[conspire] Re: 802.11 blues update
rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Oct 28 16:59:51 PDT 2005
Quoting Daniel Gimpelevich (daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us):
> You say you want to throw this back to the list, but you replied to me
> off-list, so I'm now posting it to the list.
I mean no criticism of this, and am just trying to be helpful: Many
people new to technical mailing lists end up sending a lot of
private-mail responses to mailing list threads, mostly by accident, for
one or both of two reasons:
o You (generic you) are (in some cases) unaware of the existence in
your e-mail program of two different types of reply, which one might
call the reply-to-sender mode and the reply-to-all mode. Since
many such people (mistakenly) think reply is reply is reply, their
mail goes by default just to a single other correspondent, and not
to the entire mailing list.
I have yet to find a mail program that cannot do both reply modes,
though innumerable users have tried to maintain otherwise.
o Or, they mistakenly but with the best of intentions think a
"personal" response (i.e., one via private e-mail) is as a
general rule appropriate as a response to a public mailing list
These are innocent and minor errors/misconceptions, but we try to help
people get past them. The whole idea of a public mailing list such as
this one is to further the state of _collective_ understanding of the
topic. Obviously, private-mail side-discussions help only one person;
the same discussion if held on the public mailing list might by contrast
help hundreds of people, if you count subsequent search hits. So,
except in rare cases where you have reason to start a private-mail
side-discussion with someone, you should always use your e-mail
program's reply-to-all command, when responding to a mailing list
discussion. In those few exceptional cases, _please_ explain to your
correspondent that you've departed into private mail, and why.
If you're unclear on how to find that reply-to-all command, please ask
the mailing list for help, and very likely someone can assist you.
 The completely uncharitable, cynical interpretation grizzled
old-timers are tempted towards, when they receive such private mail, is
that the querent is trying to get free-of-charge private computer
consulting from a stranger. That is of course almost never actually the
case, but it starts to seem that way after having it happen to you about
twenty times a day for a couple of decades.
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