Top-posting

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Tue Apr 12 00:23:24 CDT 2011


I sincerely

On Apr 11, 2011, at 5:12 PM, bmanning at vacation.karoshi.com wrote:

> interleaved posting is considered harmful.
> 

Disagree.

Owen

> /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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