Top Posting and Message Trimming
julesrichardsonuk at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Jun 12 14:56:57 CDT 2006
Marvin Johnston wrote:
> Top posting makes sense in a number of instances, and just because something is
> the "norm" does not make it appropriate in all cases. When responding to a
> number of issues in a single post, top posting may be considered dumb, but when
> basically responding to one issue, top posting is appropriate.
That depends, too. At a typical screen size, most modern graphical email
clients (displaying a folder view and message list as well as an individual
message) only have room for about 20 lines of text in which to display a message.
For many emails (I'd say most, at least for the typical ones I tend to get),
when top-posting, the context all gets pushed off the bottom of the screen -
the user still has to scroll to see the context before reading what the sender
has written, so less scrolling only becomes a benefit in a top-posted
environment for a narrow class of message.
At least when bottom-posting, along with addressing points individually, the
context and the response is all visible at once on the display.
> Top posting does NOT foul up the order people normally read text since prior
> messages have all the details and makes it far easier to follow the flow of an
> online conversation.
I really don't want to have to click, view and read every single past message
just in order to get context, thank you very much! :) That's true whether
using a threaded client or not.
Out of interest, what do top posters do when they need to reply to an email
and address several points? Most of the ones I see either:
a) Only bother to reply to the first point and simply ignore the rest,
b) Reply to all points, all in one enormous block of text.
... neither of which is actually useful :-(
> The whole object of posting is communication, and the form used should be in a
> manner best suited to promote that communication.
It seems the *only* place where TP works is for responses to very short
messages containing only one point - and in that situation, bottom-posting
does the job just as well, so you'd think people would us BP exclusively just
to be consistent!
>> Q: What is the most annoying thing in e-mail?
Actually, that's probably people composing messages in HTML :-)
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