Effective Communication Tips
The primary goal of our lists is to have useful and enjoyable discussions. Good manners are important; So is being civil and conforming to a style of writing and replying that moves the discussion along. This is called netiquette and its use will help you to become a well respected member of this community.
You might be thinking "why should I do this netiquette thing?", a leading question if ever there was one and thanks for asking it. The goal here is effective communication and this will help you do that here. We have borrowed a set of rules from the Usenet community that has proven to be very successful in getting people to communicate across space and time.
Now here is how we do it, its really simple:
- Read the FAQs and archives first
The discussion list has been active since March 2005 and many interesting threads have already occurred. If you are new to the list, please take the time to read through the archives before posting a message. This will give you a good sense of what is important to the community. You will also find much food for thought. Additionally, older threads which may have been at the concept stage when they were first discussed may currently be at the implementation stage. Feel free to revisit these, but please do refer to the thread in question.
- Quote your message
Quoting, or ensuring a '>' precedes the text you are replying to, is a necessary feature in mailing list discussions and is supported by most mail readers. Quoting is important as it makes it clear to anyone, including those who are new to the discussion thread, exactly which text you are responding to.
However, please do not quote the entire message if you are only responding to one portion of it. There is nothing worse than scrolling down through 3 screens of text just to see a two or three word reply. Do keep enough of the text you wish to reply to so the rest of us have some context and can figure out what you are saying. Here is a helpful guide to quoting.
- Please do not top post.
Top Posting refers to responding to a message from the top of the response email. While this is often the convention for many email discussions and is also the default for most end-user mail applications. It is inconvenient for the many who follow the list with text-based mail user agents (MUAs), such as Pine and Mutt. When responding to a message, please begin your response at the bottom of the message or below the first part you want to comment on and work your way down.
- Personal disagreements:
Personal attacks and profanity are not allowed. Gross breaches of netiquette such as excerpting or reposting private mail when permission to do so was not given are also not allowed.