(Redirected from Communicate/MailingListGuidelines)
Before Posting to the List
There are a number of ways you can find help within your system. If you don't find the answer there, try to look into the list archives before posting a question. This is a high volume list and chances are that someone has already had the same problem you are now trying to fix. See Useful Resources below for a list of places to try. Refer to this presentation on mail etiquette that you should follow.
If You Still Can't Find an Answer
If you don't find a suitable answer for your question in the resources described below, then writing to the list is a good idea. These guidelines were written to make sure your message gets the attention it needs to be read and answered.
Keep it Short
users list maintains a maximum message length of 60 kilobytes; other Fedora lists may have similar length-limits. Remember that thousands of copies of your message will exist in mailboxes -- please keep your messages as short as possible.
Avoid including full log output; select only the most relevant lines. Please do not excessively quote previous messages in the thread; trim the quoted text down to what is necessary for context. If sharing a screenshot, crop it to the area required to get your point across. (Refer to No attachments, please.)
No HTML Mail, Please
Set your mailer to send only plain text messages to the list (How? ). Why? HTML is designed for web pages, not emails, and uses a lot more bandwidth. Many list members actually block HTML because it is used for malicious code.
Not only does HTML mail be used to run malicious scripts, but when using handheld devices the time taken for the page to appear is also much higher.
(see "7 reasons why HTML e-mail is EVIL! ")
No attachments, Please
Attachments to email make the messages much bigger. They create a large amount of extra Internet traffic when a mailing list sends the message and attachments to thousands of people worldwide. They also can create problems for the recipients, who may be limited to low-bandwidth connections. A reader may not know they are downloading an email with a large attachment until it is too late, and they might be blocked from getting other mail until they finish that download, which makes them frustrated.
Please avoid attachments to your messages as much as possible. For text output like logs, trim the content to the bare minimum and include it in the body of the message.
If an attachment is absolutely necessary, be aware of the strict limit for the maximum message length. (Refer to Keep it Short.)
It is also best to avoid sharing attachments as links to external sites. Inevitably, those links become stale and future readers of the list archive will be unable to benefit from the context which these links provide.
Starting a New Subject
When you send in a new topic, do not start by replying to an existing message, but rather, start a new message to "firstname.lastname@example.org". This keeps messages organized by thread, for people who like to use threads (on high-volume mailing lists like this one, threads can be a great convenience).
Furthermore, please do not recycle messages. Recycling messages is replying to an existing thread by changing the thread name. This creates confusion and diverts the number of people replying to the topic.
Write a Good Subject Line
Make a subject line that clearly tells us what you need. This is a point that can't be overemphasized. Try "Can't get past partitioning on F9" instead of "Argg - help me!!!" Why? So that people with certain skills, looking for someone to help, will notice your message. That helps you get help from the right people quickly.
On a high volume list like this, many people just skim through the subject lines and only read the messages that catch their interest. So, by creating a good subject line, you increase the chances that your message is actually going to be read and eventually answered.
Also refer to the subject for commercial messages below.
If You Are Replying to a Message
Make sure we can tell what you are replying to. Place each part of your reply after the text it addresses (i.e., NO Top-Posting, please see "Wikipedia - Top Posting" and links therein for more on this). Most mail readers automatically put a '>' character in front of each replied-to line. It gives a conversational flow to the text, and people know what you're replying to. Trim irrelevant material. It makes it easier to read your reply and helps the reader to stay on subject. Using bottom, interleaved posting is recommended as it is more organised.
The fact that you're sending the email from a smart-phone or similar device doesn't invalidate those guidelines. Please consider sending the reply at a later time when you have access to your regular email system or send a private reply instead.
Replying to Digests
In a high volume list like this, you may choose to receive mails in digested mode. However when replying to such messages, please avoid just hitting the reply button. This creates meaningless messages like "Re: Fedora-ambassadors-list Digest, Vol 44, Issue 10" which does not reflect what you are talking about. Please do the following:
- edit the subject to reflect what topic you are talking about
- snip out all the irrelevant parts of the digest other than the post to which you are directly replying
Let Us Know When Your Question is Answered
When you get a solution to your question (or find it yourself after posting to the list), reply to your original e-mail describing what solved your problem, adding a [SOLVED] to the end of the subject line. This will let people know that you don't need help any more with this and can look for other posts to help. Also, it makes a search in the archives easier when someone has a related problem in the future.
