Because it is much easier to follow the flow of the conversation. This
may not matter if you reply to a single author post, but if you top post
a reply to a layered post with multiple authors I have to scroll down to
the bottom to find out what you might be responding to. Your comment
will be out of sync in the conversation.
And you have thus hit upon another frequent bugbear, an inability to
trim that which is not relevant. My server insists I do this and will
not post messages that do not contain sufficient new content. As for not
being bothered, I not infrequently refrain from giving advise to
gratuitous top posters when they ask for it and I am in a position to
give it. Much like I might ignore someone in the street if they were
rude to me.
It simply makes it hard to follow the conversation since it is not in a
School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland
I'll let others do that - my preference is to mix as follows.
I prefer for messages to be chopped into logical sections (as I am
doing here), with responses to each section immediately following the
query or issue. I find it much easier to follow than a long message
with a long reply (top or bottom).
The other "advantage" is that whole sections of redundant information
can be deleted from the reply.
It's personal preference stuff, mostly. Some people prefer net
curtains, others hate them. Same with blinds and so on.
If a message is particularly long then it can take a while to download
for people using a modem.
No need. You'll never get a consensus on posting preferences. We each
like our own particular style, and everyone else's is considered bad.
Please search on google -- it isn't on-topic here. However, top
and bottom posting are equally wrong. You quote each point in the
posting you are following up, and place your response after that
quoted text. You cut as much as you can from the from the posting
you are following up -- you only include just enough so readers
know which point you are following up. This is just such an
People get worked up about all sorts of things. I actually use
top-posting as a good indicator of how naive the poster is, and
as such find it remarkably useful. If I don't have time to read
all the followups to a posting, I can quickly skip all the top-
posted ones without reading them -- rarely do they have much
valuable content as they never come from experienced contributors.
Experienced contributors tend to know how to use usenet correctly
In Dave typed:
: 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.....)
Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes with this:
I'm definitely with the bottom-posters for all the reasons stated by
others; my only *slight* leaning towards the top posters is the fact
that I usually end up reading usenet on Google (because my ISP's
newsfeed is so crap), which only displays the first 'X' lines of any
long posts and forces you to click another link to display the full
message. A right PITA.
But again, as others have said, if people trimmed their reply posts
properly and quoted only the necessary preceding context, in 90% of
cases such messages wouldn't be too long for Google...
Thanks to all. I've had lots of help from people in this newsgroup so if
the majority dislike top-posting I'm happy to change my natural
There are too many overlapping threads to comment/reply to each one so
here's an attempt at a summary.
To my mind the best response is from The Natural Philosopher:
<<confrontational bit deleted>.
I too have been using newsgroups in various forms since before the www
(probably 18+ years), in my professional use (a V large IT organisation)
it seems that the minority bottom post, the majority mingle or top post
and AFAIK there's never been a war of words.
The real problem seems to be that people quote far more than they need
to in public newsgroups (so the useful bit gets buried and download
times are extended). If only the bare minimum were quoted the newsgroup
would download faster, the info would be easier to read and there would
be less waste storage.
Just a thought..... plainly mixed top/bottom isn't going to work,
wouldn't it all actually be more logical for everyone to top-post? The
fresh info would then be instantly visible and anyone that wants to see
the history can start reading from the bottom.
Grunff said that top posting was "lazy", 'don't see where laziness comes
in to it.
Christian McArdle mentioned a "charter" for the group - I hadn't heard
of this before, where is it?
(The email account is a dummy for anti-spam purposes, please reply via
Whilst I was sure I had read the charter for uk.d-i-y a year or so ago, I
can no longer find it.
They are normally all pretty similar and say you mustn't top post, use a
signature more than 4 lines, quote the entire previous post, cross post to
more than 6 groups or post advertising unless of a very specific nature
designed to appeal specifically to the group or thread in question.
No, because as various people have demonstrated the flow will not be
logical. And it will also make it very difficult to interleave and if
nobody did that telling what was being replied to would be difficult
leading to all sorts of misunderstandings. I trust you have been around
usenet long enough to know what misunderstandings can lead to?
Because in some newsreaders (OE in particular I'm told) the cursor is
placed at the top by default. So to bottom post or snip and interleave
requires more work than to simply start typing. In that context it is
lazy. If I am trying to talk to someone and they can't be bothered to
turn around and not mumble I might not bother any more. Similarly with
School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland
Lesson 1: How to use a keyboard for OE users ;-)
To move to the end of the message: Hold CTRL press END
There..... that was not so bad was it?
(having said that you will want to scroll through the message to snip
all the bits that need removing!)
On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 16:34:53 +0100, Peter Ashby wrote:
Of course, the counter argument to that is that the cursor is at the top
so that the poster can move down through the post to which he's replying
snipping and interleaving as necessary.
I just don't buy the argument that the cursor's at the top so it's ok to
I don't buy the argument that you should top post because everyone else
does. As my mother used to say "If everyone else stuck their head in the
fire..." Or consider the American attitude to male circumcision. Just
because a bunch of people do it, the rest follow like sheep.
The issue should be legibility not tradition. Not all of the bottom posters
or snippers/interleavers on this group are the most easy to follow. Good
communication, not good form.
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