Should “private” emails be CCed to public mailing lists?
Suppose I email Jon about the register allocator in the DragonMonkey branch .
I’ll just email him directly, and that discussion won’t be open.
This happens dozens of times a day—one colleague emails another asking a question or proposing a solution , and nobody else gets to see it .
We should fix this and open that stuff up.
The closest thing that currently exists is that I could CC the relevant mailing list.
I don’t want to do that.
When I mail a list like dev-platform, I consume the time of hundreds of people who read that list.
Often, I write and rewrite an email to ensure clarity before I send it.
It’s important to explain context, history, project roles and aims, and all the other things people need to understand for my email to make sense .
Actually, most of the time, I end up not sending that mail.
Cheap is good
So we need something which isn’t so expensive.
In the forum discussion, I suggested a CC-list – an address that you CC on emails that should be open, but which you don’t want to send to the relevant mailing list.
Interested parties following the CC-list can then read the conversation, skim it, ignore it, or participate in it.
So if I want to understand how that thing works, and I need to ask Jon about it, I would send Jon an email as normal, and throw in the CC for good luck.
I’d ignore clarity, wouldn’t address it to a wider audience, or do anything any different than normal.
Just “Dear Jon”, and be done with it .
So if we build it, will they come?
I don’t really know.
I see lots of problems.
Maybe the way is to just try it.
One CC-list for the whole project is too few.
If you work in marketing, you don’t want to lurk on the engineer list, no more than I want to lurk on Metrics or Graphics or Jetpack .
So I would say that if you currently have a niche list, the CC-list should just be an extension of that .
You know what would rock?
If all mail to email@example.com was automatically public, and anyone who wanted to send private mail (my boss, HR, legal, etc) would send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Default to open!
I think that might actually be too hard to make work, but it would be too cool.
I’d definitely support creating a email@example.com account though .