Communication Guidelines

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A few ways to contact me

These are some general recommendations that I believe make communicating with me, at least, easier and/or more effective, including communication conventions that make me happier. Please note that what I prefer may not be what others prefer and shall not be treated as a general guideline for communications.

  1. Write a descriptive subject for emails. Do not send emails with an empty subject or no subject header. The subject should be give the receiver a brief idea of what the email is about.
  2. Send complete information. When telling me something or requesting something, please provide complete background information, knowledge required, and other relevant context. This prevents back-and-forth communication along the lines of "and now I need to know ... but you didn't tell me that so can you please give that to me". Providing context defragments conversations which increases efficiency.
  3. When using instant messaging such as IRC, do not split one sentence into multiple messages. Fragmentation reduces readability.
  4. Do not use excessive emojis.
  5. Be direct. As the sender, do not use polite expressions like "you did quite well in that presentation" when in reality, the sender believes that the presentation is not "quite well". Direct critique and suggestions are very welcome here. Politeness is acceptable if it does not interfere with honest conveying of information.
  6. Don't ask to ask.
  7. Use plain text email. Both hard-wrapped and non-hard-wrapped emails are acceptable. If you do hard-wrap, please wrap at 72 characters for English. Chinese, if hard-wrapped, should be at 36 characters. Non hard-wrapped emails should specify format=flowed as per RFC3676.
  8. Interweave the original message with the response when replying to an email and remove irrelevant parts (i.e. greetings, closings, signatures, etc.) of the quoted original email.

Please note that WeChat is not a preferred way of contacting me. Use these instead.