Most mailing lists have a set of guidelines for how you should post messages to the list, and the BLUG's mailing lists follow these general rules of ettiquette. Here's a short list of do's and don'ts for posting to the various BLUG mailing lists.


This is the most common list newbie mistake!

Do not "top-post" (reply to a message by adding text to the top of the message instead of below), as it loses the reader and the flow of the message and can annoy other readers.

Example of an illegal top-post:

I think you should be swapping the arguments around in the 
function, instead of the way you are doing it.

On Friday, the 13th, you said:

> I am using the function xyz(), giving arguments arg1 and arg2, 
> but it does not work. Anyone know why?
Example of a correct bottom post:

On Friday, the 13th, you said:

> I am using the function xyz(), giving arguments arg1 and arg2, 
> but it does not work. Anyone know why?

I think you should be swapping the arguments around in the 
function, instead of the way you are doing it.


This is the second most common list newbie mistake!

If you are replying to another message, quote only the portions of that message that you are specifically responding to, and insert your comments after those quotes. Do not simply quote back the entire message! Trim off everything apart from the 2-3 most relevant lines of the original message.

In general, your reply should contain at least as much text as the amount of text you are quoting, if not more. Never quote back dozens of lines of text and simply add a single line of text to the bottom - people will *hate* you for that!

HTML Messages

HTML is not email, and email doesn't contain HTML, so please turn HTML formatting OFF in your email client. Do not use italics, colors, bold, fonts, pictures, sounds, or other HTML elements. Providing HREF (link) elements is allowed. Please use only 7-bit text when sending email to the lists.

Message recycling

Do not start a New message or thread by hitting "Reply" in your mail client and changing the subject. When you do this, you mess up other participant's ability to read mail in a threaded fashion. When you mean to post a new message, use New, and when you want to reply to an existing message, hit Reply.


Attachments of any sort are not allowed and will be stripped out automatically.

Pseudo-legal disclaimers

Do not attach obnoxious pseudo-legal, nonsensical disclaimers to your messages. For legal reasons, such messages are not permitted on our mailing lists, as we have no control over who receives the message or what they do with it - this may include your competitors, people who can use the content of the message against you and cause your business to fail, etc. Since allowing such disclaimers would imply that we accept them, we specifically do not allow them.

If you work for a company that forces such disclaimer attachments, ask them to talk to a lawyer to understand just how pointless such disclaimers are. If your company insists on attaching such disclaimers to messages going out to mailing lists (where, by definition, the sender has *NO* control over who gets to see the message), then either use a webmail system like Yahoo to post your messages, or just don't post.

Here is more information about such disclaimers.


Stay on-topic for the list. This isn't a good place to discuss automobiles, politics, music, or anything that is not related to Linux. Sometimes topics will diverge from the general discussion, but please try to keep it relevant to the list topic. Do not ask programming questions in the technical (installation and admin) list, or technical questions in the non-technical list, or installation questions in the programming list, etc.

Message time and date

Please make sure the date and time on your computer is always current. When your date is set to something such as the year 2006, messages posted by you will get sorted based on that date, which may put them outside of the related month or year they belong in.


Do not crosspost. Crossposting means sending a single message to multiple mailing lists by putting all their addresses in the To: or CC: field of your message. Mailing list subscribers hate this because it sometimes causes people replying to the post to inadvertently posting to other lists 9which they do not want to, since it reveals their email address on lists they aren't subscribed to) and also insults the basic mailing list itself, but showing that you do not have faith enough in this mailing list to get an answer, and are therefore covering multiple bets. If you need to send the same message to multiple mailing lists, do it one at a time, so that the message appears to be only for that list.

Most of all, enjoy yourself on the list, and read messages from other users. In them, you may find ideas, solutions to problems, or other information that may be useful to you.

Also read this article by Eric Raymond and Rick Moen about asking questions on mailing lists. This is compulsory reading!


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