[sf-lug] bad netiquette [Was]license count != software popularity (Re: [Balug-Talk] Open Source less popular than Free Software)

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Sep 28 16:46:28 PDT 2007

Quoting Kristian Erik Hermansen (kristian.hermansen at gmail.com):

> I usually make my first post to the lists I am on, so that is not a
> problem.  The issue crops up when people reply to my initial
> cross-post.

All kidding aside, you're right.

> I think it should be policy for admins to not even be notified and
> merely drop the message.  

This can certainly be done in typical mailing list manager software; all
you have to do inside Mailman, for example, is adjust the list's
definition to say all postings from non-subscribed addresses should be
autodiscarded rather than held.  It certainly works, but is a bit...

Over at the Bay Area FreeBSD User Group, Joe Grosch, who owns the server
(and domain) the group's mailing lists run on had adjusted all BAFUG
lists to run exactly that way.  Later, I happened to have stepped up to
take over administration when the group had nobody to do that job.
Early on, a fellow who sent Linux user group announcements started
darkly suggesting that he was being singled out for censorship, because
none of his posts were showing up on the chat at bafug.org mailing list.
(This happens to be a guy who strongly dislikes _me_, and perennially
seems to think I'm out to get him.)  I promptly investigated, and was,
to my relief, able to explain, on chat at bafug.org CCed to him, that he
simply _wasn't subscribed_, and that therefore all his posts had been
discarded for that reason alone.

So, in that sense, I'm quite glad he complained, so the matter could be
cleared up -- but it illustrates out that causing non-subscriber posts
to silently vanish carries its own set of risks.

> If someone cares enough to post to the list, they should sign up, 
> however briefly.

True.  They can even set "nomail", so they don't get bothered by list
traffic.  Unfortunately, experience suggests that few will.

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