List Rules and Objectives

Dan Margulis

Applied Color Theory list--General Description and Rules
(This document is posted monthly)

The objective of this list is to exchange information that may benefit those who have taken or are considering taking my Applied Color Theory courses, or who are interested in techniques covered in my books, plus related topics. This roughly comprises color correction and other methods that aim at creating satisfactory images, normally for print purposes, occasionally elsewhere.

All messages to this group must be signed with the member's full name at or near the bottom of the posting. First names only or "handles" are not acceptable, nor is quoting an anonymous third party. Also, messages must come from a address to which moderators and/or members can reply offline. There are, however, certain valid reasons why a list member might wish to avoid signing his name. Normally the reason is that the post might reflect badly upon a boss or a client. In such cases, please forward the message to me and I will post it if appropriate with a note of explanation and the name deleted, provided I am convinced that the person actually exists. If a person has been granted anonymity, I always use “he” on second reference, regardless of the poster’s actual gender. Persons who have been granted anonymity will not be permitted to attack other list members by name. Note: moderators sometimes approve postings that are not signed, *provided* that a clear and unambiguous full name appears in the return address line.

Many e-mail programs by default append a complete copy of the message being replied to. Unless that message is a short one, the practice is inappropriate for our group. It becomes a particular problem when the appended message itself appends another. Please be sure that the length of any message being appended is appropriate compared to the your own original content.

It is a breach of etiquette for list members to post the same question to several on-line groups simultaneously. People who answer questions on these lists are often experts in the field who are donating generous amounts of their time to assisting those who need guidance. Nobody wants to waste time responding to a question that's already been satisfactorily answered elsewhere.

Instead, please post the question here or to whatever other group you think is most likely to be helpful. If you h aven't gotten an answer you can live with in, say, 48 hours, by all means try a different list. In such a case, it's only courteous to say something like "I have tried the XXX list, and got no reply" or "I asked this on the YYY list, and was told ZZZ, I'm not sure I accept this, would anyone here care to comment?" 

Our settings do not permit posting of non-text material (including HTML) to the list. Anything other than straight text is automatically deleted.

If you need to refer us to an image, and do not wish to link to some other site, please put it (RGB JPEG only) into the Photos section of the group, setting up a folder if need be. Do NOT use the Files section for photographs, as space there is limited to 2 gb and individual files are limited to 5 mb, whereas the Photos section has 100 gb of storage.

The direct link to our Photos section is

If you only have one or two images to post, and they don’t belong in a specific folder, please put them into the Miscellaneous folder within the Photos section. Or, you may start a new folder for yourself.

Some folders set up by the moderators are locked, i.e. you can look at, download, and comment on pictures, but not add or delete any. Other folders are open and anyone can post pictures to them.

English is not the first language for many subscribers. If you are using acronyms, please be sure that everyone understands what they mean. Also, the preferred format for dates is 5 March; if you write 3/5/12 this means March 5 in the United States, but it means May 3 in most of the rest of the world.

Nobody wants this to become an advertising list, but In practice it is difficult to draw a fine line between a comment and a product plug. Members are requested to use restraint and to ask themselves whether what they are posting is something that a significant number of readers would be interested in. That said, brief plugs are permitted. Similarly, new product announcements are permitted, but the preferred form is to announce briefly and indicate to the list members where further information is available.

Repeated commercial posts are prohibited. Also, there will be little to no tolerance for commercial posts from persons who are not otherwise participating in the list. This includes "public service announcements" or posts promoting private websites.

Unnecessarily lengthy signature blocks that advertise services are discouraged.

While general discussion of color management is welcome, lengthy threads on color management esoterica belong on the ColorSync users list. To subscribe to that list, visit

Members are entitled to know if posters have commercial affiliations that might affect their views as to the products and topics they post about. If you have such an affiliation, you are expected to disclose it. This doesn't mean in every post, but often enough so that the readers will be in no doubt as to what your biases might be. For the purpose of this list, if you're writing about a certain product, and you've accepted more than $300 from that company within the last five years, that's something that should be disclosed. Similarly, if you have received freebies worth more than $300 during that time, it should be disclosed.

Furthermore, if you in the last five years have been a developer of or otherwise represented a certain product, and you are writing about a product that might reasonably said to compete with it, you are expected to disclose this.

These rules are not intended to stop you from posting on whatever you like, nor are they intended to force you to give any details at all about the payment. If your signature or company identification (e.g. an address) makes your affiliation obvious, there's no need for anything more. Otherwise, a "DISCLOSURE: I have received payments/freebies from this company in the recent past" will suffice.

