SULUG Mailing List Policy


This document is intended to describe the basic conventions and policies governing behaviour when using the SULUG mailing lists. While not intended to be a rigid set rules, they do specify a minimal standard for polite behaviour on the lists, and people who repeatedly fail to meet this standard may have their subscriptions revoked.


This is partly inspired by RFC 1855 on Netiquette, and parts are also somewhat shamelessly cribbed from the CLUG list rules.

The Lists

The are three lists associated with SULUG: the SULUG list, SULUG-Announce and SULUG-Watch, and each has a different role.


  1. Keep Messages on topic

    • The SULUG list is intended for discussions about Free and Open Source Software (with a strong Linux bias) at the Stellenbosch University and events affecting SULUG. This already encompasses a wide range of possible topics, so we ask people to please keep conversations on topic. On topic is usually pretty clear, but it should be noted that messages that consist basically of a single link are strongly frowned upon.
  2. Edited quoted messages

    • The list is archived. See You don't need to keep the entire message and the complete history of the discussion in your message. Quote just the sections you are replying too. This implies that top-posting is unacceptable. This is especially important when replying to digest messages. See this message for a detailed discussion of why you should quote messages properly.

  3. Use an appropriate and descriptive subject line

    • People both use the subject line for searching and finding information in the archive. Subject lines such as "Help" are useless for this purpose. Equally, if a thread has veered significantly from the original topic, change the subject line.
  4. Do not break threads

    • When composing a new message to the list, DO NOT do so by replying to another message on the list. This affects both people's mail readers and the archiving system adversely, and makes it hard to find information when searching the archives.

  5. Do not attach large files

    • This list isn't the place to distribute entire files, although code snippets and short scripts are encouraged. Please put files that are more than a few kilobytes on an FTP or web site and post the URL.
  6. Send plain text emails only

    • HTML emails are evil. HTML-only emails are an evil that will get you sent to the special hell for people in need of horrible torment ... like child molesters and people who talk at the theater.
  7. Limit your signature

    • Around 4 lines is a good measure. Much longer than that, especially on short messages, becomes ridiculous.
  8. Do not post the same message repeatedly

    • Email is not designed as a real-time system. If it doesn't show up on the list in a few minutes, be patient.
  9. Check the address when you reply

    • All list messages leave the originator's From: and Cc: headers intact, but normal replies will generally go back to the list, because the "Mail-Followup-To:" field is configured to be the list address. Unfortunately however, some mailers lose the Cc: addresses, ignore the Mail-Followup-To: address, or use the envelope or sender address. Even if your mailer gets it right, you should check to be sure you aren't replying to more recipients than you intended.
  10. Be nice

    • Inappropriate language, rude and annoying behaviour, and so forth are all strongly discouraged. The SULUG list has people with varying knowledge and experience levels with Linux. We aim to be a moderately friendly place where people can learn new things. Please, when composing a heated flame, reread it a few times, and wait several minutes before sending it to the list.

Other Notes

There is no strong preferred language policy on the list. Most subscribers will understand both English and Afrikaans, and so for best results, correspondence should be limited to those two.


SULUG/ListPolicy (last edited 2008-11-10 11:20:31 by NeilMuller)