespace.
> (Now at the end of my sermon, please tell me it was a wasted appeal,
and that there is already an overlooked toggle setting to display date
somewhere in the admin interface)
> This link to a long thread on "Future of Pipermail" is old
> This is a clue to me that the future is NOW and the archiver is
languishing from developer interest ...to any developer on this user
list,please post this DATE issue into the developer-list.
> I hope my pitch for DATE DISPLAY is well received by developers who
follow this userlist and provocative enough to earn a short thread and
priority in the next version.
> Tyrus Maynard
In the hopes that this proposal for a simple change in the display of
the pipermail archive will be perceived as a contribution to the
mailman cause and receive further comment on this thread I am placing
copy ABOVE extra comment.
Some may wish to categorize my lengthy post with a reference to some
historical past pipermail discussion on the developer list as an
accident, but there it is, free, and reasoned by one user.
If anyone wishes to wait for me to offer code, then one would not
really be interested in correcting deficiency that I have described any
time in the near future even for a simple fix. (If I am not qualified to
add the code for even this simple fix should I still post to the
My understanding of the role of this user-list is to develop
dialogue that identifies mandates for those that do develop code. I have
placed my initial content at the top of this post hoping that it will
receive attention and comments on its merits.
Is this a suggestion worthy of Mailman? Please add your view on the
merits along with additional pointed critique. Maybe there are
reasons to leave Mailman the way it is in this simple matter of display
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