Please note, this is not designed to be a complaint about people who
complain about OT posts, I am just trying to get something
Instead of working on massive complants about OT posts, how about we
work on getting OT posters to put OT at the start of their messages ?
Seems like half the OT posters don't know how or why to do that.
This is the most practical solution to OT posts, and it works. We can
filter them out.
How about the OT post complainers PLEASE show you are tuned in to
what is happening by also using the OT: format for subjects !
Good idea Scott
And while your at it why not count the number of machine posts we get in a
month then figure out how to get the people that answer posts in here more
then once a week.
I think cross posting to non machine groups is the real culprit and am
trying to be careful of that in the future.
If you could get more machine posts in here That would work for me
Unfortunately, I *like* some of the ones marked OT. Now, if
Nick's suggestion were taken to mark the specifically political ones
"POL", I could filter without worrying about missing some of the more
fun To posts.
For that matter -- if I *were* filtering out those marked "OT",
I would not have even seen this one.
As it is, I have to filter on a thread by thread basis.
Again -- better to use two -- one the "OT", and one marked
"POL" (which truly is the bulk of the Off Topic stuff anyway), so we
could pick and choose more easily.
Part of the problem with adding "OT" part way through a thread
is that some newsreaders (or newsreader-wannabes) don't handle threading
by the "References: " header properly, and thus mark it as a different
thread, so somebody trying to follow it may lose that branch -- and they
may be the ones most needing to follow it.
P.S. I notice that the user whose username starts with "Ignoramus"
(followed by some long number) has moved to the "loosers and
twits" news server (alt.net) which will never kick *anyone* out,
no matter how obnoxious they are.
I set my news server up to reject any articles from that
newsgroup (and thus rendered "news.admin.net-abuse.usenet"
readable for the first time in years).
As a result, I am only seeing his articles quoted (just as
with "Cass", who, with all his changing forged usernames, was my
motivation to block at the news server, after discovering that
nobody else here was using it, nor anybody in any of the other
newsgroups which I follow.)
P.P.S. Adding "OT" to a subject line which does not have it (or typing
it in the middle of an article, such as I have several times in
this followup, is a real pain for me, because I have taught my
editor to automatically correct common typos of mine (which
include transposing the 't' and the 'o' in the word "to", so
every time I try to type that marker, I wind up with "To"
instead, and have to go back and change it in such a way that
it does not consider it a freshly-typed bit of text. :-)
[ ... ]
Another thing that I just remembered that is a problem. The
format which you used just above, with two letters followed by a ':' is
apparently being treated as yet another form of "Re: " by some
(Windows-based) newsreaders, and is being automatically stripped off
(when at the beginning of the "Subject: " header, just prior to the
newreader putting in its own "Re: ". (This is normally good, as it
prevents something like:
Subjet: Re: Re: RE: Re: Whatever this was
Which used to be fairly common.
So, the flag, if typed at the beginning with only a ':' following
it before the man subject information, will vanish when many people
reply to it -- without their intending it. I would suggest that you
instead make it:
"Subject: (OT) Whatever the subject really is"
so the flag will not be stripped off by some of the newsreaders. I just
had to add it back to this one, as the prior reply had stripped it off.
(Did it have the flag at the beginning of the thread? -- Let's see:)
The first five in the thread who
566030:Subject: OT: for all the off topic complainers
566051:Subject: Re: for all the off topic complainers
566068:Subject: Re: for all the off topic complainers
566083:Subject: Re: OT for all the off topic complainers
566094:Subject: Re: OT: for all the off topic complainers
Two of the four followups managed to stripp off the original flag. One
of the remaining ones kept the flag, but lost the ':'.
Of the two which stripped it off, the first was posted by:
And the second by:
So -- the most common thing acting as a newsreader on the newsgroup is
stripping it off it if has the ':'. A very good argument for avoiding
that particular format.
And the one which stripped off the ':' was being run by the
originator of this thread -- Scott Moore (And
looking at the body, he actually simply added it back in, without the
Of course, in any other position other than the beginning of the
"Subject: " header, it will (probably) be safe enough, but at the
beginning, and with a ':', it is seriously endangered.
format (two letters, followed by a ':', followed by a space at the
beginning of the "Subject: " line was interpreted by his newsreader
(Microsoft's Outlook Express), as being equivalent to "Re: ", and
stripped off before it added its own "Re: ", to avoid a long chain of
So -- *please* some other format, such as "(OT)", which won't
trigger that particular bug/feature in OE? I've found two examples of
it in just this thread so far.
On Sat, 06 Nov 2004 22:10:06 GMT, Scott Moore
vaguely proposed a theory
......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
I use Free Agent's Ignore key on a thread by thread basis. It then
does not keep showing me a new heaader every time there is a reply to
that thread. This overcomes what Don talked about with the ":" thing.
In the end I spend maybe 30 seconds a day removing unwanted threads,
and get exactly what I want. shrug
But they _want_ to be read. Why would they listen? *****************************************************
Dogs are better than people.
People are better than dogs for only one purpose. And
then it's only half of ofthe people. And _then_ most
of them are only ordinary anyway. And then they have a
I frequently check rec.boats (which has been, for all practical
intents and purposes, destroyed by off topic and political
postings)... and my responses on this matter address what I have seen
This won't work, because they *want* you to read their drivel. This
*in your face* invective is what brings them to the keyboard. It is
the rare prolific off topic poster that will warn you that they are
*doing their thing*.
Oh, they know alright... it just spoils their fun. Some of the most
candid of the rec.boats off topic posters freely have admitted they
had no interest in going to that newsgroup and discussing *anything*
It relies on the off topic people to police themselves... sorry, been
there, seen that.... it won't be allowed to work.
For any of you people that actually want this to work do NOT use
OT:... you must use something like (OT) or outlook will delete it and
you'll be back where you started...
Since this is the *other* newsgroup that I frequently read, I'll make
posters here the same offer I made to rec.boats....
I have a small news server that filters out unwanted political crap.
It isn't fool proof and does require some hands-on deleting, so not
*every* naughty post is removed immediately, but if you'd like an
alternative, go to:
and see what you think.
you remain as anonymous as your newsreader allows you. It is text
only, covers just a few groups... none of which are binary. Anyone may
read, but you must use a password to post, since I need some kind of
control on misuse and bandwidth consumption.
Of course -- but I don't hold out much hope of that ever
happening. Microsoft likes to make its *own* standards, and to h*ll
with everybody else.
Since we're stuck with OE as the majority newsreader here, and
we want the OT marking to *work*, that means that we have to work around
OE's deficiencies. (And I don't know how many others may also be
similarly broken. My guess is that it is to work around the fact that
some systems apply a "RE:" equivalent in other languages, and this
particular trick will catch all of the ones which use a two-character
version, without having to embed a table to catch all of the *current*
I doubt it. I suspect that is hard-coded in the program, and
the chances of getting hold of the source code to a Microsoft program
are pretty slim. :-)
I don't use it (or even Microsoft OSs) for newsreading or
e-mail, and would not trust OE with the task in today's climate of virii
if I *did* use their OSs.
Someone is welcome to try the search, but:
1) I doubt that you would find the fix out there anywhere.
2) Even if you did, what are the odds that you could get *everyone*
in the newsgroup to apply the fix -- including new members just
Far better to use a format which will not cause problems with
this bug (eliminate the ':' a the end of the "OT", or put it in brackets
or parens, or put it at the end.
Or -- if you can find a way to ban OE from the newsgroups, I
would not be at all unhappy. :-)