On Mon, 30 May 2011, Andre Polykanine wrote:

most  of  you  post your messages *after* the quotes. It's
really  not  comfortable: I use screenreading software here and I need
to scroll with my down arrow key before I see the actual message.

I use screen reading software as well and prefer bottom-posting. Of course, those who quote an entire message (or messages) before their post should be shot, but thankfully this is a minority of people.

Since we're all pitching in with our arguments for top/bottom posting, I'll briefly state mine:

1. Bottom (or at least "not top") posting allows you to interleave your responses amongst the quoted text. This makes it a lot easier to know what is being responded to, and actually also makes it a lot more likely that all points that need answers will actually be answered.

2. Particularly if #1 is followed, quoted material more often than not tends to be trimmed to what is relevant. Top-posting not only usually results in the entire message being quoted, but often the entire thread right back to the beginning (or at least back to whoever bottom-posted last on it). This can cause very large messages fairly quickly, especially if combined with HTML mail (don't get me started on *that* one).

Unfortunately, Outlook Express (and perhaps others) seem to actively discourage doing the right thing. One reason is that at least in Outlook Express, it's impossible to set different quoting settings for replies and forwards. So you either end up with forwards with all quoted lines (very annoying to listen to I assure you), or replies where it's impossible to tell what's quoting and what's new text (unless you're sending as HTML mail of course).

And of course, the single reason (IMHO) why it's likely more people top-post - it's less work.


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