[vdr] Mailing List Etiquette

Clemens Kirchgatterer clemens at 1541.org
Mon Mar 19 07:49:50 CET 2007


This is the 'official' and updated vdr-mailing-list-etiquette-reminder. 
Please take this as a serious advice. Take the time to read it,
especially if you are new to mailinglists in general.


E-mail formatting
=================

Mailing list email should fit the following criteria:

DO
==

* Trim quoted material to the minimum needed to clarify what you're
  talking about.

* Add a blank line _before_ and _after_ each quote for better
  readability.

* Make sure you are attributing material to the correct person
  (i.e. make sure the "On 19/07/2002, Joe Bloggs said:" is correct)

* Write your responses _after_ the quoted text, not before. If your 
  mail client makes it difficult to do this, get a new one.

* Make sure lines are wrapped at maximum 76 characters (to fit an 80 
  character wide screen), even if the text had been quotet several
  times.

* Use the correct number of ">" characters at the start of each
  quoted line.

* Set your mail client to "english headers" to avoid subjects like:
  "AW: Antwort: Re: AW: AW: AW: Re: Some Topic allready trunkated" 
  If you see one, don't just add another "Re:" but remove
  all "AW:" and other chained "Re:".

* Use a descriptive subject! A message titled "A small wish"
  doesn't tell what it is about. Better use something like
  "should do xyz" or "crashes when doing xyz".

* If the topic of the thread changed/degrades meanwhile, change 
  the subject too. That means: Before you start to answer, have a look 
  into the subject your are going to reply to.
  For example use: New topic [WAS] old topic

* Always write one separate message per topic. some people (especially
  those who matter) might not read mixed-up and lengthy threads.

* Start a new thread when posting a new subject.

* Make emails as short as possible whilst keeping them comprehensible.

Don't
=====

* Don't post in either HTML-only or in Text and HTML. If your mail
  client doesn't support this, change it.

* Don't top post.

* Don't give a one line answer having quoted the whole post.

* Don't use a too long signature. Approx. 4 lines should always be
  enought.

* Don't reply where you should have started a new thread. This
  means, make sure that you're not responding to an existing posting.
  Just changing the subject header and deleting any quoted text is
  NOT enough, because the message's header will still contain
  references to other messages.

* Don't break threads by sending a new mail, where you should have
  replied.

* Don't test post. Send your test posts to "echo at fu-berlin.de" or
  similar reply machines.

* Don't use lengthly disclaimers. If not possible, use a freemail
  account.

* Don't quote disclaimers and other footers.

General Etiquette
=================

This can really be summed up in one phrase - 'be polite'.  

Allways use your 'Real Name' when posting to mailinglists or newsgroups.

If you think something is off-topic, don't reply to the list although 
you may want to send a short and *polite* note to the person privately 
telling them which list would be more appropriate; don't just say - 
"that is OT here".

Before asking a question, please Have a look at the mailing list
archives at http://www.linuxtv.org/pipermail/vdr/

If someone flames or trolls the list, don't reply - it wastes everyones
bandwidth and time.

Don't reply to spam which gets through to the list - just ignore it when
it does.

Resources
=========

* The ultimate guide to most matters to do with email etiquette is
  RFC-2822 which can be found at: 

  ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2822.txt

* A german site set up by some usenet-people, who take it even more
  serious with netiquette.

  http://learn.to/quote




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