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Q: Why is top posting frowned upon?
(Thanks to Randy Bush for the joke.)
Recurring Topics On The Mailing Lists
Participation in the mailing lists, like participation in any community, requires a common basis for communication. Many of the mailing lists presuppose a knowledge of the Project's history. In particular, there are certain topics that seem to regularly occur to newcomers to the community. It is the responsibility of each poster to ensure that their postings do not fall into one of these categories. By doing so, you will help the mailing lists to stay on-topic, and probably save yourself being flamed in the process.
The best method to avoid this is to familiarize yourself with the <link xlink:href="http://docs.FreeBSD.org/mail/"> mailing list archives</link>, to help yourself understand the background of what has gone before. In this, the <link xlink:href="https://www.FreeBSD.org/search/search.html#mailinglists"> mailing list search interface</link> is invaluable. (If that method does not yield useful results, please supplement it with a search with your favorite major search engine).
By familiarizing yourself with the archives, not only will you learn what topics have been discussed before, but also how discussion tends to proceed on that list, who the participants are, and who the target audience is. These are always good things to know before you post to any mailing list, not just a FreeBSD mailing list.
There is no doubt that the archives are quite extensive, and some questions recur more often than others, sometimes as followups where the subject line no longer accurately reflects the new content. Nevertheless, the burden is on you, the poster, to do your homework to help avoid these recurring topics.
What Is A "Bikeshed"?
Literally, a <literal>bikeshed</literal> is a small outdoor shelter into which one may store one's two-wheeled form of transportation. However, in FreeBSD parlance, the term refers to topics that are simple enough that (nearly) anyone can offer an opinion about, and often (nearly) everyone does. The genesis of this term is explained in more detail <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/faq/misc.html#bikeshed-painting"> in this document</link>. You simply must have a working knowledge of this concept before posting to any FreeBSD mailing list.
More generally, a bikeshed is a topic that will tend to generate immediate meta-discussions and flames if you have not read up on their past history.
Please help us to keep the mailing lists as useful for as many people as possible by avoiding bikesheds whenever you can. Thanks.
Acknowledgments
Greg Lehey <email>grog@FreeBSD.org</email>
Original author of most of the material on mailing list etiquette, taken from the article on <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/freebsd-questions/article.html"> How to get best results from the FreeBSD-questions mailing list</link>.
Mark Linimon <email>linimon@FreeBSD.org</email>
Creation of the rough draft of this FAQ.

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Source string comment
(itstool) path: listitem/para
Flags
read-only
Source string location
article.translate.xml:492
String age
a year ago
Source string age
a year ago
Translation file
articles/mailing-list-faq.pot, string 74