David Emory Watson <email@example.com>:
> Oh. Well in hindsight, I guess your are right. After all I wouldn't
> want to be a luser, much less associated with AOL. Gosh I never
> realized. Maybe I just didn't read the right standards manual when I
> started using the internet. Where did you learn all of this? No,
> nevermind I don't care. I'm sorry for contributing to this silly flame
Time for me to put on my hacker-folklorist hat...
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.
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.
This is doubtless one reason it failed to survive the bandwidth boom.
Hmmm. Maybe this should be a Jargon File entry...
-- <a href="http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/">Eric S. Raymond</a>
The politician attempts to remedy the evil by increasing the very thing that caused the evil in the first place: legal plunder. -- Frederick Bastiat - To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in the body of a message to firstname.lastname@example.org More majordomo info at http://vger.kernel.org/majordomo-info.html Please read the FAQ at http://www.tux.org/lkml/
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Apr 30 2001 - 21:00:24 EST