List replies

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at
Sun Mar 23 08:56:19 PDT 2008

On Sun, 23 Mar 2008 10:19:11 +0100, Tore Lund <tl32 at> wrote:
> Erik Trulsson wrote:
>> On Sat, Mar 22, 2008 at 11:54:00PM +0100, Tore Lund wrote:
>>> [snip]
>>> I request that this misunderstood piece of "etiquette" is revised.  If
>>> someone has the brains to find this list as well as the brains to use
>>> FreeBSD at all, they also have the brains to come back here to look for
>>> answers.
>> Wrong.  Not everybody who posts here is even aware that it is a mailing
>> list, much less how to read mails sent to the list.
> I guess the problem is lack of imagination on my part.  I am not able to
> fathom how anyone can pick up and use the address of this list without
> realizing that it is a mailing list.  Nor have I seen this point
> explained in the many previous discussions on this topic.

In February 2007, Jeffrey Goldberg asked the same thing too.  It comes
up every few months, and the explanation I had written below seemed to
be satisfactory for him.  Perhaps it can help in this re-occurence of
the old thread?

% On 2007-02-19 10:27, Jeffrey Goldberg <jeffrey at> wrote:
% >[mailed and posted and cc'ed to grog]
% >On Feb 19, 2007, at 4:54 AM, Giorgos Keramidas wrote:
% >> There is a very good reason why it is customary in this mailing list
% >> to copy the sender when replying.  We don't accept email messages
% >> only from subscribers.  This means that some people may post a
% >> question without even being subscribed to the list.  By Reply-To:
% >> header "hacks", like the one you are describing, the original poster
% >> may never see your reply.
% >
% > Thank you for that explanation.  It might be a good idea to add this
% > to point 6 of section 8 of
% >
% >

> Yes, and those reasons would also be good reasons to ponder whether a
> mailing list is the right type of forum.  Lurkers and newbies should
> preferably peruse other people's question for a while before they post,
> and this is hard to do if they are not even aware that this is a mailing
> list.

We don't accept email only from lurkers.  The mailing list is  also
advertized as the official place to ask questions in CD-ROMs provided by
vendors, in our documentation, on magazines, conferences, and so on.

We don't want to make it _obligatory_ to subscribe, because this would
alienate users who are too new to the Internet to be familiar with
lists, subscriptions, and similar 'filtering' things.

> An HTML forum is probably out of the question, [...]

No, it isn't out of the question.  There are several reasons why `old
guard' FreeBSD people may prefer email, but we are also investigating
the idea of forums.  It comes up now and then, and it will probably
happen sooner or later.  I don't have the email thread of the old forum
discussions readily available, but it isn't something the FreeBSD
Project as a team would vehemently object to :)

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