How to reply to a mailing list thread

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
32 messages Options
12
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

How to reply to a mailing list thread

MZMcBride-2
Hello --

Some of the people posting to this mailing list don't seem to understand how
to write a decent, readable reply to a mailing list thread. This makes for
far more noise than signal, as people wade through six copies of the
foundation-l footer or eight old and irrelevant replies trying to find the
content of the reply to the previous message.

The Toolserver wiki has a fantastic page that explains how to reply to a
mailing list thread the Right Way.[1] If you suspect you've been Doing It
Wrong, please have a read.

Thanks!

MZMcBride

[1] https://wiki.toolserver.org/view/Mailing_list_etiquette



_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
The easiest way to deal with such issues is use a decent mail client. I use
Gmail and it ensures that all the threads are together and in order. It
hides all the copies of old replies and given the copious amount of storage
it is no problem that all the crap is still there.

When you argue that this is not best practice, my question to you is, when
has your best practice been re-evaluated for the last time.. Does it
consider the improved functionality that is there for you to have ?
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 31 March 2010 00:41, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello --
>
> Some of the people posting to this mailing list don't seem to understand
> how
> to write a decent, readable reply to a mailing list thread. This makes for
> far more noise than signal, as people wade through six copies of the
> foundation-l footer or eight old and irrelevant replies trying to find the
> content of the reply to the previous message.
>
> The Toolserver wiki has a fantastic page that explains how to reply to a
> mailing list thread the Right Way.[1] If you suspect you've been Doing It
> Wrong, please have a read.
>
> Thanks!
>
> MZMcBride
>
> [1] https://wiki.toolserver.org/view/Mailing_list_etiquette
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

John Doe-27
I agree top posting tends to be the most effective method for handling
mailing lists

On Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 6:51 PM, Gerard Meijssen
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> Hoi,
> The easiest way to deal with such issues is use a decent mail client. I use
> Gmail and it ensures that all the threads are together and in order. It
> hides all the copies of old replies and given the copious amount of storage
> it is no problem that all the crap is still there.
>
> When you argue that this is not best practice, my question to you is, when
> has your best practice been re-evaluated for the last time.. Does it
> consider the improved functionality that is there for you to have ?
> Thanks,
>      GerardM
>
> On 31 March 2010 00:41, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Hello --
> >
> > Some of the people posting to this mailing list don't seem to understand
> > how
> > to write a decent, readable reply to a mailing list thread. This makes
> for
> > far more noise than signal, as people wade through six copies of the
> > foundation-l footer or eight old and irrelevant replies trying to find
> the
> > content of the reply to the previous message.
> >
> > The Toolserver wiki has a fantastic page that explains how to reply to a
> > mailing list thread the Right Way.[1] If you suspect you've been Doing It
> > Wrong, please have a read.
> >
> > Thanks!
> >
> > MZMcBride
> >
> > [1] https://wiki.toolserver.org/view/Mailing_list_etiquette
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > foundation-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

Andrew Garrett-4
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 9:51 AM, Gerard Meijssen
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hoi,
> The easiest way to deal with such issues is use a decent mail client. I use
> Gmail and it ensures that all the threads are together and in order. It
> hides all the copies of old replies and given the copious amount of storage
> it is no problem that all the crap is still there.
>
> When you argue that this is not best practice, my question to you is, when
> has your best practice been re-evaluated for the last time.. Does it
> consider the improved functionality that is there for you to have ?

We don't all use gmail. And if you're relying on people's mail clients
hiding the original text, why don't you just remove it so that it goes
away for everyone?


--
Andrew Garrett
http://werdn.us/

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 9:51 AM, Gerard Meijssen
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hoi,
> The easiest way to deal with such issues is use a decent mail client. I use
> Gmail and it ensures that all the threads are together and in order. It
> hides all the copies of old replies and given the copious amount of storage
> it is no problem that all the crap is still there.
>
> When you argue that this is not best practice, my question to you is, when
> has your best practice been re-evaluated for the last time.. Does it
> consider the improved functionality that is there for you to have ?

