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Re: Advocacy

On Mon, 3 Mar 2003, Sheridan, David wrote:

> I'm saddened to have to post this. After submitting a bug report (complete
> with source code fix) about rsync, I've now been flamed by various members
> of the list for having a disclaimer at the bottom of my e-mails. The flames
> I received were thoroughly sarcastic and accusatory, and suggested that I
> should not post to the list.
> At my place of work, access to free e-mail websites is blocked, so the only
> e-mail I can send is via my official account. This adds the disclaimer you
> see at the bottom. I can't prevent that. You can ignore it very easily, and
> delete this message if the disclaimer offends you. No, I don't mention you
> by name but yes, you are an intended recipient of the message.
> After receiving this abuse from list members, I'm unlikely to contribute
> anything further to cygwin, and will not report further bugs. If this is the
> behaviour the cygwin developers wish to encourage, you need to do nothing
> further. If you think it's a shame, please encourage the list members to
> read up on advocacy. This is exactly the reason that open source is having a
> hard time being adopted widely by the commercial world.
> My apologies if the disclaimer in this message has caused you any anguish.
> Any trolling replies will be deleted. Anyone with serious comments is
> encouraged to reply to this address, since as you may have guessed I'm not
> subscribed to the list.
> -Dave

This is not a problem for most members of this list, but certain e-mail
hosts/clients do add stuff at the end of the message that's not under
control of the sender, just not as much of it (yahoo and hotmail come to
mind).  Since the sender really *cannot* control this, it's unfair, IMO,
to blame or penalize him for it.  It's also unfair, however, to subject
thousands of subscribers on this list to 16-line disclaimers.

As a reasonable compromise, I suggest adding the ability to filter out
disclaimers at the end of messages, delimited by a certain string (that
people can put in their signatures, for example).  This way, long
disclaimers will not be received by the list subscribers provided the
senders take some action that *is* under their control.

Since the list already modifies e-mail messages to filter out HTML
portions, it should be relatively easy to add a filter that snips the
remainder of the message after a particular string is encountered.  I'll
even go as far as to say that I'm willing to take a look at the mail
processing script to see how much effort this involves (resulting in a
patch, hopefully), once the consensus on the separator string is reached.
P.S. Note that we don't want to use "-- " as the separator string, unless
we want to filter out people's signatures as well.  Maybe something like
      |\      _,,,---,,_		pechtcha at cs dot nyu dot edu
ZZZzz /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_		igor at watson dot ibm dot com
     |,4-  ) )-,_. ,\ (  `'-'		Igor Pechtchanski
    '---''(_/--'  `-'\_) fL	a.k.a JaguaR-R-R-r-r-r-.-.-.  Meow!

Oh, boy, virtual memory! Now I'm gonna make myself a really *big* RAMdisk!
  -- /usr/games/fortune

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