CircleMUD Mailing List Frequently Asked Questions
(created July 9th, 1996)
(last updated December 10th, 2001)
Authored and Maintained by: Alex Fletcher
Contrary to what is apparently popular belief, this FAQ just happens
to contain the policies of the CircleMUD Mailing List.
Herein lie the answers to the following questions:
Q1: What is the CircleMUD mailing list about? How do I post an article?
Q2: How do I subscribe/unsubscribe to the list?
Q3: Are there any subject conventions I should follow?
Q4: What other conventions should I follow?
Q5: Why all of these rules on how to format messages?
Q6: Is there an archive?
Q7: Are there any resource archives for the mailing list?
Q8: How often are articles processed? How are they processed? How about a digest?
Q9: What other things should I know?
Q10: I hate the flames, what can I do?
Q11: Where can I find this FAQ?
Q12: What is the history of this FAQ?
- Q1: What is the CircleMUD mailing list about? How do I post an article?
- The CircleMUD mailing list is for CircleMUD implementors and
administrators to gather together to discuss coding techniques,
ideas, methods, and solutions, as well as other CircleMUD related
discussions such as lib related items (the world, help files, etc),
changes needed for Operating Systems, bugs and problems, and so
- Please note that the CircleMUD Mailing List is an English-only mailing
list. This is not an attempt to exclude non-native English speakers, but
an attempt to ensure that everyone on the list is included.
- Common netiquette rules apply on the list, especially those related
to flaming, advertising, quoting, slang, and large sig files. Flames are
not welcome on the list itself. If you feel the need to flame someone,
please send it to them only. Commercial advertising is also not
welcome on the list. If you feel the need to advertise your mud,
start the subject with [AD]. When quoting previous pieces of mail,
only quote what is needed, do not quote the entire message, that just
wastes bandwidth and the readers' time. Also, sig files should be
kept to a minimum. This means less than four lines please. Finally,
discussions on the use of the English language are no longer welcome
(ditto for calling people Hitler), and these 'offenses' will
result a removal from the list with a piece of form mail explaining why.
- To post an article, simply send it to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To see if you are on the list or to check your list options, mail
with the body:
- RULES -- a restatement of the above
because people don't read.
- On Topic
The mailing list is for the discussion of all things CircleMUD. It is not
to teach you how to program, how to use your operating system, or for
general chatter like politics. Especially not politics around the time
of the U.S.A. elections.
- Write in English
If no one understands you, they're not going to reply. You
want the most number of people to reply, ergo you write it in English.
Another good reason is because the CircleMUD developers' native language
is English. Some of them may know other languages but they won't all and
it probably won't be good enough to discuss code details with.
If you must write a flaming reply, write the flame about the
subject, not the person. Personal attacks are rarely called
for or appreciated but everyone seems to feel the need to rant about no
one checking the mailing list archives at some point in their life. If your
particular flame is devoid of any redeeming informational value then do not
send it to the mailing list.
When quoting, place the text of your reply below the text you are replying
to and trim any unnecessary levels of previous replies. A general
guideline is a maximum of about three replies back. You'll generally not
need more than 2. Remove any sections of the mail you're not replying to;
don't just quote the whole thing. This doesn't mean you replace words in
sentences with "..." in an attempt to change the meaning, as some
newspapers. Remove every instance of the mailing list footer from your
This is done this way for the following reasons:
- it refreshes the context for the reader,
- it makes it easier to see exactly what you are responding to,
- it does not appear like duplicate messages in the digest version of
the list, and
- it gets rid of excessive quoted material, which consumes bandwidth
and eventually disk space when archived.
- Taboo Language
There are numerous teenagers (and maybe younger) on the mailing list so
avoid any language considered taboo, foul, or dirty.
Four lines or less is enough. That's up to 240 characters. If your
signature is larger then you need to remove something from it or use a
different signature file just for the mailing list.
Advertise all you want in your signature, within its size limitations. If
you feel the need to send an entire e-mail doing nothing but advertising
your CircleMUD, prepend an "[AD]" tag to your subject. Note that
commercial advertising is not welcome since no CircleMUD should be
- Removal Policy
You may be removed from the mailing list at any time for any of the
above infractions or any other justifiable reason we haven't written
here. You'll receive a short explanation (likely telling you to
reread these rules) in the mail upon your removal. In most cases,
you are welcome to sign back on to the list if you send us an e-mail
explaining why you were removed. If you don't understand why you
were removed, you'll just do it again and waste everyone's time in
- Length Limit
All messages to the mailing list must be under 200 lines. You won't be
removed from the mailing list for this but your message will not be
- Q2: How do I subscribe/unsubscribe to the Mailing list?
- To subscribe to the mailing list send a message to
with any subject and the message body should be simply subscribe
circle <first name> <last name>.
- Subscription attempts from system accounts (ie 'root', 'postmaster',
etc) will be ignored.
- To unsubscribe from the list send a message to
<email@example.com> with the words unsubscribe
circle as the message body.
- DO NOT send subscription/unsubscription requests to the list in general.
There are hundreds of people on the list, and it will only irritate a ton
of people who have no power to remove you from the list.
