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short version:
why not have your .signature reflect which debian you're using?

long version:

i've noticed that occasionally someone who uses, say, potato,
asks for advice and information, and the answers some from
another debianista using, say, woody. much of the time this is
not a problem, but then there's the occasional situation where
the woody (or sid) system has something that potato (or woody)
doesn't. and neither asker nor responder indicate which systems
they're using.

for example,

	> which package contains the recover program?
	apt-get install recover

the asker is on potato, which doesn't have 'recover' available;
the responder is on woody, which does.

this can disconcert the newbie -- can either make the responder
look like he doesn't really know his stuff, or convinces the
newbie that things are above his head -- a very much Bad Thing,
either way. (a courageous and intrepid newbie will continue to
ask, which is often the case... but maybe we can take some of
the sting out of this situation. hmm?)

so, how about if we use an EMAIL SIG that indicates which context
we're posting from?

with mutt, it's as simple as munging your ~/.muttrc:

	send-hook .                "set signature='~/.signature'"
	send-hook debian|newbiedoc "set signature='~/.signature-debian |'"

(note the pipe "|" symbol and the end of the '' string.)

then you can do whatever you think is pertinent in in your
~/.signature-debian script. for example:

	echo -n "Note that I use Debian version "
	cat /etc/debian_version
	uname -a
	cat ~/.signature

(you'll need to "chmod +x ~/.signature-debian" of course so that
it'll be executable as a script.)

the results of that script signature for me would resemble this:

	My perspective comes from using Debian system version 2.2
	Linux server 2.2.17 #1 Sun Jun 25 09:24:41 EST 2000 i586 unknown
	[normal signature would then follow]

those of you who use many different systems are probably the ones
who've shown an effort to identify which context your answers
come from. (and thanks!)

as for the rest of us, the more of us who set up something like
this with our own email clients, the better off the newbies will
all be, dontUthink?

I use Debian/GNU Linux version 2.2;
Linux server 2.2.17 #1 Sun Jun 25 09:24:41 EST 2000 i586 unknown
DEBIAN NEWBIE TIP #35 from Joris Lambrecht <jlambrec@landis.be>
Looking for some LINUX TUTORIALS? Check out this
book at sourceforge:

Also see http://newbieDoc.sourceForge.net/

drink deep or touch not the pierian spring...

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