Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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218 words

In my early days on the internet, there was a lot of talking and writing about good manners – Netiquette. Quite a few texts explained the dos and donts of e-mail. They even had an obligatory section on smileys – emoticons.

A lot has changed since, AOL has come, as has HTML e-mail and the bad style that comes with the product known as ‘Outlook’. The only bit of ‘netiquette’ that made it to the people that have started using the internet since the late 1990s is the bit about smileys. There seem to be no more standard guides on how to behave in the online environment.

And that’s strange. I frequently find myself wondering about certain things. Is it OK to leave a message on someone’s IM when they are ‘away’? Can I expect people to reply to messages immediately? No, I suppose. And thus people can’t expect me to reply either *g*.

And what about ‘signed’ messages as offered by X.3’s Mail application? I got the impression that some people find this confusing, so sending them to the great unwashed may be rude as they’re attachments and all. Sadly, Mail doesn’t remember the signing preference on a per recipient basis but rather on a global basis and thus encourages impoliteness on my side.


September 9, 2004, 22:26


Comment by David Magda: User icon

Netiquette stills exists — it’s just that most people don’t know about it. One of the few remaining bastions of it are Usenet netgroups, at least in the comp.* hierarchy.

September 10, 2004, 0:46

Comment by d.w.: User icon

This is ridiculously geeky, but I’ve taken to checking the headers of emails sent by my regular correspondents, and I’ve mentally divided them into those whose mailers can deal with those signed messages and those who can’t. Your suggestion would be a great idea for the next version of Apple Mail (though they shouldn’t expose any UI for it, IMO, just keep track of it behind the scenes, perhaps in a hidden address book field?)

The other feature I really need in Mail is to be able to set per-account frequency for new mail checks. I want my locally hosted accounts checked every 5 minutes, but there are some accounts I realistically need only to be checked once a day.

September 12, 2004, 20:38

Comment by ssp: User icon

Dave: I realised that I almost wrote exactly the same stuff last November.

Integration with the address book would be rather easy as it is designed with this kind of add-on in mind (GeburtstagsChecker uses exactly that technique to store per-person settings in the address book).

While I don’t have the time to get into this myself, my guess is that doing exactly what you (or I) suggest would be ‘low hanging fruit’ for anyone who has written a ‘mailbundle’ thing before.

September 12, 2004, 20:54

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