- If you have any problems or wish to change your address on the list, please
- Remember, posting on the list is a privilege. It is suggested that you
lurk for a while to get a gist of how things work on the list. Reading the
list archives can also be very useful.
- Q3: Are there any subject conventions I should follow?
- First of all, include a subject on ALL of your CircleMUD mailing
list mail. This subject should be a BRIEF summary of the message
- Second, as noted above, there are some subject conventions that are
often followed on the mailing list so that people can choose what they
want to read.
- This should be used for Mud Advertisments and the like.
- This header should be used when discussing administration methods and
ideas for muds.
- This should preface an article that is generally about a piece of
code, either release, or one that has a bug in it.
- This is more of an administrative use, but can also be used to
inform people of a new code release, change on the FTP site, or some
other piece of interesting information.
- This header should be used when discussing the db part of CircleMUD,
including, but not limited to, the world.
- This header must be used when discussing topics surrounding the mailing
list itself. This includes the running of it, policies and rules on it,
changes made to it, suggestions for improvement, and so forth.
- This should preface a 'dumb question', or one that you think
has an obvious answer but is eluding you.
- This header should be used when discussing Role-Playing ideas for
- This header should be used when discussing various operating system
needs and changes. This header can be further expanded into
SYSTEM-WIN95, SYSTEM-LINUX, etc.
- Note that you do not need to put the [Circle] tag on your mail as
it will be added by the remailer. You are welcome to suggest other
- Q4: What other conventions should I follow?
- Read the CircleMUD
FAQ before posting to the list, your question may already be answered
- In short: No more than 72 columns wide (which allows for quoting on to
80 columns wide), and only use 7bit ASCII. If you are posting from a
country/language which uses "special" characters, such as with umlauts or
other diacritical marks, then please ensure that your mailer properly MIME
wraps them. Most modern mailers will do this properly.
- Attachments, HTML, enriched text, and RichText and similar are discouraged.
This includes "vcard" attachments from Netscape mail and similar.
- Use a bit of common sense when quoting. Include enough of the
original message to make sense; no more or less. Avoid quoting an
entire post with a one line reply (one line replies are bad). Your
response should FOLLOW the quoted material, which should be
indicated that it is quoted material (usually with a '> ' at the
beginning of each line.
- Sending large pieces of mail is counter productive. Don't do it.
- It is not necessary to PGP-sign your posts.
- Stick to CircleMUD topics. Discussing non-CircleMUD topics such as
how to flood a machine with 'ping' requests is off topic for the
- If you still must make an offtopic posting to the list, at least
include an 'ObCircle:' section containing something related to
CircleMUD. This means 'Obligatory CircleMUD Related Section'.
- Q5: Why all of these rules on how to format messages?
- Simply: More signal, less noise. Per the list owner, each of the
rules and guidelines are things that he has seen help keep a mailing
list on track, help maintain mutual respect among the members, and help
keep the discussions focused and useful.
- By a high signal to noise ratio, the following is meant:
- The noisy postings include messages which essentially say "I agree!"
and add no extra value, or those that do not relate to the purpose of
the list (like what you had for dinner, how your code/world clearly
superior to all others in existence and why language such and such is
better than such and such). Try to keep on topic and you won't go wrong.
- Q6: Is there an archive for the mailing list?
- An up-to-date archive of the list since it moved to post.queensu.ca
can be found at http://post.queensu.ca/listserv/wwwarch/circle.html
- If you'd rather read the messages in bulk, the FTP site has gzipped
copies of the same material in the UNIX mailbox format --
- Q7: Are there any resource archives for the mailing list?
- Several resource archives are available to CircleMUD administrators.
The main archive is the CircleMUD ftp site and web site. These are
- Ceramic Mouse is located at:
- And finally, mirrors of the CircleMUD FTP Site:
- Q8: How often are articles processed? How are they processed? How about a digest?
- Posts to the mailing list are automatically processed by the
LISTSERV(R) and sent out to the members of the list. There is now a
digest option. To set this option, sent mail to
<firstname.lastname@example.org> with the body set circle
- Q9: What other things should I know?
- Aaargh! The traffic is too much!
- Perhaps switching to the daily digest mode would help? To do so,
go to http://post.queensu.ca/listserv/wwwarch/circle.html and change your subscription
options to turn on the digest.
- Likewise, you can visit the same location to turn off the list while you
are on holiday. Look for the 'NOMAIL' option. When you return from your
holiday, you can turn the mailings back on the same way.
- Copyright Myths are explained at
it would be a good idea to give them a quick review.
- Q10: I hate the flames, what can I do?
- There is a second mailing list available, it is moderated, so the
signal content should be reasonably high. The important data is listed
- List home page: http://www.imaxx.net/mcircle/
- List archive: http://www.imaxx.net/mcircle/archive/
- Subscription/unsubscription address: email@example.com
- List contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Q11: Where can I find this FAQ?
- A pointer to this FAQ is posted at the end of every message on the
mailing list. It can be found online at:
- Q12: What is the history of this FAQ?
- This FAQ was first created on July 9th, 1996 by Alex 'Furry' Fletcher
All corrections, updates, and other submissions should be sent to that address.
- It was last updated on December 10th, 2001. At this time, the FAQ was
updated to add the META subject tag.
Back to the CircleMUD FAQ Site.