Top Posting, was Re: ASR33 $1000+ And Counting...

From: Doc Shipley <>
Date: Fri Feb 25 14:03:47 2005

Marvin Johnston wrote:

> The *only* reason for inline or bottom posting IMNSHO is to refresh
> readers memory about what has been said in the past, and to keep things
> in context if there could be doubt. At what point does it become
> arrogant/lazy/??? to not trim replies, change the subject header, etc.?
> I believe the arguments so far in favor of inline and bottom posting
> have been along the lines of "well, we've always done it that way"
> rather than looking *objectively* at the reasons each type of posting is
> done. I am still looking for *reasons* to inline post and bottom post to
> the *exclusion* of top posting; feel free to provide some reasons :).
> Again IMNSHO, each type of posting has its place.

   OK, here are my "good reasons" for inline posting. Asfar as I'm
concerned, strict bottom posting is ultimately just as unwieldy as top
posting, for the same reasons.

   When there are several relevant contributions to the same multipoint
discussion, especially if they're contradictory, inline response is the
only way to keep attribution coherent, and it's also the only easy way
to make clear which point I'm answering.

   We do a lot of technical discussions, with a lot of subsequent input
to any one datapoint. Usually, a day into a good technical thread,
there are actually several issues or ideas under discussion. Putting
all your input in one place, top or bottom, makes it near impossible for
responses to your post to retain attribution**. It can also make it
very difficult for the reader to know which part of the quoted material
you refer to.

   Think of inline response as refinements to a document outline. At a
certain point in the discussion:

>>> is equivalent to I, II, etc.

>> equals A, B, C

> corresponds to 1, 2, 3

   And my new response corresponds to a, b, c

   The only difference between inline posting and outline refinement is
that in posting, the indent progression is necessarily reversed.

   This makes perfect sense to me. It may well be gobbledygook to
everyone else.


** Especially important on an archived technical forum
Received on Fri Feb 25 2005 - 14:03:47 GMT

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