Email subject line formatting

Erik Helin erik.helin at
Fri Apr 17 08:46:33 UTC 2020

On 4/14/20 8:32 PM, mark.reinhold at wrote:
> 2020/4/14 1:18:20 -0700, magnus.ihse.bursie at
>> On 2020-04-14 09:58, Magnus Ihse Bursie wrote:
>> ...
>>> Perhaps Jon is onto something that we should be more aggressive in how
>>> the subject line is rewritten. When a change is actually integrated,
>>> it is technically no longer a "RFR", so maybe rewrite to "Integrate:
>>> Bug description ..." instead? As long as the In-Reply-To mail header
>>> is correct, mail software should get the threading right regardless of
>>> subject.
> That would be preferable.

I asked David to send the e-mail to see if there we could find consensus 
around the e-mail prefixes, and it seems like we have done just that :)

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

On 4/14/20 8:32 PM, mark.reinhold at wrote:
 >> On 2020-04-14 09:58, Magnus Ihse Bursie wrote:
>> I also realise that on projects where a commit can be pushed without a
>> review, the commit message is sent out as "FYI: Bug description...".
>> This has also confused me, since it sounded like someone wanted to
>> inform me about something, and not an auto-generated commit mail. Using
>> "Integrated: Bug description..." would be beneficial here as well, I think.
> Is that always the case?  Or is there still the option (per-project,
> I’d assume) to get the traditional “git: jdk/jdk: 87654321: ...” style
> of message for commits that are not formally reviewed?

It seems like there is some confusion here :) Skara features two ways of 
notifying people following a mailing list that a patch has been integrated:

- the "traditional" notification e-mails that Mark refers to above.
   These e-mails look exactly as their Mercurial counterparts.
- a reply to the review thread stating the that the patch now has been
   integrated. It is the subject line of these e-mails that we have been
   discussing. This kind of notification e-mail is new with Skara, they
   have no Mercurial counterpart.

The second kind of notification is meant to help maintainers quickly 
skim a mailing list. With a MUA that threads correctly it is very quick 
to see whether the patch presented in an "RFR" thread has been 
integrated or not.

An OpenJDK project can choose the kind of e-mail notifications they want 
to be sent to the project's mailing list. Some projects want both of the 
above notifications, some projects feel that the reply to the review 
thread is sufficient. Some projects use separate mailing lists for the 
traditional notification emails and "RFR" emails, those have opted to 
use both kind of notifications.

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). 
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 


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