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Subject: Re: Top-Posting, Vis-a-Vis Last Night's Fuss

Re: Top-Posting, Vis-a-Vis Last Night's Fuss

From: Dominik Riebeling <dominik.riebeling_at_gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 20:30:41 +0200

On 8/26/07, KANE BROLIN <kbrolin65_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> My main problem last night was not in the veterans' desire to keep this list
> clean. My anger was based on these individuals' choice of communication

Well, there was quite some fuss about top-posting vs. bottom-posting.
That was *not* by the "veterans" and it absolutely *not* the point.
The point is really simple: there are rules for this list and someone
got asked to follow them by not top-posting. These rules are not for
discussion. It is some degree of showing respect by following rules.

> approach. If you are like I am, you have a life that doesn't involve
> spending the majority of one's day on a mailing list. So you probably get
> confused about concepts such as "top-posting," not fully understanding what
> the word means or why it's a problem.

And what's the problem with asking what the etiquette means if you
have problems understanding it? Why is there a need for the "veterans"
to baby-feed everyone every little step? Or should I consider users on
this list as little kids all the time? Would this be more appropriate
in your opinion?

> has helped me to do. But it would be a better world if those with technical
> skill and an eye toward precision were to have an ample supply of human
> kindness and empathy to match.

It would also be better if those without technical skills would at
least take the time to read and try to follow the guidelines. They are
set up for a reason, and if they are not understandable it is
completely ok to ask. It is not ok to just ignore them and call others
"offensive" while claiming to follow the rules. Even if you're not
aware that you're not following the rules you should accept that
people will point you to the rules only if you aren't following them.

Just as a comparison, if I come to your house I need to follow your
rules, be they written down or not. And this is regardless if I'm
aware of your rules or not. If I fail to do so someone will most
likely ask me to follow them -- if I don't get thrown out immediately.
Likewise, on this list we are all guests of the people hosting and
administrating this list. They have written down their rules, so they
can require us to be aware of and follow them.

> And, by the way, when the big furor came down last night, the anal veterans
> who made a big deal about top-posting, were actually top-posting themselves!
> Whenever you point a finger at someone else, the other four fingers on that
> hand point right back at you, don't they?

Well, as you are that sure about "veterans" who did so you surely can
name them? I re-read the whole thread in the archive and haven't found
anyone of those "anal veterans" (which might include me, not sure whom
exactly you are referring to with that term) used top-posting. There
is a big difference between top-posting and correct quoting, which
includes sending back *parts* of the original mail. The etiquette
explains this briefly, and if you want to read up on the details there
is RFC1855 which is also linked from the etiquette web page.

And I *really* think calling someone "anal veteran" is absolutely
inadequate. If you disliked the "choice of communication" yesterday,
is it really ok to use such communication yourself? These "anal
veterans" provide quite an amount of support for free. Just imagine
what you would have to pay for it if this was commercial support ...

 - Dominik
Received on 2007-08-26


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