OT Annoying Habits (Was: when format strings attack)
rschroev_nospam_ml at fastmail.fm
Sat Jan 20 17:05:26 CET 2007
Carroll, Barry schreef:
> Secondly, can someone point me to the Standard Usenet Convention that
> mandates against top-posting. This is not sarcasm; I would really like
> to see it. You see, I recently returned to Usenet after a LONG absence.
> When I was last a regular Usenet citizen the Internet was new, GUI
> interfaces were experimental and the World Wide Web didn't exist yet.
> Newsreader software was text-based. Top-posting was the common
> practice, because it was the most convenient: you didn't have to page
> through an arbitrarily large number of messages, most of which you'd
> already read umpteen times, to get to the new stuff you were interested
I started to use the Internet and Usenet around 1992 or 1993, and at the
time 'Netiquette' was a very common word. Amongst others it recommends
inline replying (as opposed to both top-posting and bottom-posting), in
spirit if not in exact wording.
The Wikipedia article on Netiquette
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netiquette) mentions it with as many words:
"Quoting should be interspersed, with a response that follows the
relevant quoted material. The result should read like a conversation,
with quotes indented to aid in skimming. A common mistake is to put all
new text above the quoted material, without trimming any irrelevant
text. This results in a message that is much harder to follow and is
much less clear in context."
All groups I read at the time used that convention. In my experience it
was only in more recent times that people started to use top-posting,
and then only in newsgroups, forums, etc. that didn't originate in the
original Internet culture.
> So I'd really like to know what the standard is now. I like to know
> which rules I'm choosing to break. ;^)
You could do worse than RFC 1855 (http://www.dtcc.edu/cs/rfc1855.html)
and the above mentioned Wikipedia article. Both cover many other issues
regarding online behavior. There's also
http://wiki.ursine.ca/Top_Posting which just covers quoting practices.
But note that inline replying isn't as wide-spread as I think it ought
to be. Places that don't have roots in Internet or Unix culture are much
more likely to accept and even encourage top-posting.
If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood
on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton
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