2006-03-13 19:24 - Tech
There is a such thing as netiquette. I'll admit that 10 years ago the 'net was a friendlier, dare I say more intelligent, place. But I still prefer to deal with those individuals who do not conduct themselves like baboons. To wit, I find these items rather important:
- A good rule of thumb: Be conservative in what you send and liberal in what you receive.
- Watch cc's when replying. Don't continue to include people if the messages have become a 2-way conversation.
- Use mixed case. UPPER CASE LOOKS AS IF YOU'RE SHOUTING.
- Mail should have a subject heading which reflects the content of the message.
- If you include a signature keep it short.
- Know how large a message you are sending. Including large files ... may make your message so large that it cannot be delivered or at least consumes excessive resources.
We can't do much about those items on an automatic basis. Oh, but that last one! Email attachments are the unhappy status quo these days. I wince every time we're in a big meeting at work and the boss decides to just send his powerpoint slides around to everyone, so they have them for reference. I inevitably come back to my desk with a 3, 4, 5 megabyte message in my inbox, knowing it's been duplicated 50 times over, and die a little inside for the poor mail server.
Mail servers are not meant to send and receive big binary files. They're an especially bad way to archive big binary files. This program solves two of those ills, by offloading the archiving to the file system, and the sending to a web server. Running this will replace all binary attachments in your incoming email with a plain-text file, with links to where you can fetch the files via the web. You of course need a viable userdir, to have the links work.
This is a perl script, and depends on a number of CPAN modules. It can be tough to get the sysadmin to install things for you on production machines. If you have enough access to get this file somewhere in your home dir, though, you can do it yourself. Simply put the files into the right structure, somewhere in your home directory, and add a line like use lib "/home/USERNAME/lib/"; into the script.
If only we could cure top posting ...