off-topic, was: Re: [linux-dvb] How to convert DVB video to DVD?

Darren Salt linux at
Tue Nov 22 19:12:03 CET 2005

I demand that Q may or may not have written...

> "Q: Why is top posting bad?"

> It seems fine to me. After all isn't it logical to simply reply after the
> last person to have posted. Aren't the last comments that were made
> 'history' by the time you post your own reply?

> That is the way it works on forums

Is it? I see quite a few in which it's oldest first - and that makes more
sense to me: as one who may encounter forums from time to time but doesn't
generally participate, having the content in that order makes it easier to
read through. Imagine some large items in there: no scrolling up to find the
start of the next-oldest item...

Add in a specific follow-up-to (i.e. threading) and you want indentation in
there too. Do that newest at the top and it looks silly :-)

> - it is the way it works when you real many mailing list archives (even if
> this one appears to have it's

Ahem. "Its".

> own particular customs)

That's not my experience. Quoted text is normally interspersed with new text
(and anybody who does otherwise gets complained at). Note how my comments
here have nearby context.

> - it is the way it works when I send an email to anyone else.

Not here. For a start, the quoted text is properly indented. In your message,
this isn't the case; and were I to miss OE's "original text" header, I could
easily mistake the quoted text for new text (and this does occasionally

Also, some mail/news software marks quoted text by colouring it, and the
primary rule for recognising quoted text is that each quoted line begins with
">". OE's "original text" line isn't enough because even *with* this, I've
seen properly-indented text following it - and there's no guarantee that the
marker is always going to be in one language (or that the list of
translations won't grow).

> You make a statement, someone replies, then you in turn reply to it.

Of course.

> You don't make a statement, get a reply, repost the entire contents of that
> reply above your next reply - and then send this instead.

That tends to be complained at too (again, potential for excessive searching,
but differently so).

> and even in English grammar, you don't always respond by requoting
> everything a commentator says before making your own comment.

Er, yes. :-)

> Anyway as I said, it seems (and probably is) a pretty random preference.

> An example of this is that a previous poster posted approximately 10 lines
> of interesting things to say before I had anything relevant to say in
> return.

> It looked plumb weird and inefficient making everyone read through 10 lines
> of comments that they had already read in his original post before being
> able to read my reply. (Given that all 10 lines were relevant to the single
> reply I gave).

In that case, fine; quote all ten lines as context.

> "Top posting" (which I would suggest is nothing more than a figment of your
> imagination) can often be just as useful as 'bottom posting.

Both are *generally* less useful than inline posting.

> Anyway I will be unsubribing shortly, so you can continue this 'debate'
> among yourselves.

Whoops. I seem to have sent this directly... :->

[snip improperly-indented quoted text]
| Darren Salt | nr. Ashington, | d youmustbejoking,demon,co,uk
| Debian,     | Northumberland | s zap,tartarus,org
| RISC OS     | Toon Army      | @
|   We've got Souness, we don't want him

A tidy desk is a sign of a sick mind.

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