Top-quoting defined [was: namespace dictionaries ok?]

Mike Meyer mwm at
Tue Oct 25 23:27:55 CEST 2005

> On Tuesday 25 October 2005 00:31, Duncan Booth wrote:
>> P.S. James, *please* could you avoid top-quoting
> James Stroud <jstroud at> writes:
> I'm sorry if I can't find a dumb terminal for a "VAX" with which to read my 
> email. Perhaps, if i could, I would understand your frustration a little 
> better.

You don't need a VAX. All it takes is trying to dethread a top-posted
conversation. I've given up in frustration on more than one such

> The only reason I'm making a point of this is that many people come to python> from fields other than computer science or hacker-ology. Posting styles will 
> vary considerably among these people, so deal with the deviants carefully. 

I belive Duncan did so. He asked you to "please* avoid to

> Their differences in styles, like mine, probably arise from the culture of 
> their respective fields. Most, like me, may not even know what the heck you 
> are talking about. Also, here is a well written synopsis of the arguments in 
> favor of top-posting and they may even be strong enough to legitimize the 
> practice:

Well, if I could find a 300 baud modem, I might understand his
objection to not top-posting (he really only has one). His comments
about why people shouldn't complain about top-posting are full of
suggestions that don't generally work on netnews and mail, though they
may be valid elsewhere, and his suggestion about when to top-post
leaves out the *very important* criteria that you don't expect to read
any replies to your comment, and don't care if you make life difficult
for those who have different expectations.

He's right about inadequately-trimmed repklies, though. Not being on a
300 baud modem, I don't think they're as annoying as top-posting, but
they are certainly something that we can do without.

> In light of these arguments, I hereby reserve the right to revert to 
> top-posting if the compulsion overwhelms me.

That's your right. Be aware that people will ignore, correct and/or
complain about you doing so.

Mike Meyer <mwm at>
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.

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