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I like the link that was posted about mailing list etiquette. Most
mailing list issues stem from people not thinking about what they're
doing and how someone else might read things. Here are a few of my thoughts:

HTML versus plain text:

I don't think blind people have any more of a preference towards plain
text emails than the general public. I actually know of more sighted
developers who use text based email clients than I do blind people who
prefer the text based clients. IMHO, this isn't a blindness or an
accessibility issue, but should be decided on by the list members as a
whole group.

Top posting versus bottom posting:

In general I think blind users prefer top posting, although I think this
is a slightly more complicated issue and depends a lot on what's being
responded to.

If the message can be made clear without referring to the material being
responded to then I think top posting is the most efficient. For
example, an answer like "You can download Vinux from ....." is best top
posted. On the other hand, a message of nothing but the download link
for Vinux should either be avoided or included after the question on
where to find Vinux.

Obviously, if several points were made in the original message then
bottom posting or in line posting makes perfect sense.

If bottom posting then unnecessary material should definitely be trimmed
from what's being quoted. IMHO, this is by far the biggest issue blind
people have with bottom posting, and I would claim, sighted people don't
like this either.

Including the email thread:

On a related point, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people don't
include the thread being replied to at all. I can't tell you how many
times I just delete an email message without ever knowing what the
person is talking about because I couldn't find the original question or
the particular point the person is responding to. If someone is worried
about the length of the message then they can trim it to just the
information they're responding to, but I'm sure I've wasted more time
looking for information in threads that had been deleted than I have in
waiting for large emails to be downloaded.

Note this isn't an accessibility issue, unless bottom posting.

Subject lines:

Another huge pet peeve is people who don't use good subject lines or
don't bother to change them. I know this was addressed in the link
referenced in the attached thread, and it isn't really an accessibility
issue. I don't know if blind people depend on this more than sighted,
but I know there are definitely some email clients (such as on my cell
phone) where I do a lot of pruning just based on the subject line.

IMHO, the information in the subject line should also be included in the
body of the email. This may be a slight accessibility point, but getting
to the subject line for a blind person may not be as easy as just taking
it into account with a glance. A blind person may have to back tab or
use some other key stroke to get at the subject line. For this reason,
key information found only in the subject line is occasionally missed.


Trimming material, especially when in line or bottom posting is a lot
easier when people don't have these huge signatures automatically
inserted at the end of their emails. Plus it easier reading through a
whole thread if you don't have these huge chunks of redundant and mostly
meaningless data. I also don't know why people want to advertise what
antivirus software they're using, what email client or what cell phone.

For some reason, some blind people have trouble figuring out someone's
email address from the email headers. I'm not sure if this is due to
unfamiliarity with their email client or there screen reader, but I've
found it best to include your email address in your signature. This
might help keep list traffic down as people will send messages directly
instead of posting things to the list like "I'm trying to get a hold of
so and so."

Trolling, baiting, flaming, ...:

I think it's obvious that you shouldn't flame anyone on a mailing list
and you should treat others with respect. The opposite side of the coin
isn't dealt with as much though. If you find yourself dealing with an
obnoxious individual, ignore them or take it up off list with the
moderator or the person directly. chances are if you think they're being
obnoxious, the rest of the list probably does as well. If you respond in
kind then you're only hurting your own reputation.

As I said in the beginning, the absolutely most important thing in email
or mailing list etiquette is taking some time to realize that hundreds
of people are reading what you're posting. It may save you a second or
two to just blast an email to the list without proof reading it or
changing the subject line but then you have hundreds of people who now
have to deal with your laziness. Stop and look at what your posting.
think about how others who aren't as familiar with the issue may read
it. Include all of the pertinent information so people don't have to go
off and look for things. Make things easier on your readers, especially
if you're asking for their help.

On 07/10/11 13:32, Tom Davies wrote:
Hi :)
Thanks :)  That's a relief.  I had assumed that opinion would be divided about the top vs bottom 
posting issue and i hadn't thought about html vs plain-text.  It's a relief to hear that at least 
2 people prefer top-posting for good reasons.  So i don't get it wrong for everyone all the time 
then :)  Thanks guys :)
Regards from
Tom :)

--- On Fri, 7/10/11, Kevin Cussick <> wrote:

From: Kevin Cussick <>
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-accessibility] [DISCUSS] Maximizing e-mail/list accessibility
Date: Friday, 7 October, 2011, 19:05

I am blind,

I prefer top posting as i hate having to read what the other person said 
then have to read at the bottom of maybe 3 or 4 other posts what is the 
latest relevant post.  most blind posters prefer this way but I will go 
with what ever is decided.  I have my e-mail set to HTML view as if 
there is a link I can click it.

But lots of blind users prefer plain text.

On 07/10/2011 17:50, Male Timmermann wrote:
Avoiding HTML is also a plus for blind users: From what I know,
some/many often prefer text base mail clients over GUI clients.

I _guess_ that for blind people top-posting is much better than
bottom-posting, because finding the new text with a screen reader is
much harder than for a sighted user.

For the same reason, the suggestion to cleanup not needed stuff is
really reasonable.


All The Best
Kevin Cussick

Christopher (CJ)

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