Members who do not want a high volume of single messages may sign up for this list in digest mode. This will combine all postings into one long message, daily or every 15 messages, whichever comes first. To do this you must access the "My Groups" menu at yahoogroups.

If you are subscribing in digest mode and responding to a specific message, please use the name of that message in the subject field, NOT "Digest #97" or whatever.

Also, many e-mail readers by default append a copy of the message to which one is replying. If you are subscribing in digest mode you should be sure to disable this feature. It is extremely rude to send a complete copy of the digest to the entire list if you are replying only to one message.

This list is moderated, currently by five persons. All posts must be approved by one of us (Darren Bernaerdt, Sterling Ledet, Stephen Marsh, J Walton, or your humble servant), before they are distributed to the group. We don't want to discriminate on the basis of content; if we feel that for some reason a restriction on posting is necessary we will make it known publicly (see below) before actually rejecting a message that a member has taken the time to post. 

That said, we will reject the following types of message without prior warning. NOTE: If we reject a post, we send a message to the sender indicating why. If your post hasn't appeared, and you haven't gotten a rejection message, probably the message got lost in cyberspace.

1) Spam; press releases, product announcements or "classified advertising" from people who haven't participated in the list in at least six months or who are recent signups; form letters; posts from people who don't otherwise participate in the list referring us to private websites; posts from anyone referring us to links without a reasonably full explanation of what is to be found there; and posts from anyone referring us to websites that require payment or registration to view.

2) Messages that are not signed with a full name.

3) Messages that do not have an informative title, e.g. "No Subject" or "Digest #1234"

4) Messages that are exclusively in HTML, or that attempt to attach an image, PDF, or the like and then refer to it in text. (Such attachments are automatically deleted, so the post would make no sense).

5) Messages responding to messages that are extremely dated or that the rest of the list has not seen at all. Typically, this occurs when Party B replies to Party A offline, and Party A responds to the list.

6) Messages that would subject the group to an unreasonable amount of quoted material, such as reposting lengthy, unedited material from other sources, the attachment of an entire group digest rather than the single message being responded to, the attachment of a complete message which itself attached additional messages, or simply appending an entire lengthy message rather than snipping the specific material that is of interest.

7) Technical questions that the moderator is aware are simultaneously crossposted to other group(s). The moderator will generally not approve other types of simultaneous crossposts but may use discretion in exceptional cases.

8) Messages that contain a copyright notice or may present legal problems if posted to the group. 

9) Messages that may be hoaxes.

10) Messages containing attempts at ethnic or sexual humor, whether or not there is other relevant content.

11) Other attempts at humor that the moderator doesn't think are funny and that contain no content relevant to an existing thread.

12) Messages that are derisive or dismissive of another member’s skills in photography or color correction. Constructive criticism is welcome but must be framed in a respectful fashion, even if the person being criticized is a beginner.

13) "Repeats" of recent posts hoping to get responses that the first ones did not.

14) Messages from persons who have been list members for less than six months or who have not posted to the list in the past six months, and which in the judgment of the moderator show a lack of understanding of what the list is about or which duplicate something that has been covered recently. Examples: questions like "how do I calibrate my monitor?"; messages of introduction to the list; questions on topics in which the list does not specialize, and questions on a topic about which a thread has just ended.

15) Messages that do not respond to an existing thread and have nothing to do with color or the purposes of this group, e.g. corrections of people's grammar, needless quibbling over terminology or political correctness, statements in support of some political cause, attempts to unsubscribe, virus warnings, or change of address notifications.

16) "Case Study" offerings--that is, showing us an image and asking for suggestions as to how to correct it. Such postings will be examined by a moderator who will make a determination as to whether the image would be of interest to the group. If it is, we will accept the post with thanks. If not, we'll decline it with, hopefully, no hard feelings. As a rule, we are not very interested in the repair of grossly defective images; we prefer to concentrate on more everyday types of problem.

As can be seen above, we do not wish to censor posts based on their content or to cause people to pull their punches in what they write. We are willing to have reasonably brief threads on almost any color-related topic. Intervention by a moderator to restrict discussion is rare. However, it may take place under the following circumstances.

1. If in the judgment of the moderators, a thread is going on too long, we will post publicly to the list and to all participants a request to bring it to a close. Our criteria in doing this may include: limited interest of the thread to the vast majority of the group; repetition of the same points over and over; participation only by a few members; or that there was a closely similar recent thread. Unless the list is being deluged, the moderators try to consult with one another before blocking a thread. Ordinarily we give the list 24 hours notice that a thread will be ending so that those interested may post their final thoughts on the subject. If the volume of posting is such that we don't wish to wait 24 hours before invoking a posting limit, some posts may be temporarily rejected with a note to the sender advising him that a hard limit may be imposed shortly and asking whether he wishes to repost the message under the circumstances. However, we will not block the post if it is resent.

