Re: Posting Netiquette [ref: Threads "look definitely like" unreadable mess. Handbook project.]

From: Michael Gmelin <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2022 09:13:09 UTC

On Thu, 23 Jun 2022 04:14:40 -0400
grarpamp <> wrote:

> >> the “> ;† and leave empty lines between your text and the
> >> original  
> > Seems there is a charset mismatch.
> > MUA displaying nonsense
> > Oh the joy of UTF-8... ;-)  
> The pages ...
> ... are intermixing standard ASCII double quotes with questionably
> gratuitous choice of using left and right double quotes via UTF-8,
> which then may get slaughtered by non UTF-8 enabled cut-paste,
> systems, lists, gui's, desktops, apps, and MUAs along the way.

[... removed a lot of text ...]

UTF-8 is here to stay, it's even enabled by default on our consoles.
Mangling the charset by copy and pasting is probably caused by using
a broken or badly configured email client, which needs to be fixed by
the user. If you don't use UTF-8 everywhere today, I would highly
recommend to do so (more and more cli tools rely on it).

As much as I would like to see a couple of things go away (e.g., UTF-8
quotes where `"` and `'` would do, converting double hyphens to dashes
and a lot of other automated things), in the end we are dealing with
real people working with the email clients available to them in 2022
(especially in the mobile space). So, even though I like having a fixed
line length limit, most email clients will use something to the effect
of format=flowed and we simply need to deal with that.

The one thing that would make me happy is if people could use proper
usenet quoting and - in case they do send HTML, which unfortunately is
not easily controllable with all clients - don't mess with fonts. Both
things seem hard to impossible to people using one of the many versions
of Outlook. You would be surprised how many people don't even
understand the concept of quoting these days and would ask "why are you
starting your lines with '>'?").

Regarding over-quoting: I'm guilty of that as well, especially when
writing on mobile. It's easy to lose oversight when writing on a small
screen and if your email client is folding quoted paragraphs neatly
away for you, so you often don't realize how much content you are about
to send.

So, long story short, I think asking people to use proper quoting and
stick to plaintext (-looking) text is reasonable, anything beyond
that is unrealistic and more harm than good.


p.s. Reduced the number of lists in Cc.

Michael Gmelin