[BangPypers] [OT] Guido's Tweet on Top Posting

Kenneth Gonsalves lawgon at au-kbc.org
Sat Sep 12 01:13:45 CEST 2009

On Friday 11 Sep 2009 3:09:27 pm Dhananjay Nene wrote:
> > this is interesting. I never knew there were any arguments for top
> > posting -
> > apart from the default 'it is the easiest way of doing things'. Could you
> > point out these arguments?
> Mails get used to communicate very diverse levels of detail. For a thread
> of short bursts (typically useful for managing tasks) - top posting is
> convenient since in most cases, most people are already conversant with the
> context and can reader the sender's thought immediately without moving
> their eyes down any further or moving the mouse scroll button any more than
> the bare minimum. For non-in-depth arguments (basically quick and rapid
> communication) imo bottom posting just sucks while interleaved posting is
> simply quite unnecessary. While bottom/interleaved posting has sound
> arguments, I think top posting also has some very good arguments for it as
> well. Just that I haven't seen a convincing argument for any one of them.

I have already pointed out that top posting is objectionable in discussion 
mailing lists. In these lists we tend to have long and leisurely discussions 
and there is nothing mission critical about it. In a list like this I can 
choose to refuse to reply to top posts - I can also filter out chronic top 
posters' posts to my spam folder. The world will not collapse. However I would 
not dream of doing this on the inpycon mailing list - there I do not care how 
a person posts, because that is an action list. A newbie asks a silly question 
in a hijacked thread with a top post - I reply politely giving him the 
instructions he needs. Same thing on django users - I ask a question, I get a 
top posted reply - I would be a fool to refuse to read the reply because it is 
top posted. Or offlist an employee asks a question - probably the reply would be 
one word. And anyway, outside mailing lists where mail is not archived, top 
post is the way to go (as I have already mentioned).

Kenneth Gonsalves

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