2. Occasionally a thread has become so acid that a moderator posts a warning about civility, or about bringing in irrelevancies such as discussion of political events. In such cases the thread continues, but the list is on notice that offending posts are subject to rejection at the discretion of the moderators.

3. If in the moderator's judgment, a list member is being unduly unpleasant or personal in posted comments, he will send that person a complaint in private. (*Grossly* inappropriate posts will be rejected without warning.)

4. Today's web etiquette countenances certain acronyms (e.g. POS, FUBAR, SOL, BFD) where an off-color word is implied. As long as these words are implied and not spelled out there is no objection. In the interest of decorum, however, we ask members to refrain from undisguised use of locutions found on the commonly available "Seven Filthy Words" list.

5. We reserve the right to limit the sheer volume of posting allowed by any list member or by any interest group that is posting substantially the same type of material.

6. If in the moderator's judgment, a list member is posting material that is overly commercial in nature, he will send that person a complaint in private. (Note: this applies only to a person who already actively participates in the list. An overly commercial post from a nonparticipant will be rejected without warning.)

7. If the moderator feels that the proposed post is ambiguous (that is, that it may provoke needless requests for clarification by confused readers who don't understand what the post is attempting to say), he may temporarily reject it with a note to the sender asking for a rewrite.

8. If a message is submitted in a form that makes it unduly difficult to follow (e.g. long message in all caps; message in which one can't tell where quotes end and responses begin; using shorthand like "r u listening 2 me?") the moderator may reject it with a note to the sender asking that it be redone in a more legible form.

This group has existed since 2/99, but in late 12/00 it shifted servers to egroups, later yahoogroups. All yahoogroups messages are accessible to list members at
but naturally anything before 1/00 isn't there nor are a certain number of posts from the transition period.

From time to time, we post edited full threads, advertising free, at
There are currently around 300 such threads available. The most recent update was August, 2013. 

My book Modern Photoshop Color Workflow was released in March, 2013. In conjunction with it, we opened a new site,, which has a variety of materials that might supplement the discussions of this list.

In today's information age, the assumption must be that comments posted to groups like this one are for public consumption, and may be freely quoted by others without further permission. Images referred to in group messages, whether posted to this group's photo section or posted on the web sites of others, are a different story. Such images are assumed to be copyrighted material, and no reuse is permissible without the consent of the owner.

If you auto-reply to e-mail (typically to inform people that you are on vacation), be sure that the list is excluded. Among other ways, you can do this by setting your auto-reply to ignore either messages containing [colortheory] in the title, or "Precedence: bulk" in the header. If you auto-reply more than once to list messages, your posting privileges will be suspended so that moderators will not have to delete each auto-reply manually. If you subsequently wish to post to the list and receive an automated reply that you are not permitted to post, please contact a moderator.

If you have doubts as to the propriety of posting something, please feel free to contact me or another moderator directly.

Instructions on how to unsubscribe are given at the bottom of each post. If you have any difficulty in either unsubscribing or in posting to the group, consider the possibility that you are no longer posting or receiving under the exact address with which you subscribed. 

If you attempt to post and receive a message stating that, although you are a member, you are not permitted to post, it means that a moderator has manually disallowed your posting privileges. We do this to members who have sent spam (often the result of a virus) or who have set their mailbox to auto-reply to the group explaining that they are out of the office. If you get this message and wish your rights restored, contact me offline.

If you are attempting to change address, go to
and choose Edit My Membership. You will need your original Yahoogroups password; if you have forgotten it you can ask Yahoogroups to assign another. As this can be cumbersome, another possibility is to unsubscribe and then to resubscribe from the new address. The moderators cannot change your address manually.

Also, if your mailserver rejects a message, yahoogroups may assume your account is no longer active and discontinue the message flow. This has happened with several overseas accounts where there were server problems. To correct this, enter yahoogroups and set the "Reset" function for your address.

This list is sponsored by Sterling Ledet & Associates, an Internet and graphic arts training company with company-owned facilities in the Atlanta, Chicago,  San Diego and Washington, DC areas. For further information concerning its offerings, visit or call 877-819-2665 (+1 770-414-5007 from outside U.S.)

Dan Margulis
Last revised 6 July 2018
Suggestions for revising this document are welcome.