[OS X TeX] FAQ or Archive

Samuel Lelievre samuel.lelievre at univ-rennes1.fr
Thu Jul 15 17:36:00 EDT 2004

Joe Slater wrote:

>On Jul 15, 2004, at 2:57 PM, Samuel Lelievre wrote:


>>Thus the footer might even be made that short:
>>---------- TeX on Mac OS X Mailing List ----------
>>Web page: <http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/>
>>Post: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>
>I agree that this should work, too. However, as Alain has noted, 
>many will not read anything down there. They will not read the 
>obligations of being on the list, not even well enough to know that 
>there are obligations someplace. Tens of messages each day with that 
>web site in the footer, yet they never venture to click on it. For 
>the life of me I can't understand how someone could figure out how 
>to get on this list without knowing that the mac-tex pages even 
>exist. That's where you sign up! It's like going to the Eiffel Tower 
>and not knowing that Paris exists. How does one miss it! If this 
>list had sign-on instructions elsewhere (which I hope that nobody 
>has done), then I would understand. But, you have to go through the 
>web site to get onto the list. How does one not notice the web site?
>Post: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>
>Please see <http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/> for list
>guidelines, information, and LaTeX/TeX resources.

I'd even go for just two lines:

---------- TeX on Mac OS X Mailing List ----------
Web page: <http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/>

and maybe add a List-Post header
   List-Post: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>
just as we already have:
   List-Subscribe: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX-on at email.esm.psu.edu>
   List-Digest: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX-digest at email.esm.psu.edu>
   List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX-off at email.esm.psu.edu>

(just to play the contradictor, if a non-lister gets
forwarded a list message with these headers, he gets
the information on how to subscribe without visiting
the web page; but I admit that must be pretty rare).

My point was just that the shorter the footer, the
greater its chances of getting read (the eyes just
drop information that has a cost to "get into", if
this information is known as accessory, as would a
list footer be; especially when repeated after all
messages; and a sentence has a higher cost to read
than a couple of words).

In addition, (to some people) "Web page" still sound
magical words and make you say "hey, a web page, let
me have a look at what's there!".

One last point: in the list archives, mailto links
are understandably suppressed, but why is the link
to the mac-tex page?

I just went to browse some of the archives for the
history of the list footer... It seems that it has
taken some trials and changes to reach the current
footer so why should it be frozen now if the issue
arises again?

Why not just one line:

---------- <http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/> ----------

Why not change the footer once in a while and avoid
people "become numb to repetitive presentations" as
you say?

Or why not just add the word "FAQ" as suggested in
the first place, if that's a word people look for?
It's also true that these three capital letters do
stand out in a footer.

OK, I'm sorry to have ventured into this debate and
contributed to give it more importance than it has.
It's just that I like this list!

Thanks for all the good job of maintaining the site
and the list. SL
Post: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>
Please see <http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/> for list
guidelines, information, and LaTeX/TeX resources.

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