On Thu, Jan 18, 2007 at 03:24:44PM -0800, Greg Albrecht wrote:
> On 18/01/07, Greg 'groggy' Lehey <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> >"Top posting" is only one issue.  Others of great importance are
> >trimming your posts, not breaking the lines into tiny fragments, and
> >not writing one-line paragraphs.  Your .sig is a good example of
> >things that people should remove from replies.
>
> i've been wanting to chime in on this. perhaps it should be taken into
> consideration that a good number of MODERN email clients support
> automatic threading of messages. this allows me to see each reply to a
> message after the original message, in succession. i understand that
> different people configure and use their email clients in different
> ways, but why is there such a pandering towards one versus the other.
> my email software  (gmail right now but has been mutt and thunderbird
> in the past) makes it really easy for me to get the context of a
> message as soon as it arrives. perhaps it's time for the rest of the
> world to step up and add auto-threading to their mta's?

Just a nitpick: wouldn't it be the MUA's job?

Also, threading in the MUA isn't perfect because sometimes the headers
are munged and the threading gets broken.  The MUA can try to correct
this, though it may well be unable to.  Gmail, itself, appears
susceptible--haven't you ever seen singleton messages that are clearly
part of a mail thread?


> ps: there's no need to reiterate how 'hard' it is for you to have to
> 'scroll down' to read the original message in a reply, how is that any
> different than me having to scroll down to read your reply?

Two points here:

1) Inconsistent top/bottom posting within the same thread is a pain
for everyone to read through.  This almost demands that consistency be
maintained, and that consistency must be determined by the community.
This community generally prefers bottom-posting.

which leads to:

2) As an outsider coming into a new group, it's generally considered
nice to follow that group's conventions, /especially/ when it's not
particularly hard to do so.  While you're right that scrolling to read
the original is not difficult, if the majority of people on the list
(including the list admins) prefer bottom-posting, it would seem
appropriate to change your own behavior rather than to expect everyone
else to change theirs.

Etiquette is generally just a way of showing respect for other people
while interacting with them.  It's not required, and it's not always
easy (certainly it's harder than just doing whatever we want) but in
general, I think the world is a nicer place when everyone is
respectful of other people's (and their community's) wishes, as long
as the wishes aren't too onerous.

Erik
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