Talk List Guidelines

Wikis > Talk List Guidelines

Talk is a forum to contribute and resolve technical problems and to discuss relevant technical (FLOSS, law) issues. This list is unmoderated in the sense that all subscriber posts make it to the list, but is monitored for violations of these guidelines, with appropriate action taken.

Please take the time to read these guidelines, as our goal is not to throw anyone off the list or revoke posting privileges.  Persistent violators will be unsubscribed and banned from re-subscribing.  These guidelines are subject to change as necessary to maintain the smooth operation of the list, however you can look at the page history to see when it was changed, how it was changed, and by whom.


Talk is a forum to contribute and resolve technical problems and to discuss relevant technical (FLOSS, law) issues. Generally speaking topics of discussion tend to focus on:

  • Commenting on or observing market trends, or commentary about the local tech community.
  • Issues of copyright, fair use and copyright violations.
  • Critiquing technology.
  • Resolving technical problems.
  • Upcoming technology, study and/or user group events
  • Sharing relevant information.
  • Relevant hardware/software/services discounts, sales offers.

Jobs/Situations Wanted, should be posted to the Jobs Site.  Jobs get mailed to the Talk list and the Jobs list.

Before you post a message…

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your message of general interest to Talk members?
  • Does your message introduce a new topic or add something new a discussion in progress?
  • Is the thought or question complete, or will you have more to say on it in an hour?
  • Should you just be quiet for a while and let other people speak – i.e. lurk about first?

Do’s and Don’ts

Please do …

  • Familiarize yourself with the Talk archives.
  • Treat others with patience and respect, always.
  • Completely state your side of an argument, debate or technical question.
  • Respect different opinions of list members.
  • Take care in correctly quoting other posts.
  • Be responsible for your viewpoint.
  • Include your real name, or name you are well-known by here in posts.
  • Avoid the rehashing of issues. Please see the Talk archives.
  • Verify that external links work before posting them to the list.
  • Be email client friendly by maintain an approximate 76 character width.

Please do not…

  • Do not make technical arguments personal, or take technical arguments personally.
  • Post personal attacks, or demean your fellow listmembers.
  • Entertain troll posts (i.e. posts that are designed to incite problems and arguments).
  • Post blatant mistakes, misquote or involve yourself in otherwise trouble inducing behavior.
  • Post copyrighted or otherwise illegal material, or attachments, except as allowed by Fair Use.
  • Unnecessarily duplicate posts.
  • Post HTML or Rich Text formatted messages to the list.
  • Send test posts to the list. Contact a listadmin/moderator if you suspect the list is not working.
  • Send material whose primary purpose is to advance your political beliefs.
  • Please do not use signature files of more than seven lines.

Job Postings and Résumés

Jobs and resumes should  be posted to the Jobs Site, from where they will be automatically emailed to both the Talk list and the Jobs list.

Please contact with questions.


  • Attached Files (including digital signatures (as attachments) and vCards)
  • Spam (UCE and UBE)
  • Chain Letters
  • Your Résumé (see job postings)
  • Someone Else’s Copyrighted Material (exception: Fair Use)
  • ‘Flame mail’ or Trolling
  • Re-posted Material of more than 40 Lines
  • Excessive Cross Posts
  • list server commands – use the mailing list form
  • Generic ‘Classified Ads’ – We allow some leeway here, as long as the list does not become cluttered with messages deemed to be of no value to our member community.Job Postings are handled separately.
  • Political Material not primarily and obviously and specifically about Linux, Free Software, Open Source, or technology.
  • Baseless rumors and slanderous material.



You will receive a private message from the list Coordinator or a list Team member.

Read Only

Means you will continue to receive Talk messages but you will not be able to post messages to the list.


Means you will not receive Talk messages and will not be able to post messages to the list.


Means you are off the list permanently.


When you post a message to the list, keep in mind that it will be read by a variety of people, on a variety of different types of computers. Different people manage their mail in different ways, and different systems charge in different ways for internet mail. Some people are charged by the byte or by the second for connect time and bandwidth, so brevity can be important to them.