I am often in "outback" Australia, with only dialup or very slow
mobile broadband available.  It is very annoying to need to download
many copies of the same "crap" because people top post.

Of course I can read my email via gmail.com, which hides the "crap",
however that is not ideal when I want to read my email and compose
responses while I am offline.

The best practise is to not assume that everyone has unlimited
broadband and access to these adv. web 2.0 gadgets - there are a lot
of pockets in the world which are not so fortunate.

--
John Vandenberg

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

Svip
In reply to this post by Andrew Garrett-4
On 31 March 2010 01:12, Andrew Garrett <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 9:51 AM, Gerard Meijssen
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hoi,
>> The easiest way to deal with such issues is use a decent mail client. I use
>> Gmail and it ensures that all the threads are together and in order. It
>> hides all the copies of old replies and given the copious amount of storage
>> it is no problem that all the crap is still there.
>>
>> When you argue that this is not best practice, my question to you is, when
>> has your best practice been re-evaluated for the last time.. Does it
>> consider the improved functionality that is there for you to have ?
>
> We don't all use gmail. And if you're relying on people's mail clients
> hiding the original text, why don't you just remove it so that it goes
> away for everyone?

Indeed, posting on a mailinglist is all about respect for the other
clients.  And boosting your own client as superior and thus not
needing to bother with etiquette seems a bit... ignorant or arrogant.
I can understand people not being aware of the problem, but ignoring
it?  That's worse to me.

I use gmail, and treat my recipents all equal; none of them get
topposts, as it distrubs the way you read things.

A: Because it ruins the way people read.
Q: Why is topposting bad?

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> The easiest way to deal with such issues is use a decent mail client.

No. Writing an inline reply and cutting out the cruft is supported by every
client, everywhere, always. You're suggesting using a specific, proprietary
client (that has all sorts of privacy issues) in order to combat what is, at
its core, laziness.

People often read this list (and other lists) in the online archives, on
mobile platforms, and elsewhere. Simply because you can pollute messages
with a copious amount of crap does not mean you should.

It takes a matter of seconds to delete the extra information and makes the
entire list more readable for everyone.

MZMcBride



_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by John Mark Vandenberg
On 31 March 2010 00:15, John Vandenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Of course I can read my email via gmail.com, which hides the "crap",
> however that is not ideal when I want to read my email and compose
> responses while I am offline.

Get Gmail Offline, then! (You turn it on somewhere in preferences.) It
uses Google Gears to enable you to read and compose emails offline and
it syncs when it has a connection.

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

mike.lifeguard
In reply to this post by John Doe-27
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 37-01--10 03:59 PM, John Doe wrote:
> I agree top posting tends to be the most effective method for handling
> mailing lists
>
> On Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 6:51 PM, Gerard Meijssen
> <[hidden email]>wrote:
>> The easiest way to deal with such issues is use a decent mail client.

Hi guys. Please consider that the two of you might be in the group that
should be checking that page. Top-posting isn't the best way, and
relying upon Gmail to handle things is definitely not the best way.

Instead of blindly assuming what you already do is ideal, please be open
to the suggestion that it isn't.

Thanks,
- -Mike
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)

iEYEARECAAYFAkuyiocACgkQst0AR/DaKHsb8QCgkZlHUfS3zB0TBm0Bu9GCYM4s
GsAAoJ0E6SUsXUEeNkg5t97qmbFrVOyu
=/wuc
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 10:23 AM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 31 March 2010 00:15, John Vandenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Of course I can read my email via gmail.com, which hides the "crap",
>> however that is not ideal when I want to read my email and compose
>> responses while I am offline.
>
> Get Gmail Offline, then! (You turn it on somewhere in preferences.) It
> uses Google Gears to enable you to read and compose emails offline and
> it syncs when it has a connection.

