Topics

moderated #hashtags


 

Steve,

Since hashtags cant really do much when they are in an email subject
line,
That's the only place they do anything, in Groups.io.

After all, they are not relevent at an email level... at least with my
group they are not.
Oh, but they might be, to any of your group members. See the following:

Another option could be to let the user subscribe to only certain
subject tags and not others.
That part exists. See the description of *Following Only* in the help:
https://groups.io/static/help#suboptions

Or look on your Subscription page, in the Advanced Preferences section.

Shal


Technotronic Dimensions
 

Since hashtags cant really do much when they are in an email subject line,
and they seem to sometimes add in the same tag multiple times to subject lines
with multiple email replies -
perhaps the option to remove them from any email subject could be an option
at the owner level, or maybe let it be an option in the users subscription settings.

After all, they are not relevent at an email level... at least with my group they
are not. But for purposes of navigation on the web interface to see what kind
of subjects are popular, they are of good value as long as the owner or mods
are vigilant and group them together accordingly on a regular basis... which is a great help
when a potential new user wishes to join, and can review what the most popular tags are.

Another option could be to let the user subscribe to only certain subject tags and not others.

==
Steve


 

Technotronic Dimensions,

As for the date being a factor in weather a topic is "stale" or not, I
as a group owner dont believe its relevent,
Recall that this test is only applied to messages posted by email that lack the customary "In-Reply-To:" or "References:" header field. That should be a minority case in replies posted by email as most email user interfaces will include one or the other if the person uses the Reply function.

Lacking those fields is an indicator that the person likely composed the email as a new message, not a reply. So the time limits are intended to prevent the accidental inclusion of a new message with common Subject text into a on old Topic. For example, a new member might post a message with a non-specific Subject like "Hello". It would make no sense to link that new message to a similar incident years ago.

Shal


Technotronic Dimensions
 

Thanks for your hard work Chris in your evaluation and testing, I dont see anything being left out and you built on my original
findings quite more than my efforts, which was my intent that someone would.

Perhaps offering options on how hashtags behave and let the group owners set them is the best way to go. Default would be how they are now,
and other options that coule be checkboxes maybe:

[ ] Attempt to apply hashtags to all postings by searching archives for closest matches in subject.
[ ] Same as above, but search message body as well.

As for the date being a factor in weather a topic is "stale" or not , I as a group owner dont believe its relevent,
so my group would not need to bother, but for those who do, I suppose a drop down list with anything from "never"
to x days, weeks , months etc could be a feature.

As for a typo in the event someone has a brainstorm and rather retype the subject by memory, or has lost the archives,
or cant access the UI, it would be up to the group owner and their mods to catch the typo, and let them correct the subject.


Now to a genuine oddity. A topic is started without a hashtag, and for some strange reason a subscriber (who may in fact be an owner or moderator) >>replies to it by email adding a hashtag to the subject line. (Don’t ask why they might do that!) That hashtag will not turn up against the topic in the web >>UI, but it will be included in distributed emails and will continue to propagate along the thread if anyone replies to a distributed email with the hashtag in >>the subject line.
My head hurts…
Chris
Hope I allieved some of the pain. Keep up the good work.


 

Chris,

My head hurts…
Two principles of operation might help.

1) Replies don't edit the topic's Subject in the web UI. Only the Edit Topic function does that.

2) When Groups.io processes a message posted by email I don't think it does any modification to the subject line as emailed out to members other than to ensure that it includes the group's Subject tag. In particular it doesn't re-write the message Subject to match the Subject of the topic (if any) to which that reply is attached in the web UI.

Shal


Chris Jones
 

On Sat, Aug 31, 2019 at 06:56 PM, I wrote:
I am now writing the report; it should be finished later today / this evening UK time.

 

The original query (which I have to say I did not find entirely clear in its description of the problem) appears to have conflated two completely separate “phenomena” in the way Groups.io behaves. I would delete the word “anomalies” in my earlier post and replace it with phenomena for the simple reason that I don’t think either of the two can be described as faults, but may not qualify as full features either, although one of them comes rather close.

