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From: Dave Huseby <>
Subject: [PATCH v2] Writing down mail list etiquette.
Date: Tue, 11 May 2021 20:18:21 -0700	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

After violating a few unspoken etiquette rules that were spotted by
Christian Couder <>, Filipe Contreras
<> suggested that somebody write a guide.
Since I was the latest cause of this perenial discussion, I took it upon
myself to learn from my mistakes and document the fixes.

Thanks to Junio <> for providing links to similar
discussions in the past and Stefan Moch <> for
pointing out where the related documentation already existed in the

Signed-off-by: Dave Huseby <>
 Documentation/MailingListEtiquette.txt | 125 +++++++++++++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 125 insertions(+)
 create mode 100644 Documentation/MailingListEtiquette.txt

diff --git a/Documentation/MailingListEtiquette.txt b/Documentation/MailingListEtiquette.txt
new file mode 100644
index 0000000000..9da2d490aa
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/MailingListEtiquette.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,125 @@
+Mailing List Etiquette
+== Introduction
+Open source, community projects such as Git use a mailing list and email to
+coordinate development and to submit patches for review. This article documents
+the unspoken rules and etiquette for the proper way to send email to the
+mailing list. What follows are considered best practices to follow.
+If you are looking for details on how to submit a patch, that is documented
+elsewhere in:
+- `Documentation/SubmittingPatches`
+- `Documentation/MyFirstContribution.txt`
+== Proper Use of To and Cc
+When starting a new email thread that is not directed at any specific person,
+put the mailing list address in the "To:" field, otherwise address it to the
+person and put the mailing list address in the "Cc:" field.
+When replying to an email on the mailing list, put the person you are replying
+to in the "To:" field and all other people in the thread in the "Cc:" field,
+including the mailing list address.
+Make sure to keep everyone involved in the "Cc:" field so that they do not have
+to be subscribed to the mailing list to receive replies.
+== Do Not Use Mail-Followup-To
+When posting to the mailing list, your email client might add a
+"Mail-Followup-To:" field which contains all of the recipients, including the
+mailing list address, but not the sender's email address. This is intended to
+prevent the sender from receiving replies twice, once from the replying person
+and again from the mailing list.
+This goes directly against the desired "To:" and "Cc:" etiquette (see "Proper
+Use of To and Cc" above). Most users want to use "group reply" or "Reply to
+all" in their mail client and create a reply email that is sent directly to
+author of the email they are replying to with all other recipients, as well as
+the mailing list address, in the "Cc:" field.
+The proper thing to do is to never use the "Mail-Followup-To:" field as well as
+disable honoring any "Mail-Followup-To:" fields in any emails you reply to.
+Some email clients come with both enabled by default. Mutt is like this (see
+Disable Mail-Followup-To in the Mutt section below).
+== Enable Plain Text Mode
+Most email clients automatically reject mailing list email if it is not a
+text/plain formatted email. For that reason, it is important that your email
+client is set to create text/plain emails instead of text/enriched or
+text/html email.
+From Junio's notes from the maintainer:
+> If you sent a patch and you did not hear any response from anybody for
+> several days, it could be that your patch was totally uninteresting,
+> but it also is possible that it was simply lost in the noise.  Please
+> do not hesitate to send a reminder message in such a case.  Messages
+> getting lost in the noise may be a sign that those who can evaluate
+> your patch don't have enough mental/time bandwidth to process them
+> right at the moment, and it often helps to wait until the list traffic
+> becomes calmer before sending such a reminder.
+== Send Merge-Ready Patches to the Maintainer
+Once a patch has achieved consensus and all stakeholders are staisfied and
+everything is ready for merging, then you send it to the maintainer: "To:".
+== Mutt Config
+This section has suggestions for how to set up Mutt to be polite.
+=== Known Mailing Lists
+Mutt has the ability to change its behavior when replying to a mailing list. For
+Mutt to know when an address is a mailing list, use the `subscribe` keyword in
+your Mutt configuration:
+# tell Mutt about the Git mailing list
+=== Reply Properly
+By default, Mutt uses the 'g' and 'L' hotkeys to execute a "group reply" or
+"list reply" respectively. A "group reply" creates an email addressed to the
+sender with all other recipients in the "Cc". A "list reply" starts an email
+addressed only to the mailing list without anybody else as "Cc".
+Per rule X, Y, and Z above, using "group reply" in Mutt is what you want to do.
+=== Disable Mail-Followup-To
+By default, when replying to mailing lists, Mutt will automatically generate
+"Mail-Followup-To" headers. To fix this, disable the generation of the header
+in your Mutt configuration. It is also a good idea to disable honoring any
+"Mail-Followup-To" headers so that any "group reply" operations are correctly
+# disable Mail-Followup-To header
+unset followup_to
+# disable honoring Mail-Followup-To header
+unset honor_followup_to

  reply	other threads:[~2021-05-12  3:20 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 25+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2021-05-12  2:54 [PATCH v1] Writing down mail list etiquette Dave Huseby
2021-05-12  2:57 ` Dave Huseby
2021-05-12  6:25   ` Felipe Contreras
2021-05-12  3:18 ` Dave Huseby
2021-05-12  3:18   ` Dave Huseby [this message]
2021-05-12  4:07     ` [PATCH v2] Writing down mail list etiquette Bagas Sanjaya
2021-05-12  6:45       ` Felipe Contreras
2021-05-12  7:35         ` Eric Sunshine
2021-05-12  8:32           ` Felipe Contreras
2021-05-12 14:36           ` Junio C Hamano
2021-05-12  4:46     ` Junio C Hamano
2021-05-12  8:45     ` Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason
2021-05-12 23:34     ` [PATCH v3] doc: writing down Git mailing " Dave Huseby
2021-05-13  0:20       ` Junio C Hamano
2021-05-13 17:17         ` Dave Huseby
2021-05-13 20:04           ` Felipe Contreras
2021-05-13 21:11           ` Junio C Hamano
2021-05-13  4:06       ` Bagas Sanjaya
2021-05-13  6:34       ` Felipe Contreras
2021-05-13  7:01       ` Bagas Sanjaya
2021-06-09 17:36       ` Felipe Contreras
2021-06-18 20:43         ` Dave Huseby
2021-06-18 23:48           ` Felipe Contreras
2021-05-12 15:28   ` and... Re: [PATCH v1] Writing down mail " Philip Oakley
2021-05-12  6:21 ` Felipe Contreras

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