Rules, suggestions, and guidelines for posting to the DML


This file is also automatically posted monthly to the Dakota Mailing List

For information about list commands, send an e-mail message to majordomo@dakota-truck.net, and put "info dakota-truck" (no quotes) in the body. Or, you can use the WWW gateway on the DML Home Page. (http://www.dakota-truck.net)

This document contains some rules, suggestions, and guidelines for messages which are posted to the Dakota Mailing List. In general, these are suggestions and guidelines, more than hard and fast rules. It would be cool if everyone followed these suggestions all the time, but there is certainly room for deviation. (I'll be the first to admit that I've strayed from these from time to time.) :-) Well, here they are:

Replying to messages:

When replying to a message, please incude only the relavent portions of the original message. For example, a post might bring up four or five seperate points. If you're only going to address one of those points, instead of quoting the entire original message, only include the portion of the message which contains the point you're responding to. This will greatly decrease bandwidth useage and it will make posts to the list much easier to read. However, if a little snipping is good, more snipping is not necessarily better. Be careful not to snip *too* much! Leave enough of the original message so that the reader can tell what is going on.

When replying to seperate parts of a message, it is a good idea to insert your replies in with the original message, rather than responding to all the points at the end of the message in a big block. For example:
     Original message:                 Your reply:
        Point 1                         Original poster wrote:
        Point 2                         >Point 1
        Point 3                         Your response to point 1

                                        >Point 2

                                        Your response to point 2

                                        >Point 3

                                        Your response to point 3
Now, if someone wants to respond to your points, they just insert them at the appropriate location. Be sure to leave some space between the original message and your replies, to make it easier to tell the two apart.

Binary attachments:

These are not good. Please don't attach files to your posts. If you've got something (ex: a picture, sound, etc) that you'd like people to be able to see, you can either post it on your own WWW page and give people the URL, or (if applicable), you can send it to me (via e-mail) for incusion on the DML Home Page. My address is jon@dakota-truck.net.

NOTE: You might be sending binary attachments to the list without even knowing it!! Some mailers (most of which are made by Microsoft) include extra formatting information as an attachment which is incomprehensible by standard e-mail clients. It shows up as gobbelty-gook for most people. One such attachment is called TNEF. Another type puts a copy of the message at the end, formatted completely in HTML. There may be others. You should go through the options or preferences of your mailer and turn these things off!

Speaking of gobbelty-gook... Please make sure that your e-mail client is set to send out your messages as ASCII or "plain text" format. (As opposed to HTML, "rich text", "styled text", etc.) Anything but plain text will show up as gobbelty-gook for a lot of people. (Including all of the people on the digest version, which is about half of the members on the list...) (Actually, the list filters are pretty decent, and if you send a message to the DML which isn't plain text, it will probably get bounced back at you.) Note that if you use AOL 6.0, you don't have much choice; HTML attachments are forced into every message you send. If you have AOL 6.0, you should send your posts to the list to aol@dakota-truck.net. That will run them through a program that will strip out the HTML junk before sending it off to the list.

Threads and topics:

(Definition: A thread is a series of posts under the same subject.)

Oftentimes, a thread will mutate into something very different than what the original post was about. If this happens, please change the subject of the post (to reflect the new topic of discussion) when you reply. An accepted method of doing this is to put the new subject at the beginning of the subject, then the keyword "Was:", followed by the original subject.

For example:

Old thread: Subject: K&N Filtercharger
New thread: Subject: Doug Thorley headers Was: K&N Filtercharger

This way, the subject gets changed to reflect the content of the post, but people who were following the original thread will notice the change and can follow the new thread, if they wish.

Sometimes, a thread will mutate into something not related to Dakotas at all. If this happens, please direct your response directly to the interested parties (as opposed to the entire list). (By default, your responses are sent to the list. You will have to determine who sent the message, and cut and paste their e-mail address into the "To:" field.)

When posting, it is helpful to choose a good name for your post. Try to pick a name that will give people some idea of the content of your post.

While I'm on the subject of subject names, be careful about putting words that are used in administrative commands in your subject. (i.e. subscribe, unsubscribe, help, etc.) If you do, the list might think that you're trying to send an administrative command to the list (instead of majordomo@dakota-truck.net) and it will bounce your message to me for approval. When I get your message, I can approve it and send if off to the list, but it'll obviously take longer for your message to go through.

Flames, Bickering, And Other Such Nonsense:

Three words: DON'T DO IT! More words: If you feel the need to get into a fightin' match with another DMLer, please do so via private e-mail. There are about a thousand other DMLers who could care less about your particular squabble. Plus, posts from the DML are archived for all eternity and viewable by hundreds of millions of web surfers. The DML as a whole has traditionally been quite good in this regard, but as our numbers grow, naturally, the intimate nature of the list can start to deteriorate somewhat. I don't think it necessarily HAS to be this way though, and I'd really prefer if non-constructive posts of this nature were not spewed across the list. Like I mentioned before, I'm not preventing you from continuing your squabble, just please do it via private e-mail. I don't like having to police the list, but I'm not going to let a vocal minority screw up the list for everyone else, so if I have to resort to warnings and bans, I will. How do you know if a thread is getting out of control? Just think real hard before you send something out. Is your post a rational one, based on facts, or is it full of personal attacks? Even if it is rational, if we've heard it a million times before and all its doing is to further a pointless argument, why post it again? A REALLY good clue is if you notice other DMLers replying to the posts with messages along the lines of "please take this off list", or "please stop this", its best to comply and take it to private e-mail. Thanks! :-)

The DML Off Topic list:

The DML Off Topic list was created by Mike Clark (mike@mikeclark.net) for off topic posts. Basically this is a bunch of DMLers talking about non-Dakota topics. On the DML Off Topic list, you can talk about whatever you want! We DMLers have established quite a close-knit community, and its really nice to be able to talk about other things with the people we have come to know so well. Here is the info if you'd like to subscribe:
To subscribe, send a message to: dmlofftopic-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
To unsubscribe, send a message to: dmlofftopic-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
To send a message to the list, mail it to: dmlofftopic@yahoogroups.com

Or, you can subscribe, read the archives, etc. via the DML Off Topic home page at http://www.yahoogroups.com/community/dmlofftopic or the normal DML WWW Gateway.

If you have any questions, comments, corrections, etc., feel free to mail me at jon@dakota-truck.net. Thanks!!

Go Back to the DML Home Page
Jon N. Steiger / jon@dakota-truck.net