Mailing list etiquette

Curtis Poe cp at
Tue Jul 23 13:34:50 CDT 2002

It appears that there needs to be some clarification regarding how to behave
ourselves on this mailing list.  I don't want to be the heavy, but sometimes
that is what is necessary.

Incidentally, I had originally applied to the "mail list fishing" email by
Mark Morgan.  I was referring to some of the personal attacks in the mail
list predators thread.  Sorry if there was any confusion.  Mark's a great
guy and I appreciated his email.  Thanks for pointing that out, masque.

Here's why I wanted the "mail list predators" thread ended:  some of the
comments in the thread were personal attacks.  That's not appropriate.

Even if someone deserves the comments hurled at them, they're out of place
in a public forum.  If someone must chip away at someone else, they can do
so privately without copying it to the list.  We don't need public spats.
This is a common problem with virtually community, so all I'm asking is that
we remain civil to one another in public.

Here are my ad-hoc rules for posting (as you can tell, I'm making this up as
I go along).  Note that these are general guidelines and do not necessarily
reflect behavior that I have seen on this list.  This list, for the most
part, has been pretty good.

1.  It's okay to tell someone to RTFM, but the F had better be silent.
Also, a link to where they can R the FM would be nice.  Many people new to
Perl (or to computers in general) are either unaware of the documentation or
don't know where to find it.  Honestly, many people don't even *know* about
"perlthrtut", yet will ask questions answered there.

2.  No profanity directed at another in anger.  I don't necessarily want to
see profanity on the list, but I don't want to censor anyone, either, so
I'll keep my piece -- until someone tells someone else that /^s?he's$/ an
/f[[:alpha:]]{3}ing/ idiot.

3.  No insults.  It's okay to tell me that I wrote a bad piece of code, but
telling me that I'm stupid is out of line (this is just an example).  It may
be true that I'm stupid, but if you must say it, keep it private.

Side note:  while some may find it emotionally satisfying to tell someone
else off in public, it still tends to leave a bad taste in the mouths of
others.  If I tell someone that they're a moron, many might agree with me,
but still think it rude that I say so publicly.  If you don't understand
why, then you're a moron :)  (ooh... I just know I'm going to hear it for
that one).

Please email me *privately* on whether or not you agree with this.  I don't
want a flame-fest.  If enough people feel that the right to insult one
another publicly should be preserved, then I'll relent.

Curtis "Ovid" Poe


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