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'[EE] Top-posting, is it really that bad?'
2005\11\24@220014 by Chen Xiao Fan

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Actually I am using Outlook 2000 at work and it is
very hard for me not to top-posting when using
Outlook 2000 at work. At home I am using Gmail and
I find it is still easier to top-post since they leave
some blank lines before the quote of the original
email.

There are people strongly against top-posting. I think
this is especially true among some Linux users who
religiously believe that top-post is a bad thing.
Some of them think bottom-post is also a bad thing.

However I can see that more and more people are using
top-post and I like it more than other styles. To me
it is just a personal preference and it largely
depends on the Email client used.

Luckily PIClist is dominated by top-posting. ;-)
Even if I look at SDCC-user list, half of the posts
are using top-posting style.

Should the anti-top-posting sentiment just be history?
Or is it still justified by some engineering/scientific
reasoning?

Regards,
Xiaofan

-----Original Message-----
From: spam_OUTpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu
Sent: Friday, November 25, 2005 10:26 AM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [PIC] When did MPLAB stop supporting Win98?

--Danny, unhappy with this top-posting thing ;)

2005\11\24@222719 by David Van Horn

picon face
> Should the anti-top-posting sentiment just be history?
> Or is it still justified by some engineering/scientific
> reasoning?

Bottom.
To
Top
From
Read
I
Normally




2005\11\24@223438 by Danny Sauer

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Chen wrote regarding '[EE] Top-posting, is it really that bad?' on Thu, Nov 24 at 21:07:
> Actually I am using Outlook 2000 at work and it is
> very hard for me not to top-posting when using

You need to say no more.  I use Outlook 2K at work and understand how
difficult it is to bottom-post (and trim).  I hate Outlook, and that's
one of the big reasons.  It makes replying a big pain in general.  I
wish the mail admins would just enable IMAP in Exchange so I could use
a good mail program...

> Should the anti-top-posting sentiment just be history?
> Or is it still justified by some engineering/scientific
> reasoning?

This has been debated to death everywhere, but just to rehash it once
more... :)

On a mailing list, where the threads aren't all in the main place
where things are read and messages can potentially be dropped or
received out of order, it's useful to have context with the message.
Only useful context should be included.  If context is useful, it's
generally useful to read in order.  Therefore, bottom posting 1)
allows context to be included in order and 2) allows readers who don't
care about the context to quickly scan to the end of the message and
read just the new part.  With top posting and context, the reader
needs to scroll to the end, find the beginning of the lowest included
part, scroll back down while reading, scroll up to the second included
part, scroll down to read it, scroll up to the top of theenext step,
scroll down, and generally suffer through a big pain just to get up to
speed with the current message.

So, if we accept that including context in a reply is good, then
bottom-posting makes the most sense.  Remove context, and there's no
difference between top- and bottom-posting.  "But I don't like
scrolling just to read the new content."  Well, if the context is so
annoying, delete it on replies.  Top-posting is simply wasting
bandwidth by including context which is nearly useless.  Besides, only
*relevent* context should be included, not the whole multi-page
message being replied to.

IMHO, of course. :)  I'm partial to interlinear replies and/or trimmed
bottom-posting replies because they only include as much context as is
relevant, and all of the important text in a message is presented in
an order which is most easily read.  Other people - generally those
new to the internet - may feel that wasting bandwidth and putting
things in reverse order is the best choice, probably because that's
the default for their mail program...

Here's the first result for a Google search for "bottom posting":
http://www.caliburn.nl/topposting.html  Nearly all of the hits are
pro-bottom posting.  Now search for "Top Posting".  Almost all are
anti-top posting.  I'm not generally one for bandwagon-style
propoganda, but really, all those people probably aren't wrong. :)

--Danny

2005\11\24@224258 by Vic Fraenckel

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Smells like another religious war is about to break out!

Vic
________________________________________________________

Victor Fraenckel - The Windman         victorf ATSIGN windreader DOT com
KC2GUI

2005\11\24@230004 by Nate Duehr

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Danny Sauer wrote:
> Chen wrote regarding '[EE] Top-posting, is it really that bad?' on Thu, Nov 24 at 21:07:
>> Actually I am using Outlook 2000 at work and it is
>> very hard for me not to top-posting when using
>
> You need to say no more.  I use Outlook 2K at work and understand how
> difficult it is to bottom-post (and trim).  I hate Outlook, and that's
> one of the big reasons.  It makes replying a big pain in general.  I
> wish the mail admins would just enable IMAP in Exchange so I could use
> a good mail program...

