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Re: Mailing list protocol

On Wed, 25 Aug 2010 12:52:33 -0400 (EDT), Gary Roach wrote:
> This is kind of an embarrassing question considering I have been 
> subscribed to this list for several years. What is the protocol for a 
> reply. Though I have bumbled through the process in the past, I am not 
> sure how it should really be done. I searched for about a half hour on 
> google and on the debian site and still have questions.

The official mailing list policy is here:


Pay particular attention to the "Code of Conduct" section, but you
should be familiar with all the content of this page.
However, the official policy does not cover everything.
> Specifically:
> If I reply to <debian-user@lists.debian.org> , how does my reply get 
> included with the correct snippets of other messages. Or is this my 
> responsibility to cut and paste relevent sections.

This is one of those things that is not explicitly covered by the
policy.  The vast majority of the regular users prefer the usenet
style of quoting, rather than the "top posting" method commonly
used by typical GUI e-mail clients (i.e. Outlook, gmail web-based
e-mail client, etc.)  This doesn't mean that you can't use those
e-mail clients, but it does mean that if you do you will have to
do more manual work to get your reply into the usenet format.
For more information see


And yes, trimming your posts is your responsibility.  The basic idea
is to provide enough context so that your reply makes sense without
including extra material that has already been posted and is not
needed to make sense of the reply.  That also is covered in the
above wikipedia article.

> Though in danger on creating an email food fight, I still need to know 
> whether my reply goes on the top or bottom of the text.
> I seem to be cleaning up a lot of computer loose ends recently. This is 
> one of them.

Again, there is no official policy on this.  But if the goal is to get
help for a problem you are having, it makes sense to irritate those
from whom you are asking for free help as little as possible.
I don't know anyone who gets irritated by seeing the usenet quoting
style.  But I do know people who are irritated by top posting.

  .''`.     Stephen Powell    
 : :'  :
 `. `'`

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