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st: Attachments: A Big No
In two cases today, people sent attachments with their postings.
The Statalist FAQ is totally explicit, and I would have hoped
totally clear, on this matter:
'We ask you not to post formatted messages or attachments.
In fact, Statalist software may trap these formatted messages
or attachments without sending an error message to you. Please
make sure that your mailer is set to "Plain Text" for outgoing
messages (or the equivalent for your mailer); that is, do not
send HTML, Rich Text, VCards, winmail.dat files, other
attachments, or anything other than Plain Text.'
Let's assume optimistically that the people concerned
(a) have read the Statalist FAQ and (b) forgot about this
request (nay, instruction). (On the other hand, if anyone
is not aware of this rule, they should please read the
FAQ before posting anything, as they are probably unaware of many
other things too.)
In any case, let me emphasise why attachments are deprecated:
1. Attachments cannot, in general, be properly handled by our
digesting or archiving software. The result is an unreadable
mess that benefits no-one, either poster or readers.
2. Attachments bloat people's mail folders.
3. Attachments can carry viruses.
4. Attachments are often sent on the assumptions that readers
(a) use the same software as posters and (b) have the time and
inclination to sit there opening lots of attachments to
decode your problems. These assumptions are frequently incorrect.
In some cases these assumptions are even regarded as insensitive
There are probably more reasons that I have forgotten, but
should be enough to explain why attachments are _not_
acceptable. Please take note.
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