Things To Know About the TLUG Mailing List Before You Join
This guide was written in the hope that it will make diving into the TLUG community as easy and trouble-free as possible for the new members. "The TLUG mailing list" refers to the main technical list. TLUG also has tlug-admin, which is used for discussing the group's administrative matters. This guide is specifically for people who are joining the "main", technical mailing list.
- 0. What is the TLUG mailing list about?
- 1. Who is the TLUG mailing list for?
- 2. I want to post a question.
- 3. What the TLUG mailing list is *NOT* about
- 4. Who runs the TLUG mailing lists ?
- 5. What are the people on this mailing list like ?
- 6. I think the people on this list are rude!
- 7. What's all this gibberish these people are talking ?
- 8. I'm new to unix, can I join TLUG ?
- 9. I'm new to unix, but want to contribute to the "community"
- 10. TLUG's rights
This mailing list is a technical list, and it serves as a forum for Linux, *BSD (FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD) and general open source discussions.
Everyone who is interested in discussing Linux, *BSD (FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD) and/or open source development is welcome.
First of all, read this wonderful resource: USENET and Mailing List posting netiquette. In short, if you're posting a question, try to do some research before you post it. Describe your environment. Define your problem and attach logs whenever possible so that it is easier for others to diagnose the problem. Otherwise expect to be told to RTFM.
Other things to avoid (all of which are stated in the aforementioned Netiquette document):
- Top-posting: this is replying to an email above the quoted text. Instead, reply *below* the quoted text, so it reads top to bottom, like English does.
- Failing to trim: this means you hit reply and did not bother to edit out any content from the previous post(s) in the thread that is unnecessary. Just leave the text that is necessary to establish context, and *always* delete salutations (e.g. "Hello Dave") and signatures (unless of course you are commenting on the cleverness of a sig).
- Thread hijacking: this means that you hit reply to a list post, changed the subject, and started a new topic. However, thread-savvy mail clients will show your post as part of the existing thread. Create an alias or address book entry for the list if you cannot be bothered to type out the address when composing a new email message.
- Cross-posting: this means that when have a question, you CC or (worse yet!) BCC it to all the applicable technical mailing lists to which you are subscribed. This can be annoying to people who are also subscribed to a variety of mailing lists, as one copy of your question is quite enough, thank you very much. When sending a technical question, pick the most applicable mailing list and try there first. If you get no answers, take a look at your question and see if it is worded well (see "How to Ask Questions the Smart Way" for lots of help on this).
Some other fine resources on LUG mailing list etiquette (which also apply to technical mailing lists in general) include:
- Newbie Survival Guide to Mailing Lists by Scott Robbins (of QND-Guides fame)
- How To Ask Questions The Smart Way by Eric S. Raymond (of The Cathedral and the Bazaar fame)
- Linux Newbie FAQ by Scott Robbins (of QND-Guides fame)
This is a self-help community, not a support center. We exchange knowledge and engage in casual technical conversations. We do not have obligations to support any software, code fixes, or guarantee any kind of service. Neither is TLUG an anti-Microsoft think-tank, and thus Microsoft-bashing posts to our mailing lists with no other virtue should not be considered on-topic.
All work to maintain TLUG mailing list, update TLUG web site, and to organize meetings and nomikai gatherings is done by volunteers.
You will find that 97% of the list population are friendly and conventionally polite people. About 3% have a more direct style of speech. That 3% typically have passionate beliefs about Unix/Linux system administration, which derive from their real-life experiences. What they say, therefore, tend to include more facts than mere opinions or personal preferences. Just because they sound a little blunt, it does not mean that they're "arrogant", "snobbish" or "stomping on newbies." If you are having trouble understanding this, please refer to ESR's How To Ask Questions The Smart Way.
Do not take it personally when a technical discussion develops into a heated debate. Keep it technical. And remember that there is an important difference between calling an idea stupid and calling the person that espoused said idea stupid.
Consult the Jargon File if you're new to the Unix/Linux terminology and culture.
Of course you can! Newbies are valued members of the group, so long as they're willing to try out things and learn. People who don't make that effort, or expect help from others and take it for granted may not feel very comfortable on this list.
Newbies' perspectives are generally valued because they give hints as to what improvements can be made to the existing system, organizational or technical. Present them in a constructive manner, rather than insisting "I want this app to work on Linux just like it does on Windows!" or "Why is Linux not as intuitive as Windows ?"
If you have used different computer platforms in the past, please keep this in mind:
"Users with experience with other OSes/windowing systems will often find "the Unix way" unintuitive, confusing, or inefficient. If you can be helped with a simple operational or configuration change, the response is likely to be low-key and helpful. If it involves design changes or substantial additional code, the response is often surprisingly vehement opposition on principle!"
TLUG retains the right to warn list members, and if necessary unsubscribe them without notice, if their postings are found to be inappropriate, if they draw many complaints from other list members, if they have a history of abuse, or if there is risk that the operation of the mailing list will be made more difficult by those individuals.
In general, TLUG's list moderation staff uses the Three Strikes Rule to govern our mailing lists:
- First offense:You receive an on- or off-list reply (depending on the inflammability of the situation) from a moderator, explaining your offense and warning you that it is unacceptable on TLUG.
- Second offense:You receive a warning saying that if you commit another atrocity, you will be kicked off of the list.
- Third offense:You are unsubscribed and banned from the list. For good.
Many thanks to Ayako Kato for writing this document in the first place, and to Stephen Turnbull for proofreading, making suggestions, and helping her put this guide together.
This revision was done by Josh Glover, and all comments, corrections and constructive criticisms should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org