Nate

Typed like it was top-posted for your reading pleasure,



What's so hard about that?

If you don't feel like cutting anything, just do the last two steps.

Start typing.

Hit Page Down key.

Highlight unnecessary stuff.  Hit delete key.

You guys need to get used to using keyboard commands.

Hi Guys,




-----

Hint: Read it backward, bottom-to-top, because that's what top-posting is.

2005\11\24@230539 by Chen Xiao Fan

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Actually I do not think Google tells the real story. Most of the
people do not care about top-posting or bottom-posting. It
is just the few people (pre-dominantly old time internet users)
are more vocal and they speak out.

Outlook and outlook express are decent email clients. They are
also the de-facto standard in the corporate world. So people
will still top-post when they use Outlook or Outlook Express.

As for trimming the un-necessary part of an email, I totally agree.

To me bottom-posting and top-posting are the same. You either
scroll to the bottom for the original email or you scroll to the
bottom for the new information. Especially in the threaded
discussion list, it is actually better to do top-posting since
the context is there. You read the email by thread and you just
want to read the new information. It is more troublesome to
scroll to the bottom.

Regards,
Xiaofan

{Original Message removed}

2005\11\24@231400 by Chen Xiao Fan

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This is not top-posting. This is invented by the
anti-top-posting guys IMHO.

-----Original Message-----
From: .....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu
Sent: Friday, November 25, 2005 11:36 AM

> Should the anti-top-posting sentiment just be history?
> Or is it still justified by some engineering/scientific
> reasoning?

Bottom.
To
Top
From
Read
I
Normally

2005\11\24@234014 by Wayne Topa

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Chen Xiao Fan(xiaofanspamKILLspamsg.pepperl-fuchs.com) is reported to have said:
> Actually I am using Outlook 2000 at work and it is
> very hard for me not to top-posting when using
> Outlook 2000 at work. At home I am using Gmail and
> I find it is still easier to top-post since they leave
> some blank lines before the quote of the original
> email.

Yes, it is easier to write but not so easy to read and understand what
in the OP you are replying to.
>
> There are people strongly against top-posting. I think
> this is especially true among some Linux users who
> religiously believe that top-post is a bad thing.
> Some of them think bottom-post is also a bad thing.

This is the rule on the Debian-user list.  The majority do not top
post but people new to the list do it.  You might notice the replies
to those posts, most always, will include a hint Not to Top Post.

> However I can see that more and more people are using
> top-post and I like it more than other styles. To me
> it is just a personal preference and it largely
> depends on the Email client used.

I don't know the "rules" of piclist but as would like to associate
whatever I respond to to whatever the OP wrote, I find it easier to
comment below approaite part of the message.  (and remove the parts I
am not responding to)

> Luckily PIClist is dominated by top-posting. ;-)

As well as MUA's that either have not been configured correctly
to distingush between text of the OP and the response.  Or
MUA's that don't do threading automaticly or......


> Should the anti-top-posting sentiment just be history?

If you can't see how bottom, or context posting helps the reader, then
yes.  

The same is true of top posting a one line reply to a long post
and including the complete thread in the reply.  That should be
history!

> Or is it still justified by some engineering/scientific
> reasoning?

I see no justification for top posting at all, but thats JMHO.

Wayne
--
        Linux helps those who help themselves
_______________________________________________________

2005\11\24@234537 by Mike Young

picon face
In conversation, I rarely repeat what the other person said. In writing, I
include enough to indicate the context of my writing.

Do you really read the quoted text?

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Van Horn" <.....dvanhornKILLspamspam.....microbrix.com>
>
> Bottom.
> To
> Top
> From

2005\11\25@000545 by Chen Xiao Fan

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I like your posting style: context posting. However the email
clients are not making this easier and this is across Linux
and Windows. Few people are using context posting since it
requires more effort on the user' part. I do admire those
who do this.

However I disagree that bottom posting is better.

"The same is true of top posting a one line reply to a long post
and including the complete thread in the reply.  That should be
history!"
-->
"The same is true of bottom posting a one line reply to a long post
and including the complete thread in the reply.  That should be
history!"

No difference here. I see no justification bottom posting is
any better than top posting, but that IMHO.

