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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: Christopher Chaltain <>
Date: Sun, 09 Sep 2007 22:49:12 -0500

Stephan Seitz wrote:
> Hm, when you speak of using top posting, do you mean to include the
> whole message again as quoted material?
> If yes you have a good argument against top posting. It makes the
> mails bigger and bigger wasting bandwidth and CPU time (spam/virus
> scanning). The archive problem was already mentioned.
> Of course top posting is easier for the writer. But normally you donít
> write your mails for the sake of writing. You wish that other will
> read it, so you should use a form that it will be easy to read.
> In my experience the probability that a mail from a top poster is
> confused (to which question belongs this answer?) or missing answers
> is much higher than a mail from a bottom/inline poster. That is mostly
> because the latter is going to trim the quoted message up to down and
> to write the answers/comments at the fitting parts.
I really don't think anything is served by continuing this thread.
Although It's given me some things to think about, and I've modified my
email and posting habits a bit, I still see plenty of situations where I
prefer top posting. I know admitting this on this list puts me in with
the "Business wankers, neophytes and newbies" and sets me apart from the
far superior "Hackers and engineers"! :-) I just don't see this debate
changing people's current positions.

Note that top posting is a different issue from including the entire
post when replying. Although it might be easier to forget to trim the
message you're replying to when you top post, I've seen more than one
post on this mailing list where a post was placed at the bottom of the
entire message being replied to. Although I find top posting preferable
in some situations, I would never condone this behavior.

I also don't agree that bottom posting is just easier for the writer. I
claim it's also easier for the reader in some situations. If you're only
replying to one point in the message and your reply is complete, there's
no need to read the message you're replying to, therefore, it's easier
on the reader not to have them skip through that text.

Note that I'm not saying top posting is always preferred. As mentioned
above, when multiple issues or questions are being addressed bottom or
even in line posting is preferred. IMHO, there's a place for both top
posting and bottom posting, and the real issue is poorly written emails
and ignoring good list etiquette.

Finally, I whole heartily agree with this list having a list etiquette
or list rules that are tightly adhered to and enforced. Even though I
think there's a place for top posting, I totally agree with this list
settling on a rule for bottom posting.

Received on 2007-09-10

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