[conspire] Re: 802.11 blues update

Rick Moen 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.

Peregrine --

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.[1]  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.

[1] 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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