[Mailman-Users] The "right" way to reply to a mailing list
jbn at forestfield.org
Sat Mar 21 04:39:47 CET 2015
Barry Warsaw wrote:
> I've always found it proper and useful to include the quoted material
> of the original message, but trim the quotes to just the bit you are
> responding to. I'd call this interleaved-with-trimming.
> Top posting has always been a serious breach of netiquette.
I concur and I still consider this to be true on the grounds of
legibility. I find it far more clear to read point followed by rebuttal
instead of reading rebuttals followed by having to figure out which
points were being rebutted.
I think users who prefer top-posting are mostly giving into their MUA's
defaults. I don't think most users face MUA inability to edit quoted
material. I find the users are also unwilling to put more time into
editing, so they don't and now so many don't it is expected that
Microsoft Outlook users (for example) will top-post.
Every modern (typically GUI) MUA I know of has a search feature, so I
don't buy the notion that it's hard to sift through old emails. I do
understand that it's hard to read poorly-reformatted quotes of old
emails (a problem I see with top-posting replies) and I wouldn't trust
quotes without going back to my copy of that email or a mailing list
archive (if I don't have a copy of that post) to verify the quote.
I think modern MUAs in widespread use (with the exception of Thunderbird
and its derivatives) don't do proper threading. Therefore many email
users don't know what threading is from experience. Maybe some MUA will
do threading and become popular and users will think threading is a new
I also think it's right and proper to expect to pick up replies to
mailing list posts on the list by default. I don't like having to
include a header that tries to convey this desire to MUAs and I don't
want another copy of any response sent to me in addition to a copy on
the list. Unfortunately I don't know how to get Thunderbird to include
the header on every mailing list reply without me having to tell it
which addresses are mailing lists. I have a way I'd prefer Thunderbird
to handle this but that would be off-topic for this discussion and
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