Regards,
Xiaofan

{Original Message removed}

2005\11\25@010012 by Nate Duehr

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Chen Xiao Fan wrote:
> I like your posting style: context posting. However the email
> clients are not making this easier and this is across Linux
> and Windows. Few people are using context posting since it
> requires more effort on the user' part. I do admire those
> who do this.

I haven't seen any significant difference in how this works in any
e-mail client in many years.

I'm not sure what you're referring to about clients making it more
difficult.

There's only one e-mail client that I know of that makes it difficult
and that's only when it's in HTML or rich-text modes.  Both of which are
rarely necessary to get one's point across.

Some really good e-mail clients actually make contextual posting easier
-- if you highlight the portion of the person's message you wish to
reply to and then hit the Reply button or keyboard command, only that
portion of the original message is quoted.

Some clients are getting more intelligent about how people like to
communicate, and some clients are just adding colors and fonts and
making communication more difficult by making contextual replies harder
to do.

I would think that would be enough right there for most people to look
for a better client, but most don't.  They take the path of least
resistance and use either whatever is provided by some IT person or came
with the machine.

This really isn't [EE] at all, so I'm going to stop now unless you move
it to [OT].  Just not sure if you read [OT], so last reply here.

Nate

2005\11\25@013533 by Chen Xiao Fan

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Agreed. I have changed this to [OT]. Please continue there
and not here. Thanks.

I started to read [OT] long ago following the advise of
Russel. ;-) By using Gmail for mailing list at home and
I have no problem with [OT]. Sometimes it is actually
quite interesting to read.

Regards,
Xiaofan

-----Original Message-----
From: EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu
Sent: Friday, November 25, 2005 2:00 PM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [EE] Top-posting, is it really that bad?

This really isn't [EE] at all, so I'm going to stop now unless you move
it to [OT].  Just not sure if you read [OT], so last reply here.

Nate

2005\11\25@035942 by Scott Dattalo

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Hi Xiaofan,

Your original post asks the rhetorical question: "Should top-posting be
avoided?". I always avoid top-posting, except perhaps to just make a
point. The issue with top-posting is not top-posting per se, but that
top-posters often make explicit references to that which they wish to
reply. These references are almost always ambiguous and as a result make
the reply appear as though the author is a sloppy thinker. Now, I've seen
enough of your posts to learn that you're *not* a typical top-poster! So
as long as enough context is provided so that the reply is coherent, then
reasonable people will have no problem with top-posting.

Now, I could've shortened this whole paragraph by just writing:

"I agree with you, but most of the time I don't write my messages that way
because I mostly use Linux and also I think it makes it hard to
understand."

Ugh. Did I really just write that...

Scott

On Fri, 2005-11-25 at 11:00 +0800, Chen Xiao Fan wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2005\11\25@050700 by Russell McMahon

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Ah well ... :-)

I feel that top posting is useful for a single paragraph reply of
moderate length where the quoted material is visible when the message
is opened.

For anything of complexity where there are several quotes or where the
response includes a summary of past thread history, or where there are
responses to responses to ..., then bottom or interleaved posting
seems (to me) vastly superior.

I have seen numerous top posts where it is not obvious what is being
replied to, even when (or because) extensive quoted material is
included.

I also find that responses where there is no quoted material (as is
the case here :-) ) are often completely unintelligible without going
back and looking at prior posts. I'm unlikely to do this if the thread
is not already of significant interest.

I use whatever seems best and logical and useful at the time BUT find
that, for me, this is usually bottom posting.


       Russell McMahon

2005\11\25@082111 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Chen Xiao Fan wrote:

> No difference here. I see no justification bottom posting is
> any better than top posting, but that IMHO.

I think bottom vs. top posting is not the /real/ question.

I think we all agree that including the complete contents of all prior
emails in a thread is not only impractical, but also annoying. No matter
whether bottom or top or something else, people should only include the
relevant content from prior messages.

Here comes in one gripe with top posting: sometimes people seem to
completely forget how many megabytes of text they are replying to, and just
add their few sentences at the top. This probably happens easier with top
posting, because it's easier to overlook the huge amount accumulated if you
don't even scroll to the end.


> I like your posting style: context posting.

After you have trimmed prior content to the reasonable portions, you often
have more than one issue left. In this case, what you call context posting
(and what generally is referred to as bottom posting, but that's more a
misnomer than a helpful name) is obviously the most sensible thing to do.

