Mailing Lists FAQ

This is the LOSURS Mailing List FAQ. It is a reminder of what mailing lists are available, what they're used for, and how to adjust your mailing list subscriptions and other membership information. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding this FAQ, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Multiple Mailing Lists

Many Linux users' groups have only one mailing list for the entire group, but we prefer to break it down a little bit. This allows members to choose not to see certain types of traffic. (For example, not everybody is interested in the job offers on the jobs list, so they don't have to subscribe to it.) Please keep this in mind when selecting the correct list to which to post.

The complete list of available mailing lists and their purposes can be found at http://www.losurs.org/lists.

Posting to the Lists

To post to our lists, you simply send mail to the list's email address. For example, to post a question to the Q&A list, you would simply send a message to q&a@losurs.org. By default, you should get a confirmation message back; you can change this behaviour if you like (people who have been members for a long time probably default to getting nothing back).

Posting Guidelines

  1. Messages should show respect, honesty, and professionalism. Repetitive posts, inflammatory statements, profanity and "preaching" should be avoided.
  2. Messages must not contain any unlawful, harassing, libelous, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, obscene or otherwise objectionable material of any kind or nature. In addition, no message shall contain any material that encourages conduct that could constitute a criminal offence, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any applicable provincial, national or international law or regulation.
  3. Be civil! Differences of opinion are inevitable, but if you get out of control then you will be warned.
  4. When replying to a message, only quote the portions that are absolutely necessary to help the reader and delete the rest. If you need to cut down a rather large post, use <snip> to designate that you are cutting things out to make the post smaller.
  5. Do not promote "spam" activity. This includes chain letters, etc. We consider virus warning hoaxes to be chain letters so don't post those either. Legitimate virus warnings are perfectly fine.
  6. Especially on Q&A lists, please reply to the mailing list rather than just to the person who posted. Other people may have the same question, and it's easier for those answering the question to do so only once.
  7. On the other hand, lots of communication to other people on the list can be accomplished through personal e-mail. Don't reply to the list unless you think your mail would be helpful and of interest to the majority, or at least to other people with the same problem.
  8. Include the http:// part of the URL in your e-mail messages about sites for the convenience of readers with smart mail applications.
  9. Large attachments are not acceptable. A 150 kilobyte attachment multiplied by 400 people on a list, means that you're using 60 megabytes of the mail list server's bandwidth. People reading their mail on a slow dialup connection likely also will not appreciate large attachments, especially if they're not interested in the contents.

Mail Etiquette

  1. Use upper and lower case when writing messages. Upper case messages are considered "shouting", and all lower case messages are harder to read.
  2. Give a meaningful subject to your message. Don't leave it blank, or say "question" or "help", etc. A good subject will likely encourage more people to read your message!
  3. Messages should generally not be posted with "attachments". Due to the variety of mail readers and file formats this is usually not effective. If you have something specific for people to see, contact the webmaster and the file can probably be posted on the web site.
  4. The "smiley face" or :-) means that something was said in jest, and should not be taken seriously.

Monitoring/Mediating the List

The board is monitoring the mailing list and may step in to redirect discussion back on-topic, as well as remove people from the mailing list who continually do not follow the above guidelines. In most cases, the board will send an email warning that the discussion has drifted off-topic first. It is not necessary for other members to respond to inappropriate messages; the board will deal with it.

Changing User Information

In order to post to our lists, you have to be a LOSURS member; more importantly, the mailing list software has to be able to recognize you as one. It does so based on the email address you send from, so make sure that you keep the email address we have on record up to date. It is possible to have multiple email addresses associated with your membership. Addresses marked as "alternate" (rather than "main") can be used to post to the list, but will not receive a copy of mailing list mail.

You can change this and other information in the membership database on the LOSURS web site. Your username for this area is your first initial followed by your last name (for example, Carl Waters would have the username "cwaters"). Should you forget your password, there is a link to request that a new one be issued to you. It will be sent by e-mail to the address we have on record for you. If the e-mail address on file is no longer functional, you'll have to contact the membership co-ordinator.

We strongly recommend that you take a look through the membership datbase and the mailing list options, to get an idea what sort of things you can change, and to fill out the extra information. If you ever change your e-mail address, please remember to update it here! We do not appreciate getting a tonne of mailing list traffic bounced back as undeliverable.