Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(January 1996)

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Subject: Re: How was "-request" coined?
From: dattier @ wwa . com (David W. Tamkin)
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 08:51:01 -0600 (CST)
To: meo @ schoneal . com
Cc: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: <199601072201 . QAA25254 @ schoneal . com> from "Miles O'Neal" at Jan 7, 96 04:01:01 pm

Thanks to Alyson Abramowitz and Brent Chapman for their glimpses into the
origins of the "-request" suffix.

But Miles O'Neal gave me this pat (as in what he did to his own back) answer:

| Please add me top the list.
| Please remove me from the list.
| Sounds like requests to me...

Miles, you missed the point.  Try reasoning forward (from the viewpoint of
someone who isn't already familiar with the suffix "-request" and is trying
to come up with a convention) instead of backward (from the perspective of
somebody justifying a choice already made).

Yes, a case can be made for "-request," but lots of other choices would have
been logical at that point as well, and they would not have had the same
problems today (they might have had different ones that -request doesn't
have).  I wanted to know why, out of all the ideas possible, "-request" got
chosen.  Why not "-changes" or "-membership"?  If either of those had become
the standard, and someone asked today how they came about, anyone could say
what Miles O'Neal did: "add me, remove me -- those sound like changes to me"
or "add me, remove me -- those sound like mail about list membership to me."
And it still wouldn't answer the question.

Then again, if I had used corolla-changes instead of corolla-request, people
would write in thinking I would take their cars in trade, replace their
parts, or upgrade their options.

With the advantange of hindsight from 1996, I am seriously considering
changing the aliases for the list I still run to something grossly obvious
like listname-submissions and listname-subscriptions.  That won't help for
replies, since virtually nobody pays attention to whether his or her MUA
picked out the right reply address, but it will for original mailings. 
listname @
 site and listname-request @
 site will still have to be active (if only
to return autoreplies that this list breaks convention) because people will
assume they exist.

David W. Tamkin    dattier @
 wwa .
 com    MCI Mail: 426-1818

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