Thanks for the tip.  I missed this.

http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/new-in-labs-offline-gmail.html

However the availability of a gmail experimental feature doesn't mean
that the age-old email etiquette can be thrown out the window.

--
John Vandenberg

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

Neil Harris-2
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On 31/03/10 00:23, Thomas Dalton wrote:

> On 31 March 2010 00:15, John Vandenberg<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>    
>> Of course I can read my email via gmail.com, which hides the "crap",
>> however that is not ideal when I want to read my email and compose
>> responses while I am offline.
>>      
> Get Gmail Offline, then! (You turn it on somewhere in preferences.) It
> uses Google Gears to enable you to read and compose emails offline and
> it syncs when it has a connection.
>    

Again, Gmail Offline is a proprietary product, and stores all of your
mail in Google's cloud.

It's perfectly reasonable for people not to want either, and make their
own choice of both client and storage medium. Mailing lists, and the
ecosystem surrounding them, have worked just fine for around 40 years;
why break something that works just fine for other people as it is
currently?

-- Neil


_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

WJhonson
In reply to this post by MZMcBride-2
Top posting is not what *creates* the crap.
Copying the entire email is a standard setting in some clients (toggleable)
and an optional setting in others (toggleable) and probably there are some
which don't let you select to do that, or undo it either!

Personally I don't want to scroll down through a 200 word email just to see
"me too" at the very bottom.

The real issue to me, is that those who have an email client which copies
the entire email in response, don't trim the verbage.

W.J.



In a message dated 3/30/2010 4:15:18 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
[hidden email] writes:


> I am often in "outback" Australia, with only dialup or very slow
> mobile broadband available.  It is very annoying to need to download
> many copies of the same "crap" because people top post.
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

Svip
On 31 March 2010 01:45,  <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Personally I don't want to scroll down through a 200 word email just to see
> "me too" at the very bottom.

The opposite of 'top-posting' is 'bottom-posting', which is actually
equally bad in my mind, as it creates that exact problem.

There are two decent methods of posting;

'inline-posting' (like this email is; notice I have stripped the rest
of your email to reply to what I want to, directly below it)
'clean-posting' (when context is no longer important, scrap all
previous content and start afresh)

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

Dan Rosenthal-2
In reply to this post by WJhonson
Assuming that other people care about ones own form of mailing choice is
crap also, as far as this list is concerned. Let people do as they choose.
Nobody forces you to read their posts.

On Mar 30, 2010 7:45 PM, <[hidden email]> wrote:

Top posting is not what *creates* the crap.
Copying the entire email is a standard setting in some clients (toggleable)
and an optional setting in others (toggleable) and probably there are some
which don't let you select to do that, or undo it either!

Personally I don't want to scroll down through a 200 word email just to see
"me too" at the very bottom.

The real issue to me, is that those who have an email client which copies
the entire email in response, don't trim the verbage.

W.J.



In a message dated 3/30/2010 4:15:18 PM Pacific Daylight Time,

[hidden email] writes:


> I am often in "outback" Australia, with only dialup or very slow
> mobi...

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]...
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

Svip
On 31 March 2010 01:53, Dan Rosenthal <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Assuming that other people care about ones own form of mailing choice is
> crap also, as far as this list is concerned. Let people do as they choose.
> Nobody forces you to read their posts.

Hm, I am starting to get swayed by this 'top posting' principle.  It
seems so easy.  Hey, you know what?  Maybe we should also use that
principle on our wikis.  You know, post *above* the older posts, and
then inline the replies.  Oh my goodness, that would be so much easier
to read.

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by Dan Rosenthal-2
On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 10:53 AM, Dan Rosenthal
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> ..
> Nobody forces you to read their posts.

Hmm.  I remember that argument being used to assert that there was no
problem with foundation-l.  [[meta:Improving Foundation-l]]

--
John

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

Chad
In reply to this post by MZMcBride-2
On Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 6:41 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hello --
>
> Some of the people posting to this mailing list don't seem to understand how
> to write a decent, readable reply to a mailing list thread...
>

What possible good did you see coming from this thread? You
/knew/ it would produce a bunch of "I agree"s and "I'll post how
I want"s and go nowhere useful at all.

