Top-posting

bmanning at vacation.karoshi.com bmanning at vacation.karoshi.com
Mon Apr 11 19:12:30 CDT 2011


 interleaved posting is considered harmful.

/bill


On Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 08:05:51PM -0400, Jay Ashworth wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Daniel Staal" <DStaal at usa.net>
> 
> > --As of April 11, 2011 3:11:15 PM -0400, Jay Ashworth is alleged to
> > have said:
> 
> Nope; I really said it.  :-)
> 
> > > Standard threaded (IE: not top-posted) replies have been the standard for
> > > technical mailing lists on the net since I first joined one.
> > >
> > > In 1983.
> 
> Footnote: Maybe that was more Usenet, that early.  :-)
> 
> > > Anyone who has a problem with it can, in short, go bugger off.
> > > Really.
> > 
> > --As for the rest, it is mine.
> > 
> > I've found my mail has fallen into three basic categories over time:
> > 
> > 1) Mailing list, technical or otherwise.
> > 2) Personal discussions.
> > 3) 'Official' work email, of one form or another.
> > 
> > Of the three, #1 almost always is either bottom posted, or fully
> > intermixed. #2 I often introduce people to the idea, but once they get
> > it they like it. In both of these it is more important what is replying
> > to what, and what the *current state* of the conversation is. Either one
> > I can rely on the other participants to have the history (or at least
> > have access to it). Top-posting in either context is non-helpful.
> 
> Well put.
> 
> > #3, is always top-posted, and I've grown to like that in that context.
> > The most current post serves as a 'this is where we are right now, and
> > what needs to be done', while the rest tends to preserve the *entire*
> > history, including any parts I was not a part of initially. (For instance: A
> > user sends an email to their boss, who emails the helpdesk, who emails back
> > for clarification, and then forwards on that reply to me. At that point
> > it's often nice to know what the original issue was, or to be able to reach
> > the user directly instead of through several layers of intermediary.)
> 
> I sorely hate to admit it, but you're right.  I tried doing traditional
> quoting on emails in my last position (as IT director in a call center),
> and everyone else's heads came off and rolled around on the floor; my boss,
> the controller, actually *asked me to stop*.
> 
> > It has different strengths and weaknesses, and can be useful in it's
> > place. Mailing lists are not top-posting's place. ;)
> 
> We clearly agree, here.  Hopefully, we've clarified the reasons why, 
> for anyone who was on the fence.
> 
> > (As for HTML email... I've yet to meet an actual human who routinely
> > used HTML-only emails. They are a sure sign of a marketing department's
> > involvement.)
> 
> I have.  No, not necessarily.
> 
> Cheers,
> -- jra




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