RFC - e-mail in tough environments

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Fri Dec 11 17:34:50 UTC 2009

Matthias Kirschner wrote:
> I just published a blog entry [1]. Although I explained this topic a lot
> of times in the past I never wrote down the most basic principles of
> e-mail usage. Now I finally did it so I can point friends who are news
> in the Free Software community to this short guide. If you find it
> useful I will add it to wiki.fsfe.org.

Because that blog still gives me an evil red-on-black eyetest, I
comment here.

The big omission is attachments, I think.
has a bit about them, but you probably want something a bit shorter.

I feel it's better to appeal to the Golden Rule (act with kindness if
you want kindness back) instead of suggesting that people should look
"professional".  At its core, professionalism is doing something for
reward rather than because you want to - it's not sustainable.
Professionalism leads to wasteful actions like shredding a whole box
of reports because one error was made and no-one wants to fix the
mistake by putting an errata or sticker on it.

>     - *Forwarding e-mails* When you forward e-mails try to give a short
>       summary of the e-mail. Forwarding a huge e-mail thread to a list
>       with only “FYI” will make you no friends.

Two more aspects of it:

  If the email was on a list, maybe you can link to the original in an

  If the email was sent privately, forwarding it to a list is a breach
of trust and often arguably a breach of copyright.

Hope that helps,
MJ Ray (slef)  Webmaster and LMS developer at     | software
www.software.coop http://mjr.towers.org.uk        |  .... co
IMO only: see http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html |  .... op

More information about the Discussion mailing list