 

In all fairness the fact that two entirely separate factors are in play did not become really clear until I started investigating, and as far as I have been able to determine there is no interaction between them; neither modifies the action of the other, although on occasions it may seem that they do.

 

As might be realised from the original post the phenomena are exhibited by the behaviour of Hashtags in “unusual” circumstances (i.e. retrospectively applied) and the behaviour of Threading.

 

It is easier to consider threading first. A topic may be started from either the web UI or by email, and replies to that topic can be also sent either way. If the replies are sent via the web UI then by definition the messages will thread correctly, and this will still work  after a long period of topic dormancy. (> 30 days) If the replies are sent by email then they will thread correctly, but at the time of writing it has not been possible to test if there is a “30 day rule” applicable to them for the simple reason that my usual modus operandum is by web  so I have no “old” emailed posts to which I can reply. (I hope to check this in 31 days from now.)

 

There is, however, a second way of replying by email, and that is by composing a “new” email and typing Re: + subject in the subject line. This will thread correctly with the original topic provided that it has not been dormant for > 30 days; if the inactivity on that topic is longer than that then the “Re:” will be stripped off by Groups.io and the subject will appear as a new topic.

 

It must be noted that this method will fail if there is a typing error in the subject so that there is no match between an original subject and the reply in question, resulting in a new topic with a typing error starting; the Re: will be stripped off automatically.  (As an aside the system seems tolerant of 2 spaces rather than one after Re: but the full extent of this tolerance has not been tested.)

 

Now… hashtags. Consider first a topic started with a hashtag applied; it matters not whether the topic was started by web UI or by email. The email sent to subscribers by Groups.io will have the hashtag in its subject line, and that hashtag will be perpetuated by the replies to the original message irrespective of whether those replies are by email or web UI unless for some reason a subscriber sends an email with a typed subject line that does not include the relevant hashtag. In this case the post will appear as normal as part of the topic but the emails sent out by Groups.io will not have the hashtag in the subject line either. All replies generated via the web UI will have the hashtag added.

 

If the hashtag is added retrospectively then the possibilities for confusion become greater. By way of example let us assume that a topic is started with no hashtags and that there are then 4 replies to it (5 posts in total). At that point a moderator edits the subject line and adds a hashtag. Following that, 5 subscribers post replies using the web UI, followed by another 5 who post via email.

 

Now the 5 posts done via the web will result in emails that have the hashtag in the subject line; the next 5 might be more complicated; if their (emailed) replies were replies to one of the initial 5 posts (prior to the addition of the hashtag) then their emails will not have the hashtag in the subject line and neither will the resultant distributed emails; if, however, any of them were replies to one of the messages sent from the web UI then they will have the hashtag in the subject line, and so will the resulting distributed emails. Over time – depending on how many posts the complete thread accumulates – some of the emails distributed to members will have hashtags in the subject line while others will not.

 

Now add the effects of threading and retrospectively – added hashtags together…

 

Looking back to the original query there are bits of evidence missing, e.g. the existence or otherwise of non – hashtagged threads that may have been split by virtue of the way various posts were generated; I think some more detailed investigation by the OP would be in order in the hope of getting a more comprehensive picture of what is happening on his group.

 

Now to a genuine oddity. A topic is started without a hashtag, and for some strange reason a subscriber (who may in fact be an owner or moderator) replies to it by email adding a hashtag to the subject line. (Don’t ask why they might do that!) That hashtag will not turn up against the topic in the web UI, but it will be included in distributed emails and will continue to propagate along the thread if anyone replies to a distributed email with the hashtag in the subject line.

 

My head hurts…

 

Chris

 

 

 

 

 


Chris Jones
 

On Sat, Aug 31, 2019 at 06:32 PM, Shal Farley wrote:
Hopefully Chris' investigation will ultimately lead to better clarity.
The investigations have been done (all bar one which will have to wait for >30 days) and I am now writing the report; it should be finished later today / this evening UK time.

