RFC - e-mail in tough environments

Peter Lewis prlewis at fsfe.org
Thu Dec 10 13:15:24 UTC 2009

Hi Matthias,

On Wednesday 09 Dec 2009 19:05:02 Matthias Kirschner wrote:
>     Would you go to a job interview in your sweatpants? Would you sent
>     your CV with handwritten corrections? If you answer those questions
>     with no, you might also want to write professional e-mails. The Free
>     Software community is a tough environment when it comes to e-mail
>     usage. This short guide tries to help you that the community
>     perceive you as a professional communicator.

I think that this is a great idea and agree with (almost all of) your points.

>     - *Line break of e-mails* Should be around 72 characters. Nobody
>       will kill you if it is 70 or 74 or even 76. But a lot of people
>       will get angry if you do not have a line break at all.

Can I ask what the reason behind this is?

I really don't like static word wrapping, as much as I don't like static width web pages. I read emails on a variety of devices and window sizes, and the presumption that ~72 characters is appropriate for wherever I'm reading it seems rather arbitrary.

A good client should have dynamic word wrapping IMO.



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