So the question is probably not "top or bottom posting", it's two-fold:
"should we trim prior content?" (yes!) and "where should we then add our
comments to the prior content?" (bottom, top, or in context -- my
preference being "in context").


> However the email clients are not making this easier and this is across
> Linux and Windows.

You can configure Outlook to prefix every line of a message you are
replying to with e.g. ">". (Tools | Options | Preferences | E-mail Options
... | On replies and forwards.) This makes context posting quite possible,
even with Outlook. We need to take into account that while nowadays most
programs come out of the box with some useful functionality, the real
spectrum of functionality comes to light only after reading the manual and
going through all menu and configuration items.

The other option is to use a hammer for nails and a screwdriver for screws
(in other words, the right tool for the job): I use Outlook as my email
program for "normal" email and as a general organizing tool, but I read
mailing lists and newsgroups with a different program (40tude Dialog). In
these days of plenty free email addresses, this is not difficult to set up
at all. So you can use the Outlook-induced top posting for the private
emails, where it more often is not as bad as it is in newsgroups and
mailing lists, and use all the tools a good newsreader provides (like
reformatting citation paragraphs) to context post in newsgroups and mailing
lists.


> Few people are using context posting since it requires more effort on the
> user' part.

I grant you this, but nothing's free... It costs more effort to write
decent content, but that's rarely heard as an argument against decent
content :)

Gerhard

2005\11\25@092916 by David Van Horn

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> Do you really read the quoted text?

Absolutely.



2005\11\25@103527 by Wayne Topa

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Chen Xiao Fan(@spam@xiaofanKILLspamspamsg.pepperl-fuchs.com) is reported to have said:
>
adding missing headers
Wayne Topa wrote:
>> "The same is true of top posting a one line reply to a long post
>> and including the complete thread in the reply.  That should be
>> history!"

> -->
> "The same is true of bottom posting a one line reply to a long post
> and including the complete thread in the reply.  That should be
> history!"

Very true.  I did not mean to imply that a one line bottom post was
correct either.  I see both as a waste of bandwidth.

Wayne
--
Don't hit the keys so hard, it hurts.
_______________________________________________________

2005\11\25@105305 by Danny Sauer

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face
Gerhard wrote regarding 'Re: [EE] Top-posting, is it really that bad?' on Fri, Nov 25 at 07:24:
> You can configure Outlook to prefix every line of a message you are
> replying to with e.g. ">". (Tools | Options | Preferences | E-mail Options
> ... | On replies and forwards.) This makes context posting quite possible,
> even with Outlook. We need to take into account that while nowadays most

It's worth noting for those who spell check that this breaks spell
checking (in Outlook).  The checker somehow is unable to figure out
what you typed v/s what you replied to, and checks even the quoted
text.  I find that exceedingly irritating, as many people I reply to
don't spell well. :)  It's also irritating because almost every other
mail program doesn't have a problem with that...

--Danny

2005\11\25@170025 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
David Van Horn wrote:

>> Do you really read the quoted text?
>
> Absolutely.

And get (at least a bit) annoyed when it's obviously quoted thoughtlessly
without trimming :)

Gerhard

2005\11\25@170914 by olin piclist

face picon face
Danny Sauer wrote:
> IMHO, of course. :)  I'm partial to interlinear replies and/or trimmed
> bottom-posting replies because they only include as much context as is
> relevant, and all of the important text in a message is presented in
> an order which is most easily read.

I completely agree.  Even top posters don't have any exuse for not trimming
the irrelevant parts of the replied-to message.  That's just plain common
sense.  Not doing that is just plain lazy.

I would love to see the list server reject messages that end with one of the
footers the list server automatically adds.  Since those should always be
trimmed, it would be a great way to detect completely untrimmed posts.  At
least that would be a start.  I imagine that if people were forced to trim
the list server footers, they would probably also trim other stuff at the
bottom that isn't relevant.  At least it would be better than nothing.

However the list server most likely has no such option.  I wonder if James
would use it if it did?


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\11\25@171145 by olin piclist

face picon face
Chen Xiao Fan wrote:
> Outlook and outlook express are decent email clients. They are
> also the de-facto standard in the corporate world. So people
> will still top-post when they use Outlook or Outlook Express.

Nonsense.  I use Outlook Express and it's very easy to in-line post and
trim.  This must be an issue of settings.  I'd be happy to tell you all my
settings if you're willing to in-line post if it becomes easy for you.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\11\25@215435 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
> Subject: [EE] Top-posting, is it really that bad?

