death to gmail users!

Mister E Mister.Ed at
Fri Mar 23 17:10:57 MDT 2007

Eric Wald wrote:
>> Who all came up with the keen idear that bottom posting was best?
> The first users of email.  According to the jargon file, "This is
> correct form, and until around 2000 was so universal on the Internet
> that neither the term 'bottom-post' nor its antonym top-post existed."
> Then again, Wikipedia makes a distinction between bottom-posting
> (including the entire relevant portion of an email before your reply)
> and "inline replying" or "interleaved reply" (quoting specific points
> before replying to each one, as I'm doing here).

interleaving makes sense in larger emails and/or those with multiple 
points.  No dispute there. Use it a lot myself.  I didn't address that 
as most of the list posts are not that complicated (showing up in my 
inbox as individual emails), at times it resembles more of a public IM 
with a bit more detail, than a full blown email.

>> I believe this whole issue is a matter of preference.
> Partly, but a significant portion is a matter of where you learned to
> email.  If you learned from Usenet, which was originally dominated by
> Unix-based email programs and where conciseness was valued highly, you
> learned to trim and interleave responses.  If you learned from business,
> which was originally dominated by Outlook and where completeness was
> valued highly, you learned to top-post and include the entire
> conversation.

I guess I should have used "most of this" instead of "this whole" to 
make it fit my stance on email in general, not just lists.

Interesting thing though, when I was first using Unix (mainframes and 
mini's), many of ya'all were not even born yet and/or very small rug 
rats. So, I can appreciate parts of the history behind yer reply, except 
the part about Outlook originally dominating the business messaging 
environment.  I also think they took the bad form cue from Netscrape's 
default settings in their email clients ... or maybe MS just imploded on 
that aspect on their own.  However, I still dislike bottom posting in 
emails, in many instances. It wastes a lot of time for me when I have to 
process thousands of emails per day.  I prefer see the reply upfront, it 
it's such an email (many exceptions, like a forwarded email, a total 
conversation encapsulated within the email, usenet, mailing lists, etc).

But for simple snip, trim and post where just a snippet is used, bottom 
posting is a hindrance if the reply does not show up on the viewable 
screen without scrolling.  The only thing I detest more is html based 
email; I consider it unprofessional.

But google should give the flexibility for a desired style even if and 
only used for an individual message that might need to be sent 
differently from the default method.  I remember having an email client 
that would allow me to top post or bottom post back in the mid 90's (I 
don't pay that much attention to such settings nowadays).  Maybe gmail 
needs something along those lines, if it doesn't have such a setting 

> For mailing lists, a consistent style tends to make things easier to
> read.  Particularly annoying are the posts that mix styles, meaning that
> you have to jump back and forth to read it, particularly if you join the
> list in the middle of a conversation.  Note also that digests are much
> easier to read with bottom- or interleaved posting, particularly because
> top-posting tends not to add quotation characters to the quoted lines.

I normally do not read/get/browse digests, so I would miss such details. 
  But yer reply makes it a bit more understandable in those cases. 
Hence maybe why the original death wishes posted against gmail users.

Mister Ed

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