Lame.

-Chad

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

Austin Hair
In reply to this post by Svip
On Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 5:16 PM, Svip <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Indeed, posting on a mailinglist is all about respect for the other
> clients.  And boosting your own client as superior and thus not
> needing to bother with etiquette seems a bit... ignorant or arrogant.
> I can understand people not being aware of the problem, but ignoring
> it?  That's worse to me.
>
> I use gmail, and treat my recipents all equal; none of them get
> topposts, as it distrubs the way you read things.
>
> A: Because it ruins the way people read.
> Q: Why is topposting bad?

I feel compelled to weigh in and admit that while there's no Official
Rule[tm] against top-posting on Foundation-l, and I'm not going to ban
you for it, DBAD[1] is very much a guiding principle here.
Inconveniencing other people because you're lazy is just antisocial
behavior.

I've seen the "just use [poster's particular e-mail solution]" as
justification for a lot of stuff, from minor things like top-posting
to major things like replying to all 500 messages a month.  I honestly
don't know where else in life that people have found this attitude to
be well-received, but I can tell you that it isn't here.

I do use gmail, obviously, so top-posters don't create a great deal of
personal angst for me.  That hasn't always been the case, though, and
a lot of people still use traditional e-mail clients.  The polite
thing to do, especially given that we're a supposedly
savvier-than-average tech community, is to quote in context, only
reproducing what's needed to understand your reply.

I've seen a few replies to this thread which make it clear that the
posters haven't actually read the document MZMcBride linked to.
Seriously, just go read it.  It's not that long.  Everyone's life can
be so much happier if we just spend a minute or two thoughtfully
deleting unneeded text and putting new text where it makes logical
sense.

And even if I won't moderate you for top-posting, I will moderate you
for being a dick.

Thanks,

Austin

[1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_be_a_dick

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

Tim Starling-2
In reply to this post by Chad
Chad wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 6:41 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hello --
>>
>> Some of the people posting to this mailing list don't seem to understand how
>> to write a decent, readable reply to a mailing list thread...
>>
>
> What possible good did you see coming from this thread? You
> /knew/ it would produce a bunch of "I agree"s and "I'll post how
> I want"s and go nowhere useful at all.
>
> Lame.

Maybe he was not aware of how this subject turned out last time around:

http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2008-April/042321.html
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2008-April/042359.html
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2008-May/042399.html

-- Tim Starling


_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: How to reply to a mailing list thread

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Chad
Chad wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 6:41 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hello --
>>
>> Some of the people posting to this mailing list don't seem to understand how
>> to write a decent, readable reply to a mailing list thread...
>>
>
> What possible good did you see coming from this thread? You
> /knew/ it would produce a bunch of "I agree"s and "I'll post how
> I want"s and go nowhere useful at all.
>
> Lame.

Life's full of annoyances. After seeing this[1] clusterfuck of a reply, I
felt compelled to point out that the current sloppy and rude practice
exhibited by some people on this mailing list does annoy others. (Looking at
Marcus' other replies, this particular reply seems to be outside the norm,
but it was his reply that sparked my opening post.) Alternately, in the
interest of assuming good faith, it's also conceivable that some people on
this list are simply ignorant of inline replies and clean start replies, and
don't intend to be rude or sloppy.

If people want to continue to leave whatever the hell they please in their
replies, it's their prerogative and Austin has said he's not going to
regulate the bad behavior. But awareness often leads to change. The reply
from you, Chad, was unusually cleaned up and concise. I'll consider that a
minor victory. :-)

Tim Starling wrote:
> Maybe he was not aware of how this subject turned out last time around:

I wasn't aware of those posts, though it's not surprising to read them.
Still, I think it's a point that bears repeating.

MZMcBride

[1] http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2010-March/057393.html



_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
12