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Re: rampant offtopic and offensive posts to debian-user

Roberto C. Sánchez <roberto@connexer.com> wrote:
> On Sat, May 19, 2007 at 05:19:31PM -0400, Miles Fidelman wrote:
> > M. Fioretti wrote:
> > >No, sorry, the problem is a concrete, objective one:
> > >
> > >* everybody with any metered connection _pays_ real money
> > >every time these characters rerun their show
> > >
> > >  
> > It's called IMAP - the bandwidth and time to download headers
> > is negligible, even over a dial-up.
> > 
> There are also multiple solutions which allow downloading just
> headers and deleting messages from the server over a POP
> connection.

I've been guilty of facilitating some OT'ness since I joined the
list a couple weeks ago. I have been amazed at the sheer volume of
it, though, and have lately been mostly trying to stick only to
on-topic things I could help with.

Since joining, however, I have been referred to as a "user wizard"
once or twice since I do things like RTFM before somebody else
tells me to and have some familiarity with how to do things and
also how to use command-line tools (but don't develop software or
anything, so am not a real wiz.). I bring this up only to give
perspective when I say that I have no idea how to set up POP to do
that and could not tell you the difference between POP and IMAP,
except that I think IMAP is newer and I've heard it's better in a
lot of ways. Also, what about the trouble inherent in migrating to
a new email address? If somebody's current provider provides only
POP, should they be forced to switch to another provider just for
the privilege of being on this list?

>From what I've seen in the past couple of weeks, a lot of the
posters on here are brand new to Debian, or even to Linux! They may
not know what a manpage is, let alone how to find one or how to
properly search for reliable documentation online. And it's
entirely possible that on top of being new to GNU/Linux, they may
not know how to set up a mail client to "play nice" in the way
you're suggesting. I appreciate that it's a good thing to know, but
is it really a good idea to make it so that anyone new to the list
who may have bandwidth limitations/costs has to first learn how to
do that before subscribing? Especially since to actually find the
documentation on this, they would probably have to use the
Internet--in other words, they would have to browse a number of
websites in order to find the exact information necessary (we're
assuming this is a user who doesn't know where to begin,
remember--but even on one website there may be several pages to go
through to find the right documentation, especially on email
providers' websites). Shouldn't, instead, the responsible,
experienced users on the list make life that much easier on
everyone else? I guess the question is exactly where the
responsibility falls; personally, I'm inclined to say it falls on
the frequent poster. I understand that you want to express your
views, but there are less public fora that might be better, ones
dedicated to such topics, in fact. So I guess basically the
take-home message should just be "be considerate; don't put the
burden of learning how to properly ignore you on the user; take
some responsibility." I don't think any public apologies are in
order, just maybe thinking twice before posting.


P.S.:  Sorry this was so long.

Go climb a gravity well!

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