[Wolves] Netiquette

Adam Sweet adamsweet at gmail.com
Mon Nov 2 17:37:47 UTC 2015

On 31/10/15 14:34, Suntish T. Narain wrote:
> and for the love of god don't send copyrighted ebooks as pdf...

Hey man, glad you're still out there :)


> On 31 October 2015 at 05:38, James R. Haigh <james.r.haigh at gmail.com
> <mailto:james.r.haigh at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     Hello,
>         I too have some netiquette requests; some overlapping, some
>     partially conflicting but seemingly in a resolvable way. My requests
>     are:
>     1. ensure compatibility with mail clients that only operate on
>     plaintext (i.e. some TUI and accessibility clients);
>     2. please don't hard-wrap your emails!;
>         2.1. if you use Thunderbird then please go to about:config
>     (Preferences → ‘Advanced’ tab → ‘General’ subtab → ‘Config Editor…’)
>     and set ‘mailnews.wraplength’ to 2147483647 <tel:2147483647> (search
>     ‘wrap’ to find it quickly);
>         2.2. if you know of equivalent solutions in other mail clients
>     then please let me/others know;
>     3. start your message at the start of your email, or at least very
>     near the start;
>     4. try not to unnecessarily increase the email's filesize.
>         These are not fundamentally incompatible with Ron's requests,
>     and are somewhat overlapping, but there are some conflicting
>     circumstances.
>         To satisfy point 3 without top-posting (Ron's point 2), one must
>     either reply inline or not quote more than 2 or 3 lines. Both of
>     these resolutions are acceptable and preferable anyway; the former
>     has readability advantages and the latter helps to reduce filesize.
>         Sending of plain+HTML doesn't conflict with point 1, because a
>     TUI email client that doesn't support HTML can simply use the
>     plaintext part, and discard the HTML part if desired. Also, there
>     exist TUI Web browsers (W3m, Lynx, Links, etc.) so it doesn't seem
>     like HTML is fundamentally incompatible with TUI email clients,
>     though, granted, it may not be implemented in someone's preferred
>     client.
>         Sending of plain+HTML doesn't conflict with point 4 if this is
>     considered a necessity. I consider the avoidance of hard-wrapping to
>     be a necessity. However, there's no /fundamental/ reason why clients
>     cannot address the plaintext hard-wrapping problem.
>     ---- Avoidance of hard-wrapping of plaintext ----
>         Mail clients often can't easily be told to not hard-wrap when
>     sending plaintext email, even though HTML email doesn't suffer from
>     this issue. This used to be a reason for me to prefer plain+HTML
>     emails as a best-of-both (except not best filesize). However, I've
>     relatively recently found a way to disable hard-wrapping for the
>     plaintext too in Thunderbird by setting ‘mailnews.wraplength’ to a
>     number that would never cause hard-wrapping. That might as well be
>     the 32-bit integer limit of 2147483647 <tel:2147483647>. When
>     displayed, the email client soft-wraps the email at the currently
>     available width, allowing windows to be resized arbitrarily and
>     achieve preferred width for optimal readability or other reasons.
>         _Please note that I use a tiling window manager (XMonad), so
>     being able to resize windows arbitrarily without breakage is as
>     important as it is to not cause breakage for someone who prefers TUI
>     mail clients._
>         I've never used a TUI mail client but even if I did I'd still
>     find it important to have emails display at the with of /my/
>     terminal rather than the width of terminals of circa the 199th
>     decade. Neither my virtual terminals (the TTYs accessible with
>     (Ctrl+)Alt+F{1..6} by default on most distros) or my terminal
>     emulator (Gnome Terminal) is set to a font size that gives about 80
>     characters width at the screen width, nor do I want it to be. ‘stty
>     size’ reports that my virtual terminals are currently 48 rows, 128
>     columns and Gnome Terminal filling the XMonad+Taffybar workspace is
>     56 rows, 145 columns. Worse still, when tiled vertically at
>     half-width, the Gnome Terminals are 72 columns, just below the
>     legacy 80 character convention, and this breaks terribly in that
>     each line wraps its last word or 2 onto the next line. Hard-wrapping
>     causes serious readability problems, and due to such an operation
>     losing semantic information (the difference between true newlines
>     and hard-wrap breakpoints), hard-wrapping can not unambiguously be
>     corrected by software.
>         When inline-replying to individual sentences of a plaintext
>     paragraph, remember to make sure that all parts of the paragraph
>     that are now on their own line are proceeded with the correct number
>     of greater than symbols (‘>’), one for each nested quote-level.
>     ---- Unnecessary quoting ----
>         Inline-replying is generally the most readable way to reply but
>     sometimes the points in the existing message don't directly
>     correlate with how one wants to reply (as in this case) making it
>     difficult to write in a way that flows in such cases. Top or bottom
>     -posting can have serious problems for the reader. Nevertheless,
>     when /nothing/ is quoted then there's no distinction between top,
>     inline, and bottom -posting.
>         Seeing as the only reason for quoting an entire email when not
>     replying inline is incase a recipient hasn't got a copy of the
>     previous email, it seems much more appropriate to instead link to
>     the publicly archived message rather than to duplicate the entire
>     message for all existing mailing list members. That would replace
>     lengthy, unnecessary quotes, greatly reducing filesize and clutter,
>     as exemplified after my signature of this message. It also avoids
>     the issue of broken flow of top-posting – the order of the flow is
>     the order of chronological sorting in your mail client (or archive
>     list), newest at the bottom being the recommended order.
>         However, this begs a way to automate it otherwise it would be
>     tedious and inconsistent. Perhaps this should be implemented in GNU
>     Mailman such that each footer that it applies to an email contains
>     the archive URL of that email, then it's just a matter of deleting
>     all of the quoted text except for this URL. This may not be trivial
>     to implement though because it would require synchronous integration
>     with Pipermail – the archive URL must be allocated before the email
>     is sent and archived. Every email in the archives would contain a
>     self-referencing URL in the footer. That has its advantages if it
>     could be implemented, but I'm not sure how hard that would be.
>     Can we find common ground on these issues?
>     Best regards,
>     James.
>     --
>     Sent from Thunderbird on NixOS!
>     At 2015-10-29Thu10:14, Ron Wellsted wrote the message that is
>     archived at:
>     https://mailman.lug.org.uk/pipermail/wolves/2015-October/031509.html
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