[OT] Top posting is a PITA

Andrew Bennetts andrew-pythonlist at puzzling.org
Wed Mar 31 14:49:34 CEST 2004

On Wed, Mar 31, 2004 at 12:30:23PM +0200, Didier Morandi wrote:
> Max M wrote:
> >That is not quite right. Using top posting forces every reader to 
> >unlearn a lifetime of knowledge about narrative flow in content.
> (ages since I jumped into a troll... :-)
> What against-top-posting people do not WANT to understand is that the very 
> first interest of posting is, to me, to get help or information.

My mail reader (I'm using the mailing-list gateway for comp.lang.python, but
this applies equally well to usenet readers) highlights quoted and
non-quoted text in different colours (in case the ">" aren't distinctive
enough already for you!).  I find my eye jumps directly to the fresh text
just fine, *and* when people snip text and bottom-post, I still get a
coherent, sensible, intuitively-ordered view of the conversation (not to
mention a seperate pane showing this messages position in the overall

It's the best of both worlds, but it's ruined by top-posters.

> So, you post your question and, by definition, you remember what it was 
> (well, I hope so).
> Then, you go back to the ng the day after and if you got an answer, you are 
> interested in the answer, not to reread your post.

One of the great features of newsgroups (and mailing-lists) is their ability
to support multiple concurrent conversations -- and that's just within a
single group/list.  I subscribe to a lot of mailing lists.  It's nice to
have a contextual reminder of what the thing you're reading right now was
related to.

You are also presupposing a very limited question-answer format for usenet,
which is certainly not the only form of communication I see here.

> I do not read answers to questions I did not post, so I don't care about 
> "unlearn a lifetime of knowledge about narrative flow in content".
> Period.

Then why are you reading this thread? ;)


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