On 23 Nov 2005 at 22:56, Chuq Von Rospach wrote:
> But frankly, I think it no longer matters; the mail list as a primary
> communications community tool is dead. Which is a great way to start
> another argument, but I won't bother getting into it. I'll just note
> this posting: http://chuqui.typepad.com/teal_sunglasses/2005/11/
> the_past_slippi.html and shut up again.
What's unfortunate is that the web-based forums are *SO* bad as to be
nearly useless [especially compared with email- or usenet-based ones].
> By the way, what RFC states that top posting is the wrong way to do
> this? I don't remember seeing that standard.
Probably 1855, "Netiquette":
>> - If you are sending a reply to a message or a posting be sure you
>> summarize the original at the top of the message, or include just
>> enough text of the original to give a context. This will make sure
>> readers understand when they start to read your response. Since
>> .... Giving context helps everyone.
>> But do not include the entire original!
Perhaps I'm just too old, or getting too senile, but I find top-posted
replies very difficult to sort out: the poster seems to believe that both
the particular message in the thread, and the actual parts of that
message, to which they're responding is somehow obvious [or transmitted
psychically or some such]. And so a post that just begins "I agree"
(with what?) or "you're wrong..." [*who* is wrong? And about what??]...
etc.. just befuddle and irritate me. [and it is even better when a top-
posted "on digest" person replies: you get a top-posted reply to a
message 15 back in the thread and REALLY have to guess what's going on;
but then digests are pretty much useless [and should've died a natural
death 20 yrs ago], but that's a different debate..:o); or similarly if
someone is away and a week or so much later replies to one [which one??]
MUCH earlier message in the thread]
Altogether, I don't know how folk who handle a lot of email [as I know
Chuq does] stay sane sorting things out that have been top-posted. The
very best I can say about top-posting is:
1) if you're too lazy to edit down the context, then you probably ARE
better off top posting
2) *some* of the time I'm following a thread closely enough, AND it
is linear enough, that a top-posted reply doesn't leave me with
And since I'm competent with my email client, I don't need to have 25 old
messages in a thread forwarded to me as some sort of useless appendix --
if the reply includes reasonable context, I won't need it at all, and if
I do need the entirety of one of the antecedent messages, I'll find it in
an appropriate folder or have my mail client thread to it for me. I
certainly don't need 24 copies of the first message in the thread [on
each of the subsequent 24 followups], and 23 copies of the second message
in the thread, ..etc.. (and a partridge in a pear tree..:o)].
Oh well, another religious war that'll never get settled down. And Chuq
is probably right: since top-posting is the easiest path for the
lazy/inconsiderate authors -- read and type, what could be easier -- it
probably will end up being the de facto standard and we edit-down-bottom-
posters will just be viewed as relics of the past... sigh...
Bernie Cosell Fantasy Farm Fibers
com Pearisburg, VA
--> Too many people, too few sheep <--