Whether it provides further clarity may be for others to judge...

Chris


 

Ken,

The question pertains to the topic here - revising subject lines and
how the result ends up getting threaded. That said I’m happy to cross
post on gmf but I would have nothing of substance to add at this
point.
I suggested the change in venue to stay in keeping with this group's mission, n.b. the beta group's home page description. Once the facts of "what is" are established it would make sense to return here with suggested changes, if any.

I haven’t a clue about updating the page, or it’s incorrect at all.
Whether the page is factually correct or not, I've inferred from your question that at the least it lacks sufficient clarity. Otherwise you should be able determine whether your example fits the description or not.

Hopefully Chris' investigation will ultimately lead to better clarity.

Shal


Chris Jones
 

On Sat, Aug 31, 2019 at 07:56 AM, Ken Kloeber wrote:
The question pertains to the topic here - revising subject lines  and how the result ends up getting threaded. That said I’m happy to cross post on gmf but I would have nothing of substance to add at this point. 
From my point of view this thread has generated more heat than light.

I have started a series of tests on Shal's test group and have found one "anomaly" (the quotation marks are important here) but until more has been done I will not report any detail back.

I reserve the right to report on GMF rather than here because I suspect that is the better place for it. I'll think a bit more about that...

Chris


KWKloeber
 

On Fri, Aug 30, 2019 at 04:59 PM, Shal Farley wrote:
Ken,
 
Shal Farley wrote:
Ken,
Ok, but that doesn't explain why ...
 
If that page needs correction or improvement please do so (that's what wikis are for). Or let's discuss it in GMF.
 
Shal
******
shal I haven’t a clue about updating the page, or it’s incorrect at all. 
You referred me to that page in reply to my question why two subject lines, identical, would end up in different threads. 
Mid you know why I’m all ears. If you don’t i surely don’t either so can’t revise the wiki page. 

The question pertains to the topic here - revising subject lines  and how the result ends up getting threaded. That said I’m happy to cross post on gmf but I would have nothing of substance to add at this point. 
 


 

Ken,

Shal Farley wrote:
Ken,
Ok, but that doesn't explain why ...

If that page needs correction or improvement please do so (that's what wikis are for). Or let's discuss it in GMF.
Shal


KWKloeber
 

<<<On Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 09:52 AM, Shal Farley wrote:
Ken,
Shal >>>
Ok, but that doesn't explain why
orig subj
orig subj
ended up in different threads/subjects/topics (take your pick <wink> )
They are identical.   
Might the algorithm be updated to also ignore other commonly used? like RE:; [SPAM] etc (mind has temporarily gone blank)--  that an email client or other might tack on to the subject line?


Drew
 

Yes, unfortunately this makes hashtags a lot less useful than they otherwise would be.

For example, there is no point for a moderator to edit a message topic by adding a hashtag to a previously posted message if most of the subscribers participate in the group via email: they will all have received the original un-tagged post and their email followups to the original will be distributed as untagged.

Our group uses hashtags so that subscribers can filter message posts- both in the archive to selectively browse hashtagged topics that they are interested in, but also by email subscribers to mute tags that they don't want to receive. The current hashtag behavior makes the second task a lot less useful than it otherwise would be.

I might as well add a formerly mentioned feature request for hashtags: namely, the ability for online subscribers to mute specific hastagged topics while browsing the archive and filter them from view.

Drew

On 08/30/19 08:23, Technotronic Dimensions wrote:
Nope thats basicly what happened. I thought
the rest of the messages would get the tag if
the 1st message was later assigned a tag.
The replies , as well as the 1st post were all done via email.
Another observation thats related - is the tag gets added to
the subject line multiple times, when there is a reply via email
to a message that has the tag in the subject field already.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Drew" <pubx1@af2z.net>
To: <main@beta.groups.io>
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2019 6:38 PM
Subject: Re: [beta] #hashtags

You added the hashtag to a message post in the archive. If someone replied to that message in the archive the reply would have been hashtagged also; but I think if they replied to the original un-hashtagged post that they received via email it would not carry the hashtag.

