Here we go again.
There is top-posting, which is, in general, a good thing, and is preferred by most email users,
including the technically inclined, like myself. Its primary advantage is that it is a great
courtesy to the readers of email threads, who can quickly assess a contribution to the thread for
relevance to them. A secondary advantage for the poster is that it increases the likelihood that
the new material will actually be read, or at least skimmed.
There is in-line posting, which is necessary when you need to reply to specific points in a
previous post. You can put your comments into the immediate context to which they apply. This is
also a good thing, if the circumstances require it.
Then there is bottom-posting. It's a kind of virus that contaminates, primarily, open-source
mailing lists. When a poster is infected he (yes, overwhelmingly, he) is overcome with the urge to
tell people what to do. He is filled with a (completely spurious) sense of righteousness. He is a
rebel, he is liberated, he carries the banner of freedom (free as in speech) against the grinding
capitalist forces of oppression and regimentation. Therefore, you MUST DO AS YOU ARE TOLD. And so
the champions of freedom become tuppenny Trotskys, low-rent Lenins, and we can say a quiet prayer
of thanks that their influence extends no farther than the occasional mailing-list.
How do I know? I've been there. I am now afflicted by a complementary virus. I am equally
righteous and insufferable. I know, I know. But my desire is to see all of this nonsense fade away
into an easy-going environment of live and let live. Bakunin before Lenin, and classical small-l
liberalism before either.
And he said to them, "Do you not yet understand?"
On 23 Feb 2014, at 7:41 am, Tanstaafl <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
On 2014-02-22 4:28 PM, Johnny Rosenberg <email@example.com> wrote:
I'm subscribed to a few groups myself, maybe I confused this one with the
Apache OpenOffice one, but most of them seems to prefer everything but top
posting. Personally I prefer this way, I'm not sure what to call it, but
I'm doing it right now…
It is called bottom or in-line posting, and is preferred by the more technically inclined.
It is primarily Outlook users who prefer blind top-posting (ie, quoting the entire message they
are replying to and adding their comment at the top).
Most people who are rabidly anti bottom/inline posting will go out of their way to complain about
how bad bottom posting is, and will invariably use BLIND bottom posting - quoting the ENTIRE
message ABOVE your comment, which is admittedly way WORSE than blind top-posting - as examples of
why bottom/inline posting is bad. They almost always simply refuse to even acknowledge the
difference between BLIND bottom posting, and inline posting (quoting only the relevant portion,
and putting your responses/comments AFTER the relevant quoted text, which is much cleaner and
easier to read than even top-posting, mainly because you can clearly see the full context).
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