1. What should I do before I
You have already taken the most important step by reading this document.
2. What constitutes an
Postings must be in accordance with the charter of the mailing list.
Personal attacks are discouraged. As good net-citizens, we should try to
hold ourselves to high standards of behavior.
Spam is not allowed, ever. The mailing lists are actively processed to ban
offenders to this rule.
3. What is considered
proper etiquette when posting to the mailing lists?
Please use a new subject unless you are replying to an existing post.
Please wrap lines at 75 characters, since not everyone uses fancy GUI mail
Please respect the fact that bandwidth is not infinite. Not everyone reads
email through high-speed connections, so be sure attachments or other
large inputs are really necessary. Remember, too, that these
postings will be archived indefinitely, so huge postings will simply
inflate the size of the archives long after their purpose has
Format your message so that it is legible, and PLEASE DO NOT SHOUT!!!!!. Do
not underestimate the effect that a poorly formatted mail message has, and not
just on the FreeBSD mailing lists. Your mail message is all that
people see of you, and if it is poorly formatted, badly spelled, full of
errors, and/or has lots of exclamation points, it will give people a poor
impression of you.
Please use a standards-compliant Mail User Agent (MUA). A lot of badly
formatted messages come from bad mailers or badly configured mailers. The following
mailers are known to send out badly formatted messages without you
finding out about them:
As you can see, the mailers in the Microsoft world are frequent offenders.
If at all possible, use a UNIX® mailer. If
you must use a mailer under Microsoft environments, make sure it is set up
correctly. Google Mail, Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail are good mailers, too.
Make sure your time and time zone are set correctly. This may seem a little
silly, since your message still gets there, but many of the people on these
mailing lists get several hundred messages a day. They frequently sort
the incoming messages by subject and by date, and if your message
does not come before the first answer, they may assume that they missed it and
not bother to look.
Some of the information you may need to supply is the output of programs
which generate error messages or log files. To send log file contents,
either make a copy of the file and use an editor to trim the information to what is
relevant, or cut and paste into your message and trim excess there.
When using cut-and-paste, please be aware that some such operations badly
mangle their messages.
4. What are the
special etiquette considerations when replying to an existing posting on the mailing
Please include relevant text from the original message. Trim it to the
minimum, but do not overdo it. It should still be possible for somebody who did
not read the original message to understand what you are talking about.
This is especially important for postings of the type "yes, I see this, too"
where the initial posting was dozens or hundreds of lines.
Use some technique to identify which text came from the original message,
and which text you add. A common convention is to prepend
"> " to the original message. Leaving white space
after the "> " and leaving empty
lines between your text and the original text both make the result
Please ensure that the attributions of the text you are quoting is correct.
People can become offended if you attribute words to them that they themselves
did not write.
Please do not top post. By this we mean that if
you are replying to a message, please put your replies after the text that you
copy in your reply.
(Thanks to Randy Bush for the joke.)