|jwma Development - Mailing Lists|
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"Respect the mailing list type."There are generally two types of lists:
"Join the lists that are appropriate for your discussion."Please make sure that you are joining the list that is appropriate for the topic that you would like to discuss.
"Ask smart questions."Every volunteer project obtains its strength from the people involved in it. You are welcome to join any of our mailing lists. You can choose to lurk, or actively participate; it's up to you. The level of community responsiveness to specific questions is generally directly proportional to the amount of effort you spend formulating your question. Eric Raymond has even written an essay entitled "Asking Smart Questions" precisely on this topic. Although somewhat militant, it is definitely worth reading.
"Keep your email short and to the point."If your email is more than about a page of text, chances are that it won't get read by very many people. It is much better to try to pack a lot of informative information (see above about asking smart questions) into as small of an email as possible. If you are replying to a previous email, it is a good idea to only quote the parts that you are replying to and to remove the unnecessary bits. This makes it easier for people to follow a thread as well as making the email archives easier to search and read.
"Do your best to ensure that you are not sending HTML or "Stylelized" email to the list."If you are using Outlook or Outlook Express or Eudora, chances are that you are sending HTML email by default. There is usually a setting that will allow you to send "Plain Text" email. If you are using Microsoft products to send email, there are several bugs in the software that prevent you from turning off the sending of HTML email.
"Watch where you are sending email."Some of our mailing lists have set the Reply-To to go back to the list. That means that when you Reply to a message, it will go to the list and not to the original author directly. The reason is because it helps facilitate discussion on the list for everyone to benefit from. Be careful of this as sometimes you may intend to reply to a message directly to someone instead of the entire list.
"Do not cross post messages."In other words, pick a mailing list and send your messages to that mailing list only. Do not send your messages to multiple mailing lists. The reason is that people may be subscribed to one list and not to the other. Therefore, some people will only see part of the conversation.
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