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Request of the Management

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic List Management Presenting: A Request From: Bruce I realize this has come up before, but complications are still occurring, and thus it is that I
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 8, 2008
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      To: Synoptic List Management
      Presenting: A Request
      From: Bruce

      I realize this has come up before, but complications are still occurring,
      and thus it is that I again implore the Synoptic list managers to convene
      and reconsider the current choice of Reply options for the list. It is
      currently set so that "Reply" messages go to the person posting, and only
      "Reply All" messages go to the whole list. Why is this a problem? I will
      explain.

      1. It is a problem because nearly all lists choose the opposite setting (so
      that "Reply" goes to the whole list), and that habit gained elsewhere
      continually trips up people using Synoptic.

      2. The problem is not new. On dipping back into previous discussions
      involving Karel Hanhart in particular, the other day, I noticed "Oops"
      messages, where people have pushed the wrong button, and then have to take
      up yet more bandwidth apologizing for the result. It has been a continual
      problem.

      3. We list members can of course school ourselves to remember that, uniquely
      with Synoptic, we must push "Reply All." But . . .

      4. . . . that involves technical problems for a significant number of us. If
      I do it, for instance, in replying to Ron Price, my message is refused
      because for some reason unknown to science Ron's computer rejects my
      address. I then have to go back inside the message, delete Ron's address
      from it (where it was placed by "Reply All"), and resend it. This I can do,
      but time is piling up, and my time is worth *something.*

      5. Karel Hanhart separately reports to me that for some reason, and I will
      quote just this much of his latest message to me, "The Yahoo people exclude
      me automatically from my contribution to "reply all", although I had checked
      that button. They keep on doing this." End of quote.

      6. Karel thus asks me, as he has asked me before, to please post his
      material for him. My famous good nature makes me quite willing to oblige a
      colleague in this way, but again there are problems. Among them are: (a) the
      resulting message will appear on Synoptic as from me, not from him, thus
      confusing everyone who consults the archive or their own mail program, and
      (b) before doing so in the latest instance, I will need to edit out from the
      end of Karel's message what look like personal questions meant for me, and
      not for the list. To be sure I get this delicate decision made right, I will
      of course verify the edited version with Karel before actually posting it.
      More time passages, more editorial work is required from myself, and nothing
      has yet been contributed to discussion. My famous good nature, ready as
      always to meet all challenges human or mechanical, is entirely intact and
      fully functional, but the Synoptic discussion as such is surely not being
      much advanced.

      7. It thus now seems that the "Reply All" requirement, which previously just
      took an effort of memory, is now not even technically available to all those
      who *do* remember it, for what look like software reasons. The software
      complications, whatever they may be, are not user serviceable. They are
      without cure in at least one case.

      Very few people now use Synoptic as a forum. A significant proportion of
      those who do still use it have had trouble with the "Reply All" requirement,
      and the trouble is getting worse, not better, than before. Might it not
      therefore make sense to oblige the small number of current users, and to
      facilitate what is left of the discussion, by pushing the other button on
      the list settings?

      Respectfully resuggested,

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst

      [Moderator of six E-lists, none of them problematic]
    • Mark Goodacre
      Sounds good to me. I have no particular dog in the fight. I think it was set up that way originally because of the well-known embarrassment of people
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 8, 2008
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        Sounds good to me. I have no particular dog in the fight. I think it
        was set up that way originally because of the well-known embarrassment
        of people accidentally sending personal emails to the whole list.
        BTW, the list is still called "Synoptic-L" and not "Synoptic". The
        new yahoogroups address, synoptic@yahoogroups.com, was simply done out
        of necessity because they would not allow us to merge the old archive
        with the new. All best, Mark
        --
        Mark Goodacre Goodacre@...
        Associate Professor
        Duke University
        Department of Religion
        Gray Building / Box 90964
        Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
        Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530

        http://NTGateway.com/goodacre
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