These best practices and tips provide guidance for etiquette on all
Apache project mailing lists. A site map for email info is at
This is a collection of tips for people wishing to contribute to any ASF Mailing Lists.
All user@, dev@ and most other mailing lists at Apache are publicly archived, and subject to our Public Forum Archive Policy.
Become familiar with the mailing lists. As you browse and search, you
will see the way other people do things. Follow the leading examples.
Use the archives to see what's been done earlier.
Do not cross-post message. In other words, pick a mailing list and send your messages to that mailing list only. Do not send your messages to multiple mailing lists. The reason is that people may be subscribed to one list and not to the other. Therefore, some people will only see part of the conversation.
Do not send HTML; send plain text (Content-type: text/plain) instead.
Sending HTML decreases the number of people who will read your email and is
the single most common cause of mail being rejected by the apache.org inbound
spam filtering. If your mail bounced and the error message said the spam
HTML_MESSAGE, re-send the message as plain text.
All participants in Apache lists are expected to abide by our published Code of Conduct.
Try not to use the word "you". People get defensive when they think that comments are directed at them personally. Consider using "one" or "we" or even "me". Also stay away from "you said" then paraphrasing - too easy to misinterpret their words.
Research your topic before beginning to discuss a new issue. Search and browse through the email archives - your issue may have been discussed before. Do not just perceive a problem and then rush out with a question - instead, delve.
Take the time to clearly explain your issue and write a concise email message. Less confusion facilitates fast and complete resolution. Everyone will benefit from the extra time on your part. The less unnecessary discussion, the better.
Remember that most people are participating in development on a volunteer basis and in their "spare time". These enthusiasts will attempt to respond to issues. It may take a little while to get your answers.
Most list participants are very busy. Their replies might appear to be curt when they direct you to a document, or give a short answer without niceties. If they spent too long preparing each reply, then they would become exhausted.
Please do not send private emails about development or usage questions. Rather keep the discussion on the mailing list, where we can all assist. This also enables other people to learn from such common questions. The time spent answering these questions is far more effective, and it helps the community to grow.