[Python-ideas] Meta: Email netiquette

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Sat Jun 13 03:53:23 CEST 2015

Andrew Barnert via Python-ideas writes:

 > But really, in non-trivial cases, you usually want your reply
 > interleaved with parts of the original; just jumping to the very
 > end of the message (past the signature and list footer) and
 > replying to the whole thing in bulk isn't much better than
 > top-posting.

Wrong. :-)  *Bottom*-posting is *much* worse.

For better or worse, top-posting is here to stay.  It doesn't work
very well in forums like this one, but it's not too bad if you do it
the way Guido does (which of course is one of the reasons we can't get
rid of it<wink/>).  The basic rules:

1.  Don't top-post, and you're done.  If you "must" top-post, then

2.  Only top-post short comments that make sense with minimal context
    (typically the subject should be enough context).  If it's not
    going to be short, don't top-post (no exceptions -- if you've got
    time and the equipment to write a long post, you also are not
    inconvenienced by using the interlinear style).  If it requires
    specific context presented accurately, don't top-post (no
    exceptions, as your top post will certainly be misunderstood and
    generate long threads of explaining what you thought didn't need
    explanation, wasting copious amounts of everybody's time and
    attention, and probably burying your contribution in the process).

3.  Indicate in your text that you top-posted -- preferably with a
    sincere apology.  If you're so self-centered that sincerity is
    impossible, an insincere apology is recommended (otherwise you'll
    probably end up in a few killfiles for being Beavis's friend).

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