Also please consider the following…

  • Subject heading should be brief and to the point.
  • Verify the to, cc, and bcc fields.
  • Verify that only ASCII text characters are used.
  • Refrain from use of HTML and RTF text formatting options, unless it adds something important to the message.
  • Please address and sign postings appropriately and responsibly.
  • Quote just a few lines, rather than copying the entire previous you are responding to message.  If you quote someone else’s post, do so beginning with something like: “On 30 May 2013, [Quotee’s Name] wrote:” so readers at least know who you’re talking about.

List Member Conduct:

On the list, people discuss and often debate ideas of importance to them, sometimes quite passionately. While it is perfectly acceptable to have strong opinions, personal attacks are NOT acceptable. Tolerance and respect for everyone on the list is a condition for maintaining your Talk membership. When you post, please remember that you are communicating with many people, and judge your words accordingly.  They will be archived and searchable for a long time to come.

Each person on the list is expected to be responsible for what he or she says and what he or she reads as well. The service operating the mailing list software is not responsible in any way for statements made by subscribers to this list. We advise that all members familiarize themselves with any issues they may have regarding libel, copyrights or any other issues surrounding their posted messages.

Warnings regarding violations of these guidelines may be given in private mail, or via the list.  Persistent or egregious violators will be subject to removal from the list and permanently banned, as deemed necessary by the list administrators.  Notices of members who have lost their posting privileges and those who are banned will be posted to the list in the interests of transparency.

We are not anonymous on this list, you should use whatever name it is you’re known by on the Internet.  If you are known by a pseudonym/nickname, you may decide whether to use that or your given name.  Include your name in posts, and respect others’ names.

Refrain from posts commenting on blatant mistakes by others or apologizing for your own; mistakes and guideline infractions are dealt with by the list administrator, mostly in private mail. If you feel the need to add your own two cents, do so privately as well.

When you see something going on that you think is a egregious breach of the guidelines, don’t post a message to the list to correct the problem. Send a message to the list admins and they’ll deal with it.

Subject Headings

The “Subject:” line in the header of the message is there so that people can know what your message is about before they open it to read it. Try to make your subjects descriptive, and brief. And remember that when you are replying to a message, the subject won’t change unless you change it.

Your primary interest in posting to the list is to get a response. Failure to get your basic issue across in the Subject line is one of the main reasons some posts don’t generate much response.


Please do not post private e-mail to the list without the permission of the author of the message. If someone sends you mail privately, it is a violation of that person’s privacy to quote that message in public without their explicit permission. That exposes both you and the list owner to civil and/or criminal liability.

The reverse is also true. Anything posted on this list is the property of the person who posted it. While you may make Fair Use of it, this material is protected by copyright law.

The list of Talk subscribers is protected, and will not be given to anyone. The e-mail addresses from postings to this list should not be used to generate spam. If you harvest addresses from the list for any purpose, you will be barred and very unpopular (to say the least).

A NOTE OF CAUTION: Subscribers to the list are not screened, there are a large number of subscribers to the list, and the list is publicly archived. So remember that what you post to the list may eventually be seen by almost anyone, and post carefully. For your personal privacy and safety, do not include your home address or phone number in your message. Friends, colleagues, business competitors, journalists, and even kooks, may be subscribed; assume that what you post here may eventually arrive in the hands of someone other than your intended audience, so be discreet and tactful.

Copyrighted Material & Fair Use

Copyrighted material is anything that anybody creates. When you create something, you have the exclusive right to copy it under the limited copyright privilege granted by Congress under the United States Constitution. Someone else’s e-mail, an article from an on-line ‘zine, material on a web page, articles posted on this list (or any other list), are all explicitly or implicitly copyrighted. This means that they should never be posted to this list without the author’s permission outside the bounds of Fair Use.

The law recognizes the right to use short excerpts of copyrighted material for educational and critical  purposes, with proper reference to the copyright holder. This is known as Fair Use. The Talk community has been a strong supporter of Fair Use, but you may not use the list to violate the law.


It is good to quote part of the message you are replying to, so that people reading it can easily find the context of your reply. It’s usually sufficient to quote just a few lines, rather than copying the entire previous message. Everyone on the list received a copy of the original message, so quoting all of it is quite unnecessary.

Most mail readers have an option for quoting the previous message in a reply. Please remember to cut out the parts that aren’t necessary, when adding your reply.