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  Re: Rules and standards
From: Steve Marak samarak at arachne.uark.edu> on 2002.03.07 at 22:16:37(8262)
Joe (and everyone),

I'll look back and see if I can see your posts and (if I find them) see
what happened. I don't recall not posting anything recently other than a
couple which had attachments and a couple more which were personal notes
inadvertantly posted to the list. Normally I ask anyone who posted a note
with an attachment to repost without it, and personal notes get forwarded
to the person for whom they seem to be intended. Sometimes we just
overlook something (I get hundreds of e-mails every day, across several

"Rules" for Aroid-L are really more like judgement calls - as with most
things, black and white are uncommon, shades of gray frequent. We do the
best we can, but that's all we promise - being human, we miss things, or
misinterpret them, etc.

In general, we don't post:

- things that we consider inflammatory. Disagreement, even when highly
emotional, is OK, but not personal attacks or things we feel are intended
to draw fire (or just generate more heat than light).

- spam, pornography, etc. We use our best judgement as to what those
things are, and we try to err somewhat on the conservative side.

- file attachments. We don't want to be in the business of determining
whether an attachment is a real jpeg image or a virus, or - if it is a
real jpeg image - having to inspect each one to see if it's advertising or
worse. (We allow those annoying attached HTML copies of messages even
though we hate them because it is very difficult for some people to turn
them off, plus they're just text and it's easy to inspect them.) Last but
not least, some people aren't lucky enough to have high speed Internet and
large mailboxes, and understandably get upset about a 4M image file for
which they didn't ask showing up.

We try to strike a balance on commercially oriented posts. Many people on
the list sell things, and most of us want to expand our collections; seems
good for everyone for the list to help out. But we don't want to go
overboard on commercial posts, either. So we encourage sellers to post
notices of availability, etc., without pricing, and allow those interested
to contact them directly.

We also try to find a happy medium regarding "off topic" posts. Most
people won't even agree on how far off topic should be allowed - some will
tolerate large numbers of posts on almost any subject regardless of the
relevance to the list, others will leave a list over a few posts that are
even slightly off topic (I have a theory about this, but it would be off
topic). Once again, we take our best guess, this time trying to err
somewhat on the liberal side: if it is even remotely related to aroids, or
seems likely to interest even a small group of Aroid-L'ers, we post it,
and hope everyone not interested will click "delete". (It is not required
to use "OT:" or "Off topic:" in your subject when posting off topic, but
it is a courtesy that will be appreciated.)

Since the topic of anonymity came up in an earlier post, I'll add a
comment on that. First, I confess my bias: I've spent quite a while in the
computer security field, which means I got to visit, and revisit, and
revisit again, lots of issues (and sometimes laws or regulations) related
to privacy and anonymity and information technology.

There are good reasons why people may wish to remain anonymous. Many are
theoretical (to me), but I've run into a couple in practice. I have no
problem whatever with someone who wishes to be anonymous or partially
anonymous (i.e., refusal to post where they live) on this list. It won't
diminish or enhance the quality of their posts, they'll still be subject
to the same "rules" regarding posts as everyone else, etc. It's not as
though any of us know whether "bob12345@hotmail.com" is really who they
say they are, anyway. It may limit the ability of others on the list to
help them with questions, but that's their choice.

Hope this helps,


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