[Mailman-Users] I'd prefer clients had collapsing features, not top-post; do away with mailing list digests

J.B. Nicholson-Owens jbn at forestfield.org
Thu Apr 2 19:45:49 CEST 2015

Richard Damon <Richard at Damon-Family.org> wrote:
> Another reason that I have been told by some people that they want
> people to top post is that their client will show in the message list a
> summary of the first line of the message, and they want that to be the
> new content to see if it is worth reading,

Tanstaafl replied:
> And that is actually one of the few reasonable reasons that I've ever
> seen supporting the argument...

I somewhat concur; I understand the desire for the feature, and I think 
this is the first time I've seen a reasonable reason for it as well. I 
think it's a nice feature to have, generally. But I don't think this 
justifies top-posting because I'd prefer clients to collapse quoted 
material, attribution, and then show the first line (or few lines) of 
the message. I still prefer the logical point-counterpoint of an edited 
response I can read from the top down.

I also think we should stop offering mailing list digests, particularly 
because I don't see a need for them now that bandwidth to most Internet 
users is plentiful (plentiful enough to see widespread use of HTML 
email, for instance) and so many users pick gratis email hosting that 
imposes no quota on them (to maximize effectiveness of spying on 
users?). I'd be willing to reconsider my opinion on digests if there 
were some compelling reason(s) to continue digests. So far all I see in 
digests are the bad points: digests break threading, replies to digests 
contain far more quoted material than original material, and top posting 
makes digests even harder for me to figure out what is being replied to.

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