UKTC Archive

Re: Dictatorship!

Subject: Re: Dictatorship!
From: UKTC List Admin
Date: Nov 06 2001 15:29:33
On Tue, 6 Nov 2001, "TREECISION (Julian Forbes)" <>

However, I think that it
would be helpful if you were to issue an edict on this so that people would
all know what was a joke too far.

Thank you for your comments Julian. I don't feel inclined to issue a
hard and fast ruling on this and start ditching people who contravene it
- it needs, IMHO, to be a question of self policing and common sense.
Apart from anything else, how do phrase an unambiguous rule?

I hope it's enough to have reminded everyone of the issues.

One point of complaint: far too many people still hit 'reply' and
regurgitate past postings - its not hard to start from fresh people and this
will save considerable space.

I would have replied to Julian personally, but this is another thing
that needs an occasional reminder.

I don't completely agree with Julian here. There are good reasons to use

1)   Some quoting of the original message is useful to place the reply
     in context.

2)   With most decent email clients, and even some dreadful ones, using
     'Reply' will set the 'References' and/or 'In-Reply-To' headers of
     the message generated. These headers are used by the recipient's
     email client (if it's any good) to 'thread' the message - group it
     together with previous messages on the subject. In a high volume
     mailing list I personally find it invaluable to be able to see at a
     glance how messages relate to each other.

But using 'Reply' does need some discipline. There is, as Julian rightly
points out, no need to quote the _whole_ of the previous message. Just
quote enough to put your comments in context. Having each message quoted
and requoted in it's entirety as a discussion develops is a wholly
unnecessary waste of internet bandwidth (yours, mine and everyone else
on the list's) and of my disk space. The UKTC archive currently takes up
over 50Mb.

So please make some judicial use of your 'Delete' button after hitting
the 'Reply' button. Again, from the terms of use

| When replying to messages you should quote only enough of the original
| message to place your reply in context. Quoting the whole of the
| original message makes unnecessary use of bandwidth (yours, the
| system's and that of every one on the list) and storage space. It makes
| messages tedious to scroll through and read. In a long thread where
| each correspondent quotes the whole of the previous message messages
| can become ridiculously long whilst contributing very little new
| information.

Another small point on this, not often a problem on this list I admit,
but I have seen it. If your message is a new topic, please do start
again from fresh. Occasionally someone will grab a random post, hit
'Reply' and then delete the whole contents and change the subject,
presumably because it's easier than looking up the list address in their
address book. If you do this the References and In-Reply-To headers will
still be there and your message will appear in an unrelated thread.

Chris Hastie
The UK Tree Care Mailing List

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