I top post.

I don't think it helps to beat on people for their posting styles. It 
helps simply to respond to the issue under discussion.


On 01/17/2010 11:13 PM, Patrick Horgan wrote:
> Have you ever noticed that people's progress in using, supporting,
> writing bug reports for, and sometimes even developing for, writing
> documentation for, or translating for open source software is paralleled
> by their progress from top-posting to bottom posting to interlinear
> posting, to intelligent elision with interlinear posting?  I see it on
> the gimp, and on other lists all the time.
> Beginners don't know what top posting is.  They don't understand that
> there's no business to bitch too about open source software.  They don't
> understand how few people keep open software going.  They're completely
> ignorant about our culture.  They don't know how happy people will be if
> they write intelligent bugs, or offer to make documentation better.
> They don't understand that the people providing support for them are
> potentially them.
> I guess the point is that it's easy to be annoyed by an ignorant
> beginner, (definitely speaking from experience), and they make
> themselves even more annoying by top posting when responding to
> messages, not knowing that it looks like they are deliberately making it
> harder to follow the conversation.  If we kindly educate them instead of
> attacking them, (and when appropriate, privately, instead of
> embarrassing them publicly on the list), we might over time convert some
> of them to useful human beings.
> I really like the way Sven invites people to contribute.  For people not
> used to open source it's startling, and sometimes his invitation to be
> part of the solution is mistaken for an unwillingness to help.  They've
> got this strange sense of learned helplessness.  Even though few of
> those invited will ever contribute, some do, and some of those who don't
> contribute right away, have been started thinking about it by Sven and
> eventually will contribute.  On the lilypond list, it's Graham the
> curmudgeon that keeps inviting people.  It works.
> If instead we attack them, we make of ourselves boors, and drive away
> people that might have been of great help eventually.  Some of those
> driven away are lurkers not even involved in the communication.  I know
> that some have more patience than others, but if you can't stand
> beginners acting like beginners, it's only necessary to ignore them.
> One of my favorite proverbs is, "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace,
> is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of
> understanding", or the more modern proverb "Better to be thought a fool
> than to open your mouth and remove all doubt";)
> People that are going to insist on being idiots go away pretty quickly
> if ignored.  I know people that have been around for years already know
> all this, but there might be one or two on this list who need a gentle
> reminder.
> Best regards,
> Patrick
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