At least, that is my impression. I could be wrong about it.

73,
Drew
AF2Z



On 08/29/19 10:28, Technotronic Dimensions wrote:
1st topic didnt have a tag, and I manually added one days later. Few weeks went by, and someone replied,
but the tag on all the subsequent replies to the 1st topic didnt get tied in with the tag forced into the first post.

The 1st topic is completely seperated from all the subsequent replies now. All the subsequent replies are grouped together
but with no tag.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Ken Kloeber via Groups.Io" <KWKloeber=aol.com@groups.io>
To: <main@beta.groups.io>
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2019 12:10 AM
Subject: Re: [beta] #hashtags


***any of the following subject replies didnt tie in to the 1st subject ***

Are you saying that all of the subsequent posts (after made the hashtag
change) are under one separate/different (non #hashtag) topic??
Or did each subsequent post end up under its own topic (i.e., several posts,
different topics, having the same non-#hashtag subject)?


---
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
https://www.avg.com









KWKloeber
 

Confused!
Are we saying that adding a #HT in effect editing the topic (- or is that the “thread”? or the “subject”? or the “topic”? — I guess it doesn’t matter if consistently being inconsistent is being consistent <wink>) in effect creates a DIFFERENT thread?  And a msg reply to the old t/s/t doesn’t get hooked up with the revised t/s/t?   If so that seems pretty un handy.   It seems that replies within a reasonable period of time should ignore appended #HTs and get m threaded with the revised t/s/t. 

Or maybe I’m misinterpreting the business rules applied to the email subject lines?


Technotronic Dimensions
 

Nope thats basicly what happened. I thought
the rest of the messages would get the tag if
the 1st message was later assigned a tag.

The replies , as well as the 1st post were all done via email.

Another observation thats related - is the tag gets added to
the subject line multiple times, when there is a reply via email
to a message that has the tag in the subject field already.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Drew" <pubx1@af2z.net>
To: <main@beta.groups.io>
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2019 6:38 PM
Subject: Re: [beta] #hashtags


You added the hashtag to a message post in the archive. If someone replied to that message in the archive the reply would have been hashtagged also; but I think if they replied to the original un-hashtagged post that they received via email it would not carry the hashtag.

At least, that is my impression. I could be wrong about it.

73,
Drew
AF2Z



On 08/29/19 10:28, Technotronic Dimensions wrote:
1st topic didnt have a tag, and I manually added one days later. Few weeks went by, and someone replied,
but the tag on all the subsequent replies to the 1st topic didnt get tied in with the tag forced into the first post.

The 1st topic is completely seperated from all the subsequent replies now. All the subsequent replies are grouped together
but with no tag.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Ken Kloeber via Groups.Io" <KWKloeber=aol.com@groups.io>
To: <main@beta.groups.io>
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2019 12:10 AM
Subject: Re: [beta] #hashtags


***any of the following subject replies didnt tie in to the 1st subject ***

Are you saying that all of the subsequent posts (after made the hashtag
change) are under one separate/different (non #hashtag) topic??
Or did each subsequent post end up under its own topic (i.e., several posts,
different topics, having the same non-#hashtag subject)?


---
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
https://www.avg.com








 

Technotronic,
Ok, I think I figured out what's going on.

1st topic didnt have a tag, and I manually added one days later. Few weeks went by, and someone replied,  but the tag on all the subsequent replies to the 1st topic didnt get tied in with the tag forced into the first post.

