list etiquette(please read, especially newer people)

Brett Dikeman brett at
Thu Oct 25 22:10:09 EDT 2001

A few *unofficial* tips on keeping your fellow list members sane :-)

Question-asking etiquette:

-search the archives before you ask your question; the search form is 
towards the top of the main page at  General rule 
of thumb is that you should spend -at least- as much time searching 
the archives as it would to type out your email.  Searching is very 
fast, and there are 10 years worth of good info.  Once you get the 
hang of it, you'd be amazed at what you can find.  Google's main site 
has plenty of search tips etc.

-if you ask a question, get some answers, and solve the back and tell the list how it went, thank people for 
their suggestions, etc.  People mentally file it away, and it'll show 
up in the archives for others to find.

-try to pick a meaningful subject line so it grabs people's 
attention; model year and other details can sometimes be very helpful 
in this regard.  "stalling" doesn't say much.  "200q20v stalls coming 
to stop" does.

General thread reply etiquette:

-quote only(roughly) what you are actually responding to, but, don't 
quote too little(especially if you've changed the subject line, your 
message will make no sense whatsoever :-)  Imagine a message with 
nothing but "Yeah, great idea!" in it...

-don't quote signatures, get-yer-free-mail-here footers, etc. if you 
can avoid it.

-leave the subject line alone -please- unless you're changing the 
course of the thread.  It confuses the mail archive program and 
people's email clients when you change the subject, makes it 
difficult to follow the thread, etc.

-read the ENTIRE thread before you reply to make sure you don't state 
the same thing someone else has just said(granted, it takes a while 
for email to get around, so double comments are inevitable, but let's 
try to avoid the ones we can...)

Digest members:

-don't reply to the list or to a person and quote the entire digest. 
They're -BIG-, and you'll end up immediately triggering a new 
digest(digests are sent out whenever they get up to a certain size, 
around 30kB.) Our friends in the UK pay by the byte etc, and not 
everyone has an unlimited dialup, DSL or cablemodems...

-try to change the subject to match the thread(ie, don't go with your 
mail program's "re: Digest # " etc etc, no one will know what you're 
replying to :)

Email format etiquette:

HTML,MIME,attachments, chain letters, etc are not appropriate.  Plain 
text ONLY please(this is getting to be a problem again.)  And yes, 
we've all seen the fake jetta lumber photo about 3 billion times :-)

Try not to go nuts with the length of your signature(I hope people 
don't consider mine long or too big, I tried to keep it small), and 
put a "----" as the first line if your mail client doesn't do this's an actually somewhat of a standard for denoting the end 
of the message and the start of a signature.

Mailbox etiquette / mail program settings:

-Please try to not use a free email account service for list stuff. 
The footers with advertisements are bothersome, the accounts very 
often fill up quota-wise and start bouncing messages back, etc.  The 
advertising banner point might be moot some time...Dan and I have 
been discussing MIME-stripping programs and one of them just happens 
to be able to pull "Do you Woohoo?" type lines :-)  We'll see...

-real names are preferred

-PLEASE keep your timezone and clock/date settings correct.  The 
biggest problem resulting from this is that we have archives for 
2005, etc if you look closely.

List operations, problems, etc etiquette:

-don't send emails, nasty or otherwise, complaining about some 
problem with the list.  Dan(dans at and 
I(brett at have email addresses, please use them instead of 
emailing the qlist, they might get missed.

-never send "test" messages to the list to see if it's working.  Send 
them to your friends or coworkers, please, not a group with 2,000 
members.  They are also unsightly in the archives :-) If you're 
having trouble and you think your posts aren't showing up, email Dan 
or myself.

We all make goofs and forget these things, myself included, but we'll 
make everyone happy if we at least try.  Now everyone gather 'round 
the campfire for kumbaya...

(couldn't resist after Kneale's comment about "warm and squishy 
feelings from using the resources of the Audifans site" the other day 

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin	(PGP Public Key)

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