Harp-L to Charge Fees

OK, that was sneaky!!  But I've been posting on this for days and the
problems still persist.  Please consider this an ADMINISTRATIVE MESSAGE
to the List.  With Michael's permission, I must once again ask
Harp-Lers all to please realize this ... Mailing lists are a special
case and should not be treated like regular personal email ... SO:

Turn OFF the HTML and use Plain Text!
Keep Signatures to FOUR lines or less!
TRIM your reply posts ... even just the common footer would be nice!

And one thing that is really disruptive is all this chatter that's off
topic, NON-HARMONICA-RELATED, and I ask everyone to Please .... "let it
go!"  We have a backscenes staff taking care of these things, a little
explanation of which follows, so drop it and quit wasting the time and
space onlist with side issues!  If stuff bothers you about how Harp-L
operates, do us all a favor:  Direct any questions, complaints, etc.
OFFLIST ONLY to either:   <harp-l-workers@xxxxxxxxxx>   OR
<owner-harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>  If you're gripe is with another member,
please try to talk it out privately, IOW, OFFLIST as well.  

Now... here's the deal one [hopefully] LAST time .....

Harp-L received another email attachment the other day.  Although
seemingly harmless and funny, attachments sent to mailing lists are
NOT.  These and HTML in posts are code-bloated, costing space and
download time, and also the primary avenues by which computer viruses
are transmitted via email; hence, potentially infecting an entire
mailing list of over 1300 members as Harp-L is.  NOT funny indeed.

Dave Jones wrote:
>While I do see the problem with downloading *large* emails (my
connection is possibly one of the slowest on the list) I did think the
Dilbert strip was funny - and not at all large.  It encoded at about 25

Dave, do you pay for your downloads by size or time needed to do so?
Some do, mainly in Europe and other non-USA countries.  Do you know
that SPAH, sponsor of Harp-L, must pay not only monthly fees but
storage and traffic bandwidth costs to maintain Harp-L?  If these
requirements go over our allotment, we will have added bills to pay.
It is therefore in EVERY H-Ler's interest to use the privilege of
Harp-L wisely to keep the list active and viable.  25K may seem small
to one email recipient, but multiply that times 1300 and you have 32.5
MEG for one puny email message!!!  A pointer URL would have done just
as well and cost only 1-2K per delivery instead.

And since Dave mentioned the problem of large postings in general, the
addition of "Confidentiality Warnings" at the end of every mailing to a
mailing list like Harp-L is also unnecessary and hogs bandwidth.  Some
may not realize it, but such messages like the one at the bottom of
Dave's posts "are" in fact tagged in HTML, and therefore, replies to
such posts may very well trigger a respondent's post to be sent to the
list in HTML as well!  I removed this large footer from a post and
reduced its size from 5K to 2K.  That's 3K extra, or over 3.9 Meg for
every listwide post containing it!!  That adds up.

I don't want to appear to be picking on Dave only here; others have
claimed it's not big deal, too.  Sam Gravina said:

>Most people don't know what their email program is doing.

... which is often true, but it's in their own best interest to learn
what it's doing to use it sensibly and, on mailing lists, responsibly.

>The solution I use is to subscribe to the list and not the digest.  
>HTML is interpreted fine by my email program.
>I don't like HTML email cause it is a lot slower than text email.  
>But it is the default for most email programs so you need to adapt 
>to it.

No, it's not the BEST solution.  Mailing lists are special case email
situations; one mail goes out to hundreds of all types of mailers. And
as you note, HTML slows things down, but also loads up each computer's
memory with gibberish.  Also the digest is there for convenience of
those who are not able for whatever reason to handle individual mail.
They should not have to suffer because others are careless, and HTML
compounds itself by altering successive mails.  If anyone still has
problems, ask the staff for help.  [I have two guys I'm helping now,
and I WILL get back to you, BTW, fellas!! :)]  But most can figure it
out for themselves if they just, you know.... RTFM!

Dave also proposed:
>Maybe we need an official ruling from the powers-that-be: are 
>attachments allowed?

They never have been allowed on Harp-L, but it didn't used to matter
because, under the old host, they never displayed anyway and were
ignored by the code.  Apparently, our new host's setup allows them to
show, but that does not automatically make them acceptable.  They're
still ill-advised because of the reasons stated above, and we WILL find
a method to block them eventually in time.

>A mailserver can (usually) be configured to block attachments and 
>block or strip HTML, by the way.
>It is dependant on the system in use.

Yes, it's the mailing list software, not the server per se, which must
be configured, and we are presently pursuing known coded methods to
deal with both issues of HTML and attachments, which will stop both
problems.  However, these are not automatically provided by the host
and must be added into the Majordomo code setup we now have... by US!!
Harp-L is managed by caring and diligent all-volunteer staff, so there
is no professional script person, for instance, to demand the fixes we
want made.  With a little thoughtful assistance from the
message-writers themselves, we might have more time to develop
solutions and less time explaining our positions onlist like this!
Harumph!!  In the meantime, all we can do is ask Harp-Lers to act
responsibly and post messages using simple common sense while we work
out the bugs.

Suggestions and comments for Harp-L improvements are always welcome, so
contact the Workers staff or Owner Michael Polesky OFFLIST to offer and
discuss your ideas.

All help greatly appreciated... Especially ONLIST!!  :)

Now, can we please get back to focusing on Harmonicas!?!

Thanks much,

||  B O B B I E   G I O R D A N O  || SPAH Members Support Harp-L! ||
||  h a r p  s p o k e n  h e r e  ||  harp-l-workers@xxxxxxxxxx   ||

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