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Subject: The mailing lists etiquette guidelines

The mailing lists etiquette guidelines

From: Daniel Stenberg <>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 23:48:07 +0100 (CET)

    These guidelines can also be found at:

    The list below are specific to the mailing lists. Where
    they differ with respect to [1]RFC1855, these points override those
    in RFC1855:

    Violating these guidelines will make people ignore your posts and
    possibly get you kicked off the list.

     1. Subscription requirements.
     2. Sending a new message to the list.
     3. Replying to a message from the list.
     4. Sensible subjects.
     5. Searching the archives, the web and the wiki
     6. Automatic replies.
     7. Credits and further reading

    1. Subscription requirements.
       Recently, we have had to impose a restriction on the mailing
       lists. You must be subscribed to the mailing list in order to
       post messages to that mailing list. This is mainly due to the
       massive amounts of spam we need to deal with somehow otherwise.

    2. Sending a new message to the list.
       DO NOT reply to an existing message as a short-cut to post a
       message to the lists. Email is not a disjunct set of messages, but
       is threaded, and mailing lists use this feature to provide a
       coherent archive. Many email clients also group messages into a
       thread. When ever you hit the "Reply" button, it adds information
       to your outgoing email that tells the rest of the world that it is
       a reply to that message.

    3. Replying to a message from the list.
       When you do reply to a message someone else has posted, please use
       the "Group reply" or "Reply to all" button on your mailer.
       Individual developers don't know everything, and by replying to
       them personally, you effectively cut yourself off from all the
       other people who could help you. Please ensure that you reply to
       the list and the sender of the message.

       If you are including the original message in your reply, always
       edit the message such that it only quotes the sections which are
       relevant to your reply. Don't just quote the whole of the message
       to which you're replying.

       Also, please use a mail client which correctly includes
       References: and/or In-Reply-To: headers in email replies. These
       headers are what keeps threads together by indicating precisely
       which messages you are replying to, and the absence of them
       obfuscates the mailing list by making your reply appear to start a
       new thread of its own rather than being correctly associated with
       the message to which you replied. Some mail clients, in particular
       some configurations of Microsoft Outlook, are not
       standards-compliant and do not conform to the recommendations of
       [4]RFC 2822. In the case of Outlook you may be able to work around
       the bug by switching to its 'Internet Email' mode.

       If you reply to a message, don't use top-posting. Top-posting is
       when you write the new text at the top of a mail and you insert
       the previous quoted mail conversation below.

       This is why top posting is so bad:

         A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read
         Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
         A: Top-posting.
         Q: What is the most annoying thing in e-mail?

       All this is pretty straight forward, and can be found in
       [1]RFC1855 - Netiquette Guidelines.

    4. Sensible subjects.
       By phrasing a correct and descriptive subject of your mail, you
       increase the chances of it being read by persons who you address.
       This is particularly important for the people who subscribe to a
       mailing list in digest mode since then the subject of the mail a
       user replies to is by default always unsuitable for sending.

    5. Searching the archives, the web and the wiki
       Please search the mailing list archives before posting a technical
       question or a problem to the mailing lists. It is highly possible
       that your question has already been asked before, or someone else
       has encountered your problem and a solution has already been aired
       on the lists.

    6. Automatic replies.
       We don't need to know that you're out of office. If you enable an
       autoresponder, do it in such a way that it doesn't respond to
       mailing list messages. Failure to do so will get you unsubscribed
       from the list.

    7. Credits and further reading.
       Parts of these etiquette guidelines come from Russell King's guide
       from the linux-arm-kernel mailing list.

       [2]"How To Ask Questions The Smart Way"

       [3]"How do I quote correctly in Usenet"


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Received on 2007-01-18

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