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

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Sat Apr 4 01:45:08 CEST 2015

On Fri, Apr 03, 2015 at 08:02:03AM -0700, Carl Zwanzig wrote:
> On 4/3/2015 4:55 AM, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> >On Thu, Apr 02, 2015 at 08:09:12PM -0700, David Benfell wrote:
> >>The consensus on most technical lists I've seen is very strongly in
> >>favor of bottom posting,
> >Perhaps you mean interleaved or inline posting, as I've done here?
> To the vast majority of people that use the terms at all, "bottom-posting" 
> and "in-line posting" are IME used interchangeably and for the same style.

I would love to see your survey results that show that.

I haven't done any surveys, but in my anecdotal experience, I can tell 
you that the regulars on a number of Python mailing lists are aware of 
the difference. I can probably even find a post from a beginner who 
admitted to deliberately adding his reply to the very end of the quoted 
text, without trimming, because he had been mislead by the term 
"bottom-posting". That's what he'd been told to do: post at the bottom, 
right? He was actually quite relieved to be told he was allowed to 
interleave question and answer.

Apparently there is, or at least was in 2011, a plugin for Apple's 
Mail.app which enabled bottom-posting. The quoted email is inserted in 
its entirety above the user's response.

The Wikipedia article on posting styles distinguishes between the 


although of course interleaved/bottom posting are indistinguishable when 
there is only a single point being replied to.

In any case, regardless of whether it is an overwhelming majority who 
(mis)use the term "bottom-posting" for interleaved replies, or a 
vanishingly small minority, I believe that as we are (I hope) 
technically-minded people who consider precision in language important, 
making that distinction is important and I shall continue to do so.


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