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Date:      Sun, 14 Jun 2020 09:39:58 +0200
From:      Ralf Mardorf <>
Subject:   Re: Mailing List Etiquette was freebsd vs. netbsd
Message-ID:  <20200614093958.678c3c0d@archlinux>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

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On Sat, 13 Jun 2020 23:38:07 -0600, @lbutlr wrote:
>On 13 Jun 2020, at 09:44, Kevin P. Neal <> wrote:
>> On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 11:09:43PM -0600, @lbutlr wrote: =20
>>> On 10 Jun 2020, at 11:54, doug <> wrote: =20
>>>> See
>>>> =20
>>> Seems very out of date too me. For example the first thing it says
>>> is to wrap messages at 75 characters  because not everyone uses GUI
>>> mailers. This may have been relevant in 1995, but it sure isn=E2=80=99t
>>> now. CLI MUA=E2=80=99s handle long lines just fine. =20
>> If you had wrapped at 75 characters then the quoting would be much
>> easier to read. =20
>Then your MUA is very poor at its job.

FLOSS provides diversity. If you dislike diversity and arrangements you
don't understand FLOSS.

On an international mailing list we care about different levels of
English skills. The English of some subscribers, including myself, is
broken, rudimentary.

We also need to care about the MUAs available for BSD or Linux, at
least about those that are usually used. If some MUAs are "very poor",
but still apply to arrangements the FLOSS community made, it's wise to
accept those arrangements.

Most agree that MIME is ok today, we accept changes to the good, but
still most of us agree that breaking lines at around 72 chars and not
using HTML still makes sense for several good reasons.

A mailing list for FLOSS software is mostly used by people using a BSD
or Linux MUA. The minority is using web interfaces, Windows, Apple or
Android MUAs.

It's possible to resize the window to the users needs and the lines get
wrapped to a length the user prefers, but keep in mind that it makes
sense to have a known limit to format e.g. ASCII graphics. It's good to
assume that a minimum of 70 chars is available and to not exceed 80
chars. Usually lines get wrapped at or close to 72 chars. Assume
fencepost errors of one or the other MUA and quoting levels, so you
know how you could format a plain text mail, with e.g. ASCII
graphics, to make it still readable after quoting. Some people
claim that breaking lines, breaks readability on smart phones, but
actually it's possible to rotated a smart phone and actually this
mailing list is about an OS that is not used for smart phones.
HTML formatting doesn't work, it fails almost all of the times. The
only safe way to format an email (without using attachments) is plain
text, a font with a fixed length and a more or less known minimal and
maximal length limit.

How do I know, what most FLOSS related mailing list subscribers think is
the best arrangement? Could I provide some facts for my claim?

No, the claim might be incorrect.

But definitively most of the old hands, who are those who provide most
of the helping hands, consider it as the best arrangement, for good

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