Top vs Bottom posting

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Can someone explain why "bottom posting" is considered better than "top posting"...
I far prefer posts at the top, simply because the new information can be read easily and then, if it looks interesting, I can scroll through the history if I haven't been following the thread. If people post at the bottom I frequently don't bother scrolling down to read it. Posting at the bottom would be OK if people didn't insist on quoting all that's gone before.
Also, why do some people get so worked up about it? Does it cause problems with some news readers? - it seems OK with Outlook Express and that's freely available. (retires to fall-out shelter.....)
-- Dave S (The email account is a dummy for anti-spam purposes, please reply via the newsgroup) _________________
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Dave wrote:

A. Top posters Q. What's the most annoying thing on Usenet?
A: Because it upsets the logical flow of the thread. Q: Why is top posting a bad idea?
hth
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Ben Blaney
GSF1200 VFR800 CBR600 CD200
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On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 16:33:10 +0100, Dave wrote:

Part of the draft FAQ for uk.net.beginners.
When you make a post to a newsgroup, it might be read by as many as 50 or 100 other people who subscribe to that newsgroup. It might be read within a few minutes, it might be read several days later. Any one of those individuals might want to make a comment about your post, so the thread can branch off in several directions. *A thread is not a sequential conversation*. That requires a certain degree of good manners and consideration towards other people.
What do you mean, good manners and consideration?
Remember that not everyone will have followed a thread from it's beginning. Someone may drop in on a thread when it's part way through. They won't have a clue about what has been said earlier, they will only see the particular message that they've chosen to read. That requires some rules for how you post messages.
What are those rules?
When you make a post in response to someone else's post, you may only be commenting about one or two details in that earlier post. It's good manners to snip out all the irrelevant stuff, without altering the sense of the original poster's (OP) comments. When you do that you usually show it by inserting <snip> where you have deleted their comments. You then add your comments underneath the OP's comments. Generally, this is called snipping, interleaving and bottom posting.
Who enforces those rules?
No one! They're a convention, primarily so that whoever reads your post sees the context in which they're written.
I see messages where someone has posted comments at the top, not the bottom. This seems quicker and easier, and my newsreader seems to place the curser at the top anyway. Why shouldn't I top post?
Remember that proper newsgroup posting is a consideration for others, to help subsequent readers of your post read your comments in their proper context. If you post your comments at the top and away from the previous poster's comments, then any subsequent reader will have to scroll through the whole post to try and make sense of yours and the previous poster's comments. It isn't so much about what is easiest for you, it's much more about what are good manners towards others.
What happens if I decide to carry on top posting?
Nothing, no one will come after you with a big stick, although you may get quite a lot of experienced poster making some very rude - flame - comments to you. Many experienced posters choose to totally ignore top posters, so your words of wisdom may never get read anyway. *The choice is yours.*
What about if I forget now and then?
We can all make occasional mistakes, you won't be heavily criticised for that, but as time goes on, you will find that proper posting style becomes second nature.
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In uk.d-i-y, Wanderer wrote:

Before you start typing, you should delete irrelevant parts of the quoted material. For that purpose it's more convenient to have the cursor at the top than the bottom.
--
Mike Barnes

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On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 16:36:50 +0100, Christian McArdle wrote:

It's a pity you didn't practice what you were preaching. Oh, and I don't subscribe to irony......
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I think it shows the point quite well......
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On Mon, 01 Sep 2003 16:50:13 +0000, Mike Hibbert wrote:

That and the other classic:
A: Top posters Q: What's the most annoying thing on usenet?
Andy
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BTW, this is not allowed either. You should only quote as much as is needed for context. You shouldn't quote the entirety of a previous post (unless it is a couple of lines) and then add a small bit at the bottom.
Feel free to berate both top posters AND those unable to snip. Both are equally bad habits.
Christian.
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Christian McArdle wrote:

OTOH, do as everyone else does, and do whatever suits your purpose and the style.
I personally will snip, not snip, top post, bottom post, respond line ny line, or as a summary, depending on the context and what if anything I am trying to achieve.
And since I was on Usenet long before we even had Internet, and helped to build said internet to carry it, I personally think that all these moribund petty tyrants and net nannies can stuff some rapid set concrete up their rectal passages.

