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st: Re:mailjunk


From   Christopher F Baum <baum@bc.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: Re:mailjunk
Date   Fri, 8 Oct 2004 09:24:57 -0400

On Oct 8, 2004, at 2:33, Peter wrote:


I get the list in digest form. When someone addresses a question to
tech-support I don't mind too much but when accompanied by 8000 lines of
data that most of us have no interest in I draw the line. I can't simply
delete it as I lose everything following. I also have a problem with MIME
format which is garbage on my Blackberry.

I suggest that we have a limit on the number of lines - say 100 to 200. If
such postings were returned to sender with a reason our list would be more
effective. It would also have the effect of limiting lengthy back and forth
with tremendous useless redundancy.
I think this is an excessively Draconian solution, although I have great sympathy with Peter's concerns. The recent repeated postings of the same hundreds of lines of data (which evoked no responses the first, second or third time) are inappropriate. But so is WinJunk -- people attaching vCards in binary format, or HTML-formatted email, etc. and all are proscribed in the FAQ.

Perhaps the most obvious change that should be made (I too read the digest) is the removal of 95% of a past exchange in forming a reply. (I did not do that here, but then this is an original reply). There is no need, given the accessibility of Statalist archives, to include the entire contents of a thread in every re-posting.

The proposed solution -- a drastic restriction on message length--would require reprogramming of the Statalist parameters on Marcello's part. At present, a too-long message is just ignored, not returned to sender. I have empirically determined in formulating my monthly SSC reports that the limit is somewhere around 17K bytes. I agree with Peter that this is probably too large, and I think a restriction to 10K bytes would be reasonable if it is feasible for Marcello to return excessive messages to sender. Any returns should include an abbreviated exhortation of The Rules. (By comparison this entire message is about 2K bytes).

Kit Baum, Boston College Economics baum@bc.edu
http://ideas.repec.org/e/pba1.html

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