Beating the Top-Posting Dead Horse

Er, no it isn't. You young punks wouldn't know old-school if it bit
you in the diapers! Now get off my lawn! :wink:

Seriously though, REAL old-school quoting is interleaved point by
point, with anything irrelevant trimmed out, because that's concise,
saving on transmission time and storage space, which were expensive in
old-school days. (Many of the old-school email programs wouldn't even
LET you send a message that was more than half quotes, or would at
least give you a stern warning!) This also makes it much clearer
exactly what point in a longish message, each point of yours is
responding to.

Then came AOHell, with its hordes of idiots quoting a long message in
its entirety just to add "ME TOO!!!!!!!!" This got to be known as
AOLing. Some old-schoolers would, as usual, just quote enough of a
message that it was understood what was being replied to, and then add
"/aol" rather than "Me too."

Then came Outhouse, er, I mean, Outlook, with its default of
top-posting. That was what the majority of *new* computer users used,
and eventually became what the majority (or at least a solid
plurality) used, and thus thought of as normal... brought to you by
the same brilliant folks who brought you such wonders as "Windows ME",
"Bob", and the annoying dancing paperclip.

Neither top NOR bottom posting, in the sense of leaving the entire
prior message intact, is sensible. It's just LAZY.


As for top posting, that is an old school habit.

Er, no it isn't. You young punks wouldn't know old-school if it bit
you in the diapers! Now get off my lawn! :wink:

On Nov 4, 2011, at 12:32 PM, Dave Aronson wrote:>> <snip nice rant>


Some people just don't get the idea that the effort they put into
their postings is a direct representation of the effort that they're
exerting in communicating a courteous message; one that demonstrates
they want to help people understand their situation.

I personally don't like top postings and will frequently re-arrange an e-mail if I am going to respond

Yes... that's a good habit, and sometimes people pick up on the
leadership and reply accordingly. I think it's *always* worth replying
with an correctly composed response.

but seriously, there is more bandwidth wasted on this topic than the problem actually creates.

I disagree. If it takes each person who reads a badly composed message
5-10 seconds extra to scroll through to grok it (or a little longer to
look through previous, possibly deleted posts to get context of an
unquoted reply), that doesn't seem like a big problem; and certainly
not one worth spending a minute or two writing a "proper" message in
the first place.
...there may be several thousand people reading the bad message, and
all their time combined has just outweighed by 100 times the couple of
extra minutes of composure.

It's a *big* problem - one which just *seems* insignificant.

Also, it's just plain rude - to think that saving oneself a couple of
minutes is more important that the hours of time just stolen from
people all around the world.

If you don't like the top posting - don't respond.

Well now, you might have notice that there are very few responders on
this list nowadays; many people decide *not* to post, for various
reasons. One of my reasons for junking most messages that appear is
that I certainly don't appreciate assisting people who seem to have no
interest in learning from that assistance, and taking it onboard to
assist others.

There are one or two people left who regularly bang their heads
against the wall of dreadful (in many ways) posts, with patience I
admire enormously from behind my keyboard. When those few finally give
up exasperated, the Rails "community" will be even more arid. Advising
them to "don't respond" is probably not in the best long term interest
of Rails. Maybe, instead, join the chorus of people who ask "please
don't top post" to add weight to this side :slight_smile:

I think he was referring to the extra effort of thousands of people reading rants about top-posting :wink:

gah! the irony :slight_smile:

Hence the change of Subject line.