Thread hijacking

Hello all, just a periodic reminder that it’s not optimal practice to veer a topic (initial posts on Discourse are called topics) off onto another matter. There are many papers on the internet about why we grumpy list administrators don’t like it. One reason is that this sort of multi-topic topic tends to become very long, and replies to different matters in the thread all become tangled up and very hard to read and follow the train of discourse.

So from time to time I will move thread replies to a new dedicated topic. For example the current topic on varnish has morphed into plectra and voicing. That deserves a new topic. I am NOT blaming anybody here - the natural tendency when you have a thought is to hit reply and not think about it too much, which is why this happens on everybody’s lists in all fields.

It’s not the end of the world if this happens, but I like to keep a very tidy ship where possible. This phenomenon has been called thread hijacking for a long time, but nowadays that seems a bit aggressive and I have seen it referred to as ‘thread veering’!

Just a snip from our FAQ page which neatly summarises some things:

Keep It Tidy

Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:

  • Don’t start a topic in the wrong category.
  • Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
  • Don’t post no-content replies.
  • Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream.
  • Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.


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