The 1st topic is completely seperated from all the subsequent replies now. All the subsequent replies are grouped together  but with no tag. 
Here's what the Topics and the Threading Algorithm, on the Group Managersr Forum Wiki reads:
Posting by email with the same subject text causes them to thread together.
...
Here is the threading algorithm: If a message has threading information (i.e.: "References" and "In-Reply-To" entries in the message header), use that.
If a message does not have threading information:
  • If it's a web post (i.e.: not a reply), assume it's the start of a new thread
  • If the subject starts with Re:, look for a matching subject within the last 30 days
  • If the subject does not start with Re:, look for a matching subject within the last 2 days
Ref: https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/12491

Questions:
  • What exactly do you mean by "few days later"?
  • What exactly do you mean by "few weeks went by"?

  • If your first answer is "more than 2 days" then that's the reason for this behavior.
  • Likewise, if your answer to the second question is "more than 30 days" (probably not) then, again, that's the reason for this behavior.

It's also possible that the person just replied, by email, to the first message they've got (in other words, the topic without  the edited and tagged subject).
In this case, I agree that the reply should be tagged, assuming the aforementioned conditions.

Not sure if it will, but hope this helps.

Cheers,
Marcio AKA Starboy

Sent from a galaxy far, far away.


Drew
 

You added the hashtag to a message post in the archive. If someone replied to that message in the archive the reply would have been hashtagged also; but I think if they replied to the original un-hashtagged post that they received via email it would not carry the hashtag.

At least, that is my impression. I could be wrong about it.

73,
Drew
AF2Z

On 08/29/19 10:28, Technotronic Dimensions wrote:
1st topic didnt have a tag, and I manually added one days later. Few weeks went by, and someone replied,
but the tag on all the subsequent replies to the 1st topic didnt get tied in with the tag forced into the first post.
The 1st topic is completely seperated from all the subsequent replies now. All the subsequent replies are grouped together
but with no tag.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Ken Kloeber via Groups.Io" <KWKloeber=aol.com@groups.io>
To: <main@beta.groups.io>
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2019 12:10 AM
Subject: Re: [beta] #hashtags

***any of the following subject replies didnt tie in to the 1st subject ***

Are you saying that all of the subsequent posts (after made the hashtag
change) are under one separate/different (non #hashtag) topic??
Or did each subsequent post end up under its own topic (i.e., several posts,
different topics, having the same non-#hashtag subject)?


---
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
https://www.avg.com




 

I noticed something weird about this just the other day after adding a hashtag to an already-existing topic. I haven't had time to thoroughly check it out yet but just adding my voice to "something funny seems to be going on."


On Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 9:24 AM Technotronic Dimensions <steve@...> wrote:
The replies only, are grouped together. This is what I observed after I
applied the tag
to the 1st subject. Its possible that after tagging the 1st post, the system
now views the rest
of the replies as seperate topics. I thought that after tagging the 1st
post, the tag would be recursively applied
to all the other replies, but this has not been the case.

Any other subject that has not been tagged, groups all the subjects fine.

>>*A question:* are the replies to an initial post correctly threaded below
>>it when the topic is looked at on the web UI?






--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


Technotronic Dimensions
 

The replies only, are grouped together. This is what I observed after I applied the tag
to the 1st subject. Its possible that after tagging the 1st post, the system now views the rest
of the replies as seperate topics. I thought that after tagging the 1st post, the tag would be recursively applied
to all the other replies, but this has not been the case.

Any other subject that has not been tagged, groups all the subjects fine.

*A question:* are the replies to an initial post correctly threaded below it when the topic is looked at on the web UI?


Chris Jones
 

On Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 04:49 PM, Technotronic Dimensions wrote:
As an experiment, find the 1st post in a subject thats not been tagged,
and tag it. Do all the rest of the replies now get tagged?
I must confess to being a bit lost in all this, but I think I may have spotted a misunderstanding.

A question: are the replies to an initial post correctly threaded below it when the topic is looked at on the web UI?

Assuming that they are then the hashtag applies to the Subject as displayed on the web UI, and is not replicated in each of the replies.

Chris