Re: [xml] Mailing list ettiquette

Justin Fletcher wrote:


This isn't so much related to the mailing list but possibly to try to
retain my and other people's sanity. Within the 'Wrong compiler options'
thread I've seen interleaved quoting, top posting with attributed reply,
top posting without attributed reply, replies with no context and top
posting without indented context.

Whilst everyone has their own preferences for reply formats (I prefer
interleaved quoting, but that's not overly relevant), could there at least
be some guideline for this ? Possibly I'm alone in being confused by the
style changing with every reply.

Whilst I don't necessarily have a contribution to the discussions, I do
still read and follow these threads, where possible.


You have the right, there should be some consistence, that I say even if I am one of those who don't offer any.

Unfortunately, it isn't always possible. What is possible strongly depends on the user agent and there is no chance to enforce the same software on everyone. And it depends on people, and on the time we are living in. As an example, look at your desktop. Some apps use GTK, others prefer Qt, some hold to Motif still. Some choose another OS :-) and soon they regret it, it's all the same. Consistence is an illusion, people will never agree on a common base. A fact to learn and set aside.

Today's mail channels holds problems far bigger than the reply style. It did matter back in 1995, but today you can ask every mailing list maintainer, all of them would give up each and every cherished guideline just to get rid of spam which hits the list daily. Internet has changed. Where order and law ruled at the beginning, chaos and administrative despair take over.

You can propose a guideline, and a penalty for violations, and soon your heart will miss beats waiting to see how many will follow. Personally, I'll agree on any guideline which brings some consistence, some easy reading. But how long will it take until someone violates it? How long until you vomit your breakfast seeing another misstyling, misencoding, disclaimer? I guess it will happen once an hour, over and over again.

Take it what you will, at the end I fear you'll have to learn to live with the oddities you cannot change.


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