HTML Writers Guild Guides SOP 1

Standard Operating Procedure: Dealing with Off-topic Threads


This situation is more appropriate for the topic-specific lists (eg Graphics or Theory) than the general lists (Basics and Techniques)

This situation covers threads that have either degenerated to the point where there is little or no content, or which were off-topic to begin with and do not appear to be dying out by themselves.


An INFO post should be sent to the list. In this case we can suggest that the topic is closed, and that further discussion be taken off the list or to a more appropriate Guild forum. This action should not be a dictatorial absolute action, but rather a notice that the List Charter should be respected.

A sample post is included below:

Subject: INFO: Switching to Windows NT

Hello Everyone,

For those that do not know me, my name is Melanie Trivett and I am one of the List Guides for the Software List.

Although the conversation about Windows Vs. NT has been interesting at best, (actually ... it's been nice having some traffic ...) it is time to take this particular topic to the appropriate list. That list would be HWG Servers and subscription information can be found at:

I am simply asking that everyone comply with the Software Charter.

As clearly stated in the Software List Charter, "This list is used by the HTML Writers Guild to discuss features of the tools we use in relation to the web. This is NOT a place to start program bashing, which will not be tolerated."

This means you can pro and con the software but when you get off into the OS part then it needs to go over to the Server List.

Whereas, the Servers List Charter states, "This list is to be used by HTML Writers Guild to discuss matters related to administrating and operating a World Wide Web server, including CGI and server-side programming, HTTPD configuration, and other server issues."

Please abide by the Rules and Bylaws of the Guild and let us all be responsible individuals and take the conversation where justice can be done to the topic. Other interested members have joined the -servers list for that very reason, but may not be subscribed to -theory, thus the conversation is not getting the fullest attention.

Should anyone have questions regarding the Guild policy or the purpose of this message, don't hesitate to contact me directly at

Thank You for your time,

Melanie Trivett
Software List Guide

Follow-up Activity

Since an INFO post is not a "thread closure", but a suggestion that members adhere to the list charter, there is no official follow-up activities, other than private (unofficial) correspondence with those involved.

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