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As at least some of you are hopefully aware, we have a strongly-worded
recommendation in place to prevent people from sending attachments to
the dinosaur list.  This policy has been in place for several years --
unofficially it predates the creation of the formal administrative
rules.  Historically it was created because image and sound files can
wreak havoc on the mailboxes of people not expecting to receive them,
and there was a time when most people were in the position that such
files would be at best unreadable.

The e-mail world is no longer all that similar to what it was when our
policy was created, and we at dinosaur list management would like to
get an idea of exactly how different it is.  I do *not* anticipate
opening the floodgates to image files.  However, many of you routinely
send your messages as attachments even when they contain nothing but
text.  I'd like to know how many people find that to be a problem.

Please write to me (rowe@psych.ucsb.edu) and/or Mary
(MKirkaldy@aol.com) and let us know if you frequently find that
messages sent to the list are unreadable (or at least difficult to
read) at the present time.  Aside from Mime-encoding, difficulties
arise when messages are sent in formats such as 8-bit, html, or as in
one recent case Base64.  I suspect most of you don't know exactly what
I'm talking about (as if I do :-) here, but in any case there is a
variety of reasons as to why particular messages may get zorched
between the computer of the person writing them and you as a reader
receiving them.  If you do know what I'm talking about, I'd appreciate
it if you'd tell us what types of encoding offend your mail reader so
that we might try to enforce standards that most everyone can live
with.  Alternatively, if you could keep track of messages you receive
and can't read and you can provide us with header information that
would allow us to track down said messages (e.g., who wrote it and
when) or if you could forward such unreadable messages to me we'd
appreciate it.

Please do NOT respond to the list.  If any issues come up that we feel
merit broader discussion, we will introduce them at some future date.
As always, we strongly discourage discussion of list policy on the
list, and I apologize for this (IMHO) necessary breach.  If off-list
discussions lead us to conclude that list policy should be changed (or
not) we will make another announcement and again invite OFF-list

Thanks for your help,

Mickey Rowe     (rowe@psych.ucsb.edu)

P.S. It would also be a good idea to refrain from mind reading and
fortune-telling on the list.  While I'd agree that responses to recent
reports are likely to be interesting, it seems somewhat less than
scientific to reproach people for things they haven't even yet done.
Speculating about what somebody else might say or do isn't advancing
science in any way I can fathom...