Dorset Linux User Group Mailing list
A mailing list is an email address that takes what it is sent and sends it back out to all the list's subscribers. Our mailing list, called “dorset”, requires you to subscribe to it before it will send on your emails. Subscribing is easy; enter your email address in the form and you'll be sent an email asking you to confirm by either visiting a web page or sending an email. From then on, you'll receive any emails sent to the list. As of 2007-07-14 we're sending emails to 125 addresses. Unsubscribing is similarly straightforward; visit the same form and the dorset Subscribers section at the end has instructions for starting to unsubscribe.
If you're concerned about spam, don't be cautious about subscribing. Since only subscribers' emails get through to everyone, little or no spam makes it through. As for a spammer harvesting your email address to send spam directly to you, the list of subscribers is only available to a couple of people that administer the mailing list. In theory, a spammer could subscribe in order to learn the email addresses people use but that hasn't happened. Some people subscribe with an address specifically for the list if their email program and ISP allow it, e.g. fred-dorset at bloggs dot net, so they can see if the address ever gets misused.
After subscribing, you're welcome to send an email introducing yourself; see the guidelines below. Try and pick a subject that doesn't look too much like spam, e.g. “Hi from an Ubuntu user in Bridport” rather than “Hello!”. Tell us whatever you like; technical experience or lack of, distribution preferences, location, etc. You'll probably get a few replies which helps confirm you're subscribed.
Feel free to post on any topic you think is related to the list. There's often people asking for help so don't be shy! Other subjects include discussing the next meeting, offering old bits of computer kit for sale, pointing out local offers, and suggesting online petitions to sign.
Every message sent to the list is archived and can be read if you're a subscriber. Since 2009-03-01, the list archives are also public. You may want to browse to get a flavour. Older messages are archived elsewhere. You don't have to be a subscriber to view those, but the email addresses have been disguised to avoid harvesting by spammers. Yes, it's a bit confusing. Basically, there was a middle period where people posting to the list expected their posts to be private, and we can't retrospectively change that.
Guidelines for sending an email to the list
- If you want to start a new topic, compose a new message to firstname.lastname@example.org; don't reply to an existing one else it will appear to be part of that topic.
- Pick a descriptive subject, e.g. “Can't edit /etc/passwd; permission denied”, not “Help! Firefox has stopped working”.
- If you're asking for help, give as much information as possible, e.g. paste in the command and error message. Don't just say it doesn't work.
- Send plain text emails, not HTML ones. Some of us can't read the latter and nearly everyone outside the Microsoft world prefers plain text.
- When replying, intersperse your text inbetween pertinent quoted extracts of the original, deleting superfluous quotes. Don't just quote it all with your text at the top before it. This “top posting” makes it awkward for everyone else to read.
- Attachments are discarded so don't bother trying to attach them. This is because they tend to be large and not everyone would welcome receiving them. If you've something you'd like to send, explain why and ask how on the list.
- Replies go to the list. If you want to reply to just the author and not everyone, perhaps to give some private information, make sure your email client is going to do what you intend.
- If you receive a daily digest and want to reply, find the original message in the archive and use the link that's part of the poster's email address to compose the message. This sets up the right subject and some other details to try and make your email appear part of the thread.
Don't worry too much about doing something wrong. We're a friendly bunch and will happily point out any problems the first few times.