Email subject line formatting

mark.reinhold at mark.reinhold at
Wed Apr 22 17:23:17 UTC 2020

2020/4/17 2:58:18 -0700, magnus.ihse.bursie at
> On 2020-04-17 10:46, Erik Helin wrote:
>> ...
>> Both me and Robin are personally fine with rewriting the subject line 
>> more aggressively, we both use MUAs that thread based on the 
>> "In-Reply-To" and "References" headers. I would just like to point out 
>> that several MUAs do *not* thread solely on the "In-Reply-To" and 
>> "References" headers, the most notable one being the Gmail browser 
>> based MUA accessible at
> Well, screw them. They can always use emacs instead. ;-)
> But seriously, would gmail have problem handling a thread properly if 
> you change the subject to be prefixed "Integrated: JDK-xxx ..." rather 
> than "Re: [integrated] RFR: JDK-xxx ..."? It could be worth testing. If 
> this special case is handled ok, then it's not really an issue if the 
> general threading is borked by gmail.

Let’s not do the wrong thing just to appease a broken MUA, no matter how
popular it might be.

>> ...
>> Now, what are those e-mails prefixed with "FYI" that Magnus mentioned? 
>> We use the "FYI" prefix instead of "RFR" when the bots send an email 
>> for a pull request that has already been integrated. Since the bots 
>> are polling they might encounter a pull request that was very quickly 
>> integrated. This is most likely to happen for OpenJDK projects that do 
>> not require reviews, where Committers can integrate their own pull 
>> requests as soon as they are created (given that they pass jcheck).

So, theoretically, if the bots didn’t poll but were perfectly in sync
with GitHub then these “FYI” messages wouldn’t be needed?

>> Using the prefix "RFR" for this scenario felt wrong, since it is not a 
>> request for review (the pull request has already been integrated). We 
>> therefore opted for the "FYI" prefix to signal that we are conveying 
>> information for something that has already happened. You can compare 
>> this situation to one where you pushed a changeset and retroactively 
>> send an e-mail with the webrev to a project's mailing list. This is an 
>> orthogonal feature to any kind of notification e-mail being sent for 
>> the integration.
> I think their function was understood, and reasonable. I was merely 
> reacting to the choice of the new tag "FYI" here, which to me implicated 
> a general informational message ("FYI: is down right 
> now"), rather than a source revision operation.

I had no idea what their function was, but now I do (thanks!).

I agree with Magnus that the “FYI” prefix is confusing.

> It also struck me that these mails are, in some way, the very same thing 
> as the end result mail of a RFR thread. It's like a RFR but without the 
> request for the reviews. :-) I thought it might make sense to treat both 
> these kinds of mail the same, and use "Integrated:" as prefix for them 
> both. As an added benefit, you would be able to search for "Integrated:" 
> in a project mailbox, and see all integrations, both those that were 
> pushed directly and those that were out for review.

Makes sense to me.

>                                                     This would perhaps 
> mean that the "git:" update mail would not be needed for those projects, 
> since it would just duplicate this information.

I think there’s still value in the “git:” style messages, particularly
for people who want to follow the stream of updates to a repo without
having to scan every RFR thread for a terminal “Integrated” message.

- Mark

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