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Re: Top posting


Okay, since we're talking about etiquette: You're not supposed to send
mails on a public mailing list to people directly (only send to the
person and the mailinglist if they specifically request a CC).
Sometimes the thread goes offtopic and it becomes a personal
discussion but this is not one of those cases. On to your message.

On 6/10/05, Paul Johnson <baloo@ursine.ca> wrote:
> On Thursday June 9 2005 3:06 pm, Wim De Smet wrote:
> > For example, you sent your boss a mail 2 weeks ago about feature x
> > you want to implement and he sends you a reply now saying 'go
> > ahead'.
> Smart users would change the subject at that point and continue the
> thread.
> Subject: RE: New feature in Big Project
> ...becomes...
> Subject: Go Ahead on New Feature in Big Project
> ...or...
> Subject: Go ahead RE: New feature in Big Project
> and a slightly more verbose expansion on that go ahead in the
> traditional location.

I don't see how this is in anyway usefull. I'll have to read the
message to get possible specifics anyway, and the boss's broken email
software might not pick up on the fact that it is in the same thread
when I send a reply. (maybe not such a valid point) I do agree with
you that the body of the message should allways reiterate what is set
in the subject. That is simply good writing form.

> > Those really are two different use cases, but on a mailinglist it
> > is handy if everybody has the same style of posting (top or
> > bottom). Also, many newbies on a mailinglist are not very good with
> > email.
> Again, what's with this "newbies aren't expected to do it right and
> aren't allowed to learn" attitude?  Newbies are ignorant, not stupid.
> They can learn.

You cut in the wrong place. So basically I went off on a tangent here,
it wasn't really related to the former sentence except in the sense
that you should try to establish some sort of mailing list policy and
don't be so surprised if newbies get it wrong. If you tell them
_politely_ what is the accepted practice on this or that mailing list,
they'll probably follow you. I realize that wasn't exactly clear, but
I never meant to say you shouldn't try to tell people what is the
preferred practice.

> > It's one of my pet peeves: when people write a mail in real
> > life, they do all they can they follow a set standard of writing
> > mail. But when they go online, they seem to go crazy. Perhaps less
> > so on this list (where some people seem to forget the role of
> > punctuation), but in places where HTML mails are allowed, it's
> > really bad. I hope this is one of the things modern education puts
> > an end to. Instead of teaching 12 year olds how they 'use' MS Word,
> > they could teach em something usefull for a change.
> My school district made rfc1855 mandatory if you wanted to use network
> resources.

And I left this in for completeness since nobody on the mailing list
got a chance to read your reply yet. Next time please reply to the

By the way, you might want to tone it down a little bit. The agressive
language is getting on my nerves a little bit, and I'm sure I'm not
the only one. This is also a part of email etiquette. Top and bottom
posting is not a settled argument, people have been going back and
forward on it for ages and there is still no end in sight. Sure there
are a couple of ways to reply to a message that are ostensibly bad,
given an example, but this is not allways the case. In many cases,
both ways of replying can be acceptable, which was my original point.


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