Re: CML2 1.3.1, aka "I stick my neck out a mile..."

From: Eric S. Raymond (
Date: Mon Apr 30 2001 - 02:40:01 EST

Alexander Viro <>:
> >From AFW FAQ:
> Q11. What is the McQuary limit?
> A11. "There once was a man from Nantucket,
> who lost his .sig in a bucket.
> Five lines was too long,
> columns 80 just strong,
> so he didn't know where to tuck it."
> A11. The limit on signature size: "4x80".

I just added the following to the Jargon File masters:

@hd{McQuary limit} @p{} 4 lines of at most 80 characters each,
   sometimes still cited on Usenet as the maximum acceptable size of a
   @es{sig block}. Before the great bandwidth explosion of the early
   1990s, long sigs actually cost people running Usenet servers
   significant amounts of money. Nowadays social pressure against
   long sigs is intended to avoid waste of human attention rather
   than machine bandwidth. Accordingly, the McQuary limit should
   be considered a rule of thumb rather than a hard limit; it's
   best to avoid sigs that are large, repetitive, and distracting.
   See also @es{warlording}.

		<a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>

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