In <email@example.com>, Christofer C. Bell wrote: >What is the most annoying thing in e-mail? > >> What is the most annoying thing in e-mail? >Top-posting. > >>> What is the most annoying thing in e-mail? >> Top-posting. >Why is top-posting such a bad thing? > >>>> What is the most annoying thing in e-mail? >>> Top-posting. >> Why is top-posting such a bad thing? >Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text. > >This sort of display is annoying. Thank goodness my threaded mail reader never shows 4 messages at once. (Alright, alright, it *can* but it doesn't do so for me.) That sort of display is completely unheard of. >You've already seen what it looks like >when top-posted in a modern mail reader (ie; it follows the order in which >people normally read text). No, it doesn't. The individual messages are hard to read because they are backwards. The individual message is what matters because the reader either has the whole message or none of it. However, losing a few messages from the middle of a thread (or not getting them before their replies) is not unheard of, even now. I find that this actually happens to me more often now, because my SPAM filters will be overzealous and shuffle one or two posters' messages to my "Possible SPAM" folder, which I don't check until after I've read the rest of the my mail. When everyone has included relevant context (and not too much of it) the discussion is still easy to follow. >The most common arguments for bottom-posting are based on the mail reader >people are using, "but without context in my non-threaded, written in 1980 >mail reader, I can't tell what the post is about." No, they are based on the fact that email is not a guaranteed delivery service and endpoint or intermediate servers may delay a message for days.  Because of this, context needs to be provided and ordered so that each message stands alone as much as possible. >So obviously, what >people are using to read their mail is germane to the discussion. In a >modern mail reader, top-posted messages are what flow more naturally. The thread as a whole may flow slightly more naturally, but even that is arguable. However, even in a threaded mail reader, I still jump into the middle of threads all the time. I'll read the first half before work, another part in the afternoon, and the final messages over the weekend, for example. It helps for each message to contain relevant content so I don't have to go back and read the whole thread each time. Since I follow 20+ mailing lists, plus my personal and work mail, re-reading messages is not something I do much. Also, for discussions that are archived on the web, it helps for messages to have the proper amount of context because search engines and all the other methods for finding the page you need can often provide a link into the middle or end of a discussion. -- Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. ,= ,-_-. =. firstname.lastname@example.org ((_/)o o(\_)) ICQ: 514984 YM/AIM: DaTwinkDaddy `-'(. .)`-' http://iguanasuicide.net/ \_/  Intermediate servers are rare these days. A delay over a few minutes is also not seen much either, but I've seen it this year, so it's not like it never happens.
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