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Subject[OT] Re: CML2 1.3.1, aka "I stick my neck out a mile..."
"Eric S. Raymond" wrote:
> Actually, Al is sort of half-right here. There used to be a 4-lines-or-less
> convention on USENET, back in the days when bandwidth was expensive. I
> adhered to it then, because it mattered.
> Nowadays it doesn't -- at least not at that level. Huge sigs with
> embedded ASCII graphics and the like are still best avoided, but merely
> because they're tasteless and distracting.
> I don't think I've heard anyone invoke the 4-line rule since about
> 1992, though. I didn't start generating short random quotes into my sig
> until about 1996, well after the "standard" was effectively dead.

The 4-line rule is still being invoked all the time, and written into
college netiquette guides for students, things like that. The standard
has never been "effectively dead" except in the sense that it always has
been: clueless AOLers ignore it, clueful netiquette followers follow

Read item #15:

> Despite the demise of the 4-line standard, I have a pretty definite
> impression that the average size of sigs actually dropped in the 1990s.
> The main thing that formerly inflated a lot of them was the need to
> list multiple bang-path addresses and other forms of contact info.
> Reliable @-addressing pretty much eliminated that pressure.
> Even back in its day this "rule" was frequently abused as a socially
> acceptable way to attack people whose opinions or style one disliked.

frequently abused, yes. socially acceptable? doubtful.

Jeff Garzik | Game called on account of naked chick
Building 1024 |
MandrakeSoft |
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