Who cares? I really want to know the answer to important questions:

1. Which is better: C or assembly?

2. What chip should a PIC newbie start with?

3. Should Olin be on the PICList?

4. Should I jack off with my left or right hand?


Please don't answer any of those questions including the original posters
question about top posting.

We don't allow religious discussion on this list.

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
KILLspamjamesnewtonKILLspamspampiclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com


2005\11\26@055509 by Vic Fraenckel

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face
James Newton wrote:
>We don't allow religious discussion on this list.

Obviously YOU do.

Vic
________________________________________________________

Victor Fraenckel - The Windman         victorf ATSIGN windreader DOT com
KC2GUI

2005\11\27@102632 by Carey Fisher - NCS

face picon face
Aaarrrggghhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This way lies insanity!

Most people can remember what a thread
is about from it's Subject and don't need
ANY "context".  (Complex technical issues
and University of Georgia (USA) graduates
excepted.)

By the way, as you can see,
I've put returns after a very short
number of words so the whiners
won't whine about my lines
being too long.

Fondest Regards,
George P. Burdell


2005\11\27@110254 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Most people can remember what a thread
> is about from it's Subject and don't need
> ANY "context".

I guess I am not 'most people'.

>  (Complex technical issues (snip) excepted.)

and what are we supposed to discuss about, the trivialities of life?

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\11\27@123946 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Carey wrote regarding 'RE: [EE] Top-posting, is it really that bad?' on Sun, Nov 27 at 09:29:
[...]
> Most people can remember what a thread
> is about from it's Subject and don't need
> ANY "context".
[...]

What does that have to do with 6-engined jet planes?  Or were you
talking about wireless transmitting?  I forget... Oh, now I remember,
this thread was talking about whether Windows or Linux is less
expensive. :)

--Danny

2005\11\27@141705 by Carey Fisher - NCS

face picon face
Maxwell Edison said, in awe of the religious war over top vs. bottom posting:

> > Most people can remember what a thread
> > is about from it's Subject and don't need
> > ANY "context".

And then Wouter van Ooijen replied to Max with:

> I guess I am not 'most people'.

and Max further replied to Wouter (with his tongue firmly
planted in his {own} cheek):

Yes, you are "special" to all of us.

Max also said (in the same original post):    <how to properly identify Max's original post?>

> >  (Complex technical issues (snip) excepted.)

to which Wouter replied:

> and what are we supposed to discuss about, the trivialities of life?

To this reply, Max delivered the coup de gras:

What do you call "top vs. bottom posting" if
not a "triviality"?

And with that Max declares himself out of action for the
remainder of the religious war and sits down to polish his silver hammer.

Good Day Gentlemen and Ladies,
Max


2005\11\27@185351 by William Chops Westfield
face picon face
On Nov 27, 2005, at 7:26 AM, Carey Fisher - NCS wrote:

> This way lies insanity!
>
heh.  I gotta agree that by the time my work-related emails get
quotes 9 or 10 deep, it makes very little different whether the
middle quotes were top or bottom or context quoted...  Hopefully
by that time SOMEONE has deleted the 400k of "show tech-support"
output!

BillW

2005\11\27@193545 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
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<Testing context posting with outlook 2000>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu [spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesspamBeGonespammit.edu]
> Sent: Friday, November 25, 2005 9:18 PM
> To: TakeThisOuTpiclistEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu
> Subject: Re: [EE] Top-posting, is it really that bad?
>
This is what I get when I hit reply. This RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu
makes it difficult to know that Gerhard Fiedler wrote the
following. This is a bit strange.

{Quote hidden}

I am doing this and you see Outlook messes up the lines.
It messes up the spelling check as well but that is a
secondary issue.

{Quote hidden}

I agree with you and my testing of Outlook 2k with context posting
ended. ;-) Yes the setting makes it possible to do context
posting. But which one you prefer? Messed-up lines or top-posting?
;-) I know the answer: give up Outlook 2k for PIClist.

I noticed another thing, this setting does not mess up my normal
work related email when they are in RTF format (the default).
It still default to normal setup (no '>' before reply or forward).
Only when the format is plain text, it starts to give problems.

So Outlook 2k is really for group email especially when it is
coupled with exchange server. Outlook Express is much better
a email client to use with mailing list.

Regards,
Xiaofan

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