Proper posting style
Top posting is replying to a message on "top" of the quoted text of the previous correspondence. This is highly unwanted in mailing lists because it increases the size of the daily digests to be sent out & is highly confusing and incoherent. By default, most email clients use this (includes gmail & hotmail). Please, remove the irrelevant part of the previous communication(in case of more than a single correspondence) and use bottom, interleaved posting.
Do not over-quote by the hierarchy level in the correspondence.
Bottom, interleaved posting is replying to the relevant parts of the previous correspondence just below the block(s) of sentences. For a comment to another block of sentences of the same quoted text, you should move below that relevant block again. Do not reply below the whole of the quoted text. Also remove any irrelevant text.
Please provide URLs to articles wherever possible. Avoid cutting and pasting whole articles especially considering the fact that all may not be interested. Pasting whole articles may also amount to copyright violations, which is not something that this list encourages.
Read the above mentioned pdf file on mailing list guidelines by Shakthi Kannan : http://www.shakthimaan.com/downloads/glv/presentations/mailing-list-etiquette.pdf. The illustrative document should clear all doubts.
Be courteous and polite to fellow members in the list. Never swear or be rude to anyone. When you interact with people on any of the Fedora mailing lists, you are expected to follow the Fedora Code of Conduct.
Certain behavioral guidelines
If a mail has offended you personally, please send a private message to the person expressing how you feel, instead of sending it to the mailing list.
Please remember that we have members from all genders and nationalities. No gender abuse is allowed on the list, and do not include any gender specific slang in your posts. Also do not indulge in racial or regional criticism. This is a very serious violation.
Be careful when using sarcasm and humour. Without face to face communications your joke may be viewed as criticism. When being humourous, use emoticons (smileys) to express humour. (tilt your head to the left to see the emoticon smile) :-) = happy face for humour.
Behave in a professional manner in the mailing lists. Any mistake could put you under the scanner and at the receiving end of much rebuke.
Do not Cross Post
Avoid posting to multiple lists simultaneously. Pick a mailing list that is most suitable for your post and just use that. CC'ing multiple lists should be avoided.
Post to the the mailing list that is most suited to your purpose and then just copy the link to that page or mailing list and paste to all the other mailing lists you want to post to. This will reduce the amount of data duplicated - only one copy will be accessed by all who read it.
Make sure your topic is relevant to the chosen mailing list. For example, sending a political petition not related to the purpose of the list. In turn, replying on list to an off-topic post tends to magnify the problem.
No chain letters
Never send chain letters to the mailing list. A mail simultaneously sent to more than 10 users will not reach the list. This is to eliminate possible spammers/bulk mailers to reach the list.
Do not send invitations to social networking sites through the mailing list. The email addresses of people on the mailing list is visible to the members. To add mailing list contacts to your social network, try searching them on the social networking site or contact through email & not the mailing list.
When using the mailing list for commercial purpose, please prefix the subject line with "COMMERCIAL". This is not an invitation to post general commercial messages to the mailing list. Any such posts must still be directly topical and relevant to the specific mailing list. If there is no clear Fedora relevance, please do not post. If there is Fedora relevance but any chance that that relevance might be missed by readers, please take care to explain the direct connection in your post.
For example, if you are interested in informing people of an available job, if the only connection is that Fedora contributors might have the relevant skills, that is not likely to be appropriate. On the other hand, if the post is about a job which involves specifically contributing to the Fedora Project, that could be (and we might also be interested in helping you spread the word on other Fedora channels).
Or, as another example, a post simply advertising commercial software which can run on a Fedora OS wouldn't be welcome. But, if you need help getting that software to properly run in order to benefit your customers and are posting for that reason rather than as a commercial advertisement, it may be appropriate to post to relevant lists without even needing a "COMMERCIAL" disclaimer.
