Technical Notes for Posting to Marxmail

by Les Schaffer


1.) ALL POSTS MUST BE IN PLAIN TEXT. 

Posts formatted in html BOUNCE to me. The first few times I forward to the list after converting, after that I simply tell you to repost yourself. 

Marxmail requires plain text for 2 reasons:

Instructions on plain text formatting can be found here for various email programs (Outlook, Eudora, etc.).

I have written several posts -- stored in the Marxism list archives-- detailing how to turn off html formatting in various email applications. write me offlist if you need help with this step.

Also, especially for those of you posting from Asian countries, it is VERY HELPFUL if you choose a standard character set like us-ascii
or iso-5591-1 for your posts. otherwise many of your punctuation marks will look jumbled in the majority of the subscribers email
readers. Email me if you have problems with this.

2.) NO ATTACHMENTS. 

Do not post messages with any kind of attachments. The message will bounce. You have no idea how many email viruses we have saved the subscription list from simply because we bounce all messages containing attachments.

If you have a Microsoft Word document, for example, that you would like to post to the list, either convert it to plain text first before sending (File --> Save As, and choose plain text) or forward the document to me and I will convert it.

Under special circumstances, if you have a formatted document, as in Word or Powerpoint, and it looses a lot by conversion to plain text,
or graphic images, contact Louis Proyect or myself and we will consider posting it on the web in well-formatted fashion.

Otherwise, simply send an announcement to the list about the existence of the formatted document or images, and ask subscribers
to contact you directly if they are interested. alternatively, send me the document and tell people to contact me if they want a copy. I
have a high-bandwidth connection to the net.

3.) DO NOT PUT THE NAME OF MARXMAIL SUBSCRIBERS IN THE SUBJECT: LINE.

We used to get requests to remove posts with names in the Subject line and it is a LOT OF WORK. So we outlaw it. We also feel this reduces the level of personalizing in heated debates.

4.) POSTS MUST BE LESS THAN 35,000 CHARACTERS.

This amounts to about 5000 words or just under 10 pages. If you do exceed this limit, we will forward the post to the list. The rule was set up mainly to avoid reckless crossposting of material that is already available on the Internet. 

5.) AVOID POSTING LENGTHY MATERIAL THAT IS ALREADY ON THE INTERNET.

Rule 4 is closely related to rule 3. As a rule of thumb, it is best to include 3 or 4 paragraphs of an article and your own words at the beginning indicating why Marxmail subscribers would find the article useful. Then, add the URL of the article so that others can track it down.

6.) CLIP EXTRANEOUS TEXT IN A MESSAGE THAT YOU ARE REPLYING TO.

Please include only the text that is relevant to your reply. Also, avoid the temptation to post a one sentence comment on a message that is repeated in its entirety to the effect of "This is a terrific post" or "I agree with this one hundred percent."

7.) AVOID "STAIRCASING".

This is a result of copying and pasting email with embedded line-breaks into your email program and sending it without alteration to the list. If your email program utilizes, for example, a 66 character line limit and the line-breaks occur prior to the 66th character, you might end up with something that looks like this:

This is a result of copying and pasting email with embedded line-breaks into your email program and sending it without 
alteration to the list. 
If your email program utilizes, for example, a 66 character line limit and the line-breaks occur prior to the 66th character, 
you might end up with something that looks like this.

It will not be read by subscribers no matter how important it is.

To clean up copied email, we recommend the use of a utility program available free at:

http://www.papercut.biz/emailStripper.htm

8.) DEFINE A LINE WRAP OF 66 CHARACTERS.

Closely related to the "staircasing" problem is email text that extends beyond the right-hand margin. Instead of seeing the "staircase" effect in (5) above, you would see something that looks like this:

http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2005w11/msg00108.htm

Different email programs have different ways of defining line wrap. Here's how to do it in Microsoft Outlook:

1. Select tools/options/mail format

2. In mail format, select "Internet Options". That will open up a pop-up window that has a section called "Plain Text Options". Under that section, you will see the following: "Automatically wrap text at __ characters." Enter 66 there and you'll be all set. In other email programs, the process will be similar. Contact Les Schaffer if you need assistance.

9.) DO NOT ALLOW YOUR MAILBOX TO FILL UP. 

Marxmail is a high-volume mailing list. If you allow your mailbox to fill up while on vacation or some other extended leave from your computer, messages bounce back to the moderator. Please set your subscription to "nomail" when on vacation and resetting it upon your return.

10.) PROTECTING YOUR NAME AND REPUTATION.

Your Marxism list postings are copied automatically to multiple archives on the worldwide web. They will be removed only under exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the list moderator and technical coordinator. If you are worried that something that you say in the heat of the moment, or that something might be said against you, will jeopardize your job or reputation, please sub to the list using an assumed name.