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Dave wrote:

Now you've gone and done it...Hope you're proud of the monster thread you've spawned.
It's not about top v. bottom, it's about top v. *context* posting.

But how, then, does one reply to several different points in a post while still making sense?

Your loss/problem.

And people shouldn't quote all that's gone before - unless there's no other way of putting their point across.

Bottom posting is lazy, selfish, makes the thread impossible to follow, and from an archival point of view (do you use groups.google.com?) is extremely destructive.

Well then you just keep using OE and top posting.
Some light reading:
http://www.allmyfaqs.com/faq.pl?How_to_post http://www.netmeister.org/news/learn2quote2.html http://www.caliburn.nl/topposting.html http://www.dickalba.demon.co.uk/usenet/guide/faq_topp.html
--
Grunff


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wrote:

Don't get him started - he's a one finger typist, only I understand it might not be his finger..... ;)
PoP
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It depends how much beer I just spilled on the keyboard
--
geoff

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I''m with you. I like top posters as it makes it faster to read and therefore more likely to comment on the return posting.
THis is becuase of Outlook Express showing a tree of messages such that you can read the original easily. Other newsreaders are not set up the same, which means [dive for cover] that OE has something better in it than other newsreaders.
It depends on whether the post is a conversation or a questions also..... nobody ever seems to comment that top posting works well for one, and bottom posting for the other.
A

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Arg wrote:

Netscape does this just fine thanks. Although I've tried a lot of other popular newsreaders which don't appear to do it properly... I don't know about OE or Outlook, neither have permission to run on this system, that little program permissions tool is quite handy :-)
Lee
--
To reply use lee.blaver and NTL world com


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On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 16:53:57 +0100, "Arg"

... except, of course, that this not only makes it impossible to follow a series of responses and to place responses in the context of previous comments, it also disregards the various standards and conventions that apply to Usenet.

[dive for cover] indeed ... you don't seem to know much about other newsreaders (Agent, which I'm using now, allows for thread-based display, as well as other options).

As an earlier response, the issue is not top- vs bottom- posting, its top- vs. contextual posting. Try responding to each of the points I've made here using your top-posted preference, and see how readable/understandable the results are.
Julian
--
Julian Fowler
julian (at) bellevue-barn (dot) org (dot) uk
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Top posting is OK between consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes.
Of course, if you say something, she replies, you reply etc, you already know what's gone before
--
geoff

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Not if you were the one that was left out while the others bitch about you and then some tube goes and sends it 2 you later... Life flashes before your eyes when you realise you've done that. I haven't, but my pal did TWICE. Not that any of the guys on uk.d-i-y would ever moan about anyone else....
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I am going to resist asking how you know this! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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"Arg" wrote | "Dave" wrote | > Can someone explain why "bottom posting" is considered better | > than "top posting"... | I''m with you. I like top posters as it makes it faster to read and | therefore more likely to comment on the return posting. | THis is becuase of Outlook Express showing a tree of messages such | that you can read the original easily.
But that doesn't always happen - I use OE and the original is often not directly above the reply. In fact it may have got expired off my system or the ISP newsserver or may even not have been received by my or the ISP because of imperfect propagation. The original may not be visible on Googlegroups or other archives if it's been X-No-Archive'd. Dealing with over 500 new postings a day means I might not even remember reading the original.
My OE displays about the first 20-24 lines of a posting without scrolling. I expect to be able to get the gist of a posting, including preceding discussion, within the first 20 lines. Anything more shows the writer isn't quoting properly.
Interleaving quote / response, quote / response makes terse responses to quoted text possible without duplication whilst maintaining comprehension.
And I find I can read messages very quickly on OE with one hand on the arrow key to move between unread postings and another hand on the wheelmouse to scroll within a posting. Having the attributions / references at the very top also makes it quick to pick out responses to my own postings.
Owain
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On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 16:53:57 +0100, "Arg"

I think mingle posting like I normally use is about as good as it gets in the readability stakes.
Sadly you didn't leave anything below that last comment of yours for me to mingle post this time, so you'll just have to use your imagination as to how it might have looked! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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