To unsubscribe from the list you can visit the Fedora Users List web page
Avoid long signatures and disclaimers
We find value in your main content rather than signatures. One or two lines would be optimal to convey messages that must be included in your signature and avoid huge disclaimers describing how your mail is private and confidential while sending things to the mailing list. If your company/organization enforces that in the mail gateway, use a webmail with pop/imap access like gmail for instance. Such disclaimers aren't enforceable half of the time and are monumentally silly in a public mailing list.
Do not use a PGP Style Signature that is not published
Use of PGP or GnuPG signing is encouraged. However, if the corresponding key is not published on a public keyserver, then the message will cause some email client applications (MUAs) that are PGP/GPG aware to hang while they try all known keyservers. This can take a long time and cause frustration for other users. If you have a unpublished key or new key consider attaching said key (in .asc format) to the email thread. For more information on how to properly create and use GPG keys, read the Creating GPG Keys page.
Use the common language
Unless you are a Fedora mailing list that is dedicated to users speaking that particular language, communicate in English. Other languages might be ignored merely because the users in these lists might only know English or use it as their common language. Refer to the Communicating and getting help page for more information on other mailing lists.
Use standard language and not colloquial or regionally accepted abbreviations.Visit http://www.jargon.org for more such acronyms.
Use the universally accepted standard English. Always do a spell check before mailing to the list. Grammar doesn't matter as long as one is understood. Do not use SMS language. Do not use dots(".....") to conclude the sentences as is common across social networks.
Do not use ALL CAPITALS
Using capital letters in your sentences is considered shouting. It is considered as being rude. If you want to emphasize on something *use this* or _this_.
Avoid repetitive posting
Often people helping on the mailing lists are volunteers who, just like you, have busy lives. If you do not get a response within a few minutes or hours, avoid re-posting the same question repeatedly. Give a minimum of 24-48 hours for an answer, and if you don't have one by then, give a "nudge" to the list by replying to (not re-posting) your original message.
Please *read all your mails before replying* to a mail. Someone may have already answered it.
Getting Help From Your System
There are many ways to get information from your system. Get a terminal window by right clicking on the desktop. In the window type one of the following (without the '$', and substitute application-name with the name of the application you are having trouble with).
$ man application-name $ info application-name name $ locate stuff-you-want-to-know-about $ rpm -qd packagename
You can also find a significant number of documents stored in /usr/share/doc.
A lot of effort is currently being put into documentation for Fedora. Some of the results of this are:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux is based on the Fedora project. So, the RHEL documentation should be helpful for the Fedora user:
Also, good help can be found here:
Another favorite of the list users. However, it seems to use subjects instead of references to sort the messages, which means that the threads are sometimes broken.
If you encounter any problems regarding the mailing list setup or operation, please email the list administrators rather than posting to the list about the problem. For lists on fedoraproject.org, the list administrators may be reached via $email@example.com, e.g. for the users list users-owner at lists.fedoraproject.org. There is a link to the -owner address at the bottom of the listinfo page for each list.
Search for Fedora issues almost invariably returns multiple hits. Of course, if you are using google, its search criterion/criteria are important here and multiple attempts on keyword variations may be needed. One particularly helpful way to narrow the search is to include a mailing list name in the search criteria. Some examples:
fedora users + "boot hang" fedora devel + pup
Another possibility is to include site:lists.fedoraproject.org instead of the list name. It will search all the main archives, which also include the test and devel lists (testers or developers are likely to come across problems before you do), the RHEL lists, and the old Red Hat lists.
This document grew from the work of James Mc
Kenzie, Duncan Lithgow, Gustavo Seabra, David Curry, James Wilkinson, Perry Spiller, Christofer C. Bell and various people's useful comments and is in the spirit of the: RedHat Install List (RHIL) Unofficial User's Guide and How To Ask Questions The Smart Way .
Netiquette discussions are always ongoing and previously established conventions are continually revisited. Please read these guidelines in the spirit intended: to create a living document that reflects group consensus. Remember, you are more likely to receive answers to your questions if you adhere to these guidelines.