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MathGroup Archive 2005

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Re: Re: Re: 2.9.2 How Input and Output Work


On 5 Nov 2005, at 15:52, Steven T. Hatton wrote:

>   But, as it happens, there
> was particular software vendor who controlled the overwhelming  
> majority of
> the market, and whose software developers were incapable of placing  
> the
> edit point after the body of the message being replied to.  The users,
> believing that such things were done for good reason, accepted the
> substandard convention, and thus we have people who top-post.

I don't think this is is a good place to restart this hoary debate  
that never leads anywhere, but as I occasionally do "top post" I  
would like to state categorically that I see good reasons for doing  
so and have not been induced to it by any software particularly form  
the above mentioned vendor whose software I never use.

The sensible reason for top posting is this. When I am engaged in a  
discussion on a mailing list I generally remember what I or others  
had written earlier and do need or want to scroll each time to reach  
the latest contribution to the discussion. Of course one may deal  
with this problem by not quoting at all, but on a mailing list it  
sometimes happens that new participants join a discussion even when  
they had not kept earlier messages (for me the MathGroup is a mailing  
list, not a news group). So as a matter of courtesy to such readers I  
usually leave text quoted from past discussions at the bottom (unless  
I feel that no new discussants are likely to join, in which case I  
usually do not quote or only quote immediately relevant passages).  I  
also think that people who join a discussion late should accept that  
they have "lower priority" and accept the slight inconvenience of  
having to read the history of the discussion in reverse order.  
Normally they would not have to do so more than once.

I am not saying that this argument for top posting is absolutely  
decisive but it seems to me not significantly weaker then the  
argument based on "naturalness". Unless you have very poor memory you  
would not need read anything from bottom to top more than once in a  
thread, while scrolling has to be done every time and in long threads  
can become seriously irritating.

Andrzej Kozlowski


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