From: ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] The importance of retitling posts when the conversation changes (Was: Lab Design)
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2018 10:00:04 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Harkening back to the earliest days of the web (Usenet news groups) and mailing lists since, the standard protocol/etiquette when a post in a discussion thread diverges from the original title is to retitle it.
Thus, when the offshoot from the Lab Design discussion arose, the new post should have been titled "Combustible Dust Hazard Management Plan (Was:Re: [DCHAS-L] Lab Design)". But simplifying it makes it more readable. so "Combustible Dust Hazard Management Plan (Was: Lab Design)" is acceptable. Likewise, the offshoot into detonation vs deflagration should have also been retitled.
Notice that I've retitled subject line of this post in that same spirit.
The question at this point is why not just make a new subject of "Combustible Dust Hazard Management Plan" or "Deflagration vs Detonation"? Those are clean and concise. The issue there is that someone who was following the original thread may not look at the new thread, and someone who wasn't following the original thread may be confused by the discussion in the new one. That's why it is so useful to include the "(Was: Lab Design)" when branching a discussion.
Of course, perhaps "Deflagration vs Detonation" doesn't really flow from the discussion but pops up as more of a "by the way" comment, in which case it would be fine to title the post that way, as long as the author states something in the first line like "Based on our recent discussion of combustible dust I felt it necessary to define-" etc.
Why is retitling important?
1. When you go back and scan the archives looking for information on combustible dust management, dust hazards, deflagration vs explosion, you are not going to even think to look through the multiple search results titled "Re: [DCHAS-L] Lab Design". And when you eventually do, you have to read through myriad replies within each posting to get to the nugget that you want.
2. It also allows one to target and improve discussion. For example, if a reader was not an expert on lab design, but was an expert on explosions, they might have deleted the posts in the Lab Design thread from his/her inbox without reading them. With proper titling, that same person immediately realizes he/she can make a vital contribution!
In closing, I'm not pointing fingers or telling folks who contributed to this discussion they did something wrong. Just pointing out that we, as a group, can make this resource even better if we take the time to think about our post titles. There are waaaay too many posts titled "Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines (x articles)" in the archives that contain very useful, but hard-to-search-for information.
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Ok. This is interesting but has gone way beyond the original issue. The original question was on laboratory chemical storage and NOT on use or industrial operations or very large quantities (I am making a logical assumption here). Let's all return to Earth. The point is that a deflagration can be destructive all on its own, without need of confinement.
Actually, confinement is one of the five critical factors need to have a detonation be more likely than deflagration. ... Jim
r a detonation.
James A. Kaufman, Ph.D.
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