[ltp] top posting

Henrique de Moraes Holschuh linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
Sat, 7 Apr 2012 12:15:07 -0300

On Sat, 07 Apr 2012, Phil Shotton wrote:
> The thing about bottom posting is that you have to scroll through
> huge amounts of old context to get to the point, which, if it's a
> single line, is easily missed. With top-posting you rarely need to

That would be why, for optimal thought-thread reading, one shouldn't either
top-post or bottom-post.  One should quote the context properly and reply
inline like this.  This does require careful consideration to not strip too
much context, which does have its downsides.

> read any of the older previous context, just the last (which is at
> the top below the response already). Much less scrolling with top
> posting, and much less difficulty in finding the right information.
> That's why most people do it that way.

Pure "bottom-posting" is rarely the way to go, and it makes sense only when
the context is small and you're replying to all of it.

top-posting in communities with large amounts of technically competent
people who:

1) read through thousands of messages per day from many mailing lists
2) participate in hundreds of threads
3) have proper non-broken, non-dumbeddown threading MUAs

will likely be considered a sign of disrespect by enough people to be
treated as such.  This includes, e.g., all Debian mailing lists, the LKML,
and obviously this mailing list or this thread wouldn't exist.

top-posting is much easier on the writer, but there is just one writer and
thousands of readers.  Some of these readers deal with extreme amounts of
mail, and DO benefit heavily from proper threading MUAs (those who not only
show threads, but also subthreads properly) and properly resumed, inlined

> Me, I don't care. It's just another flame war like where you put the
> {} in code. What I don't like is when people get flamed for using
> one style or another, as though there's only one right way to do it.

There are situations and communities where either top-posting or
bottom-posting are appropriate, yes.

This ML isn't one such community, and the situations that warrant top or
bottom-posting as an exception are not that common.

That said, I am certainly not going to flame anyone here for top-posting
(that said, I didn't see any flames).  But I will probably ignore it and
delete it without even taking notice, unless something calls for my
attention in the first five words or it is a thread I am already paying a
lot of attention to.

  "One disk to rule them all, One disk to find them. One disk to bring
  them all and in the darkness grind them. In the Land of Redmond
  where the shadows lie." -- The Silicon Valley Tarot
  Henrique Holschuh