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RE: Top-Posting And Guideline 3.1

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 15:40:25 -0500
Message-ID: <C46A1118E0262B47BD5C202DA2490D1A03317DE1@MAIL02.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Joe Clark" <joeclark@joeclark.org>, "WAI-GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Top-posting isn't inherently inaccessible. Neither is inserting
responses below the text of the original (though the latter can become
very complicated and difficult to follow when that text itself contains
a chain of arguments and responses and all the garbage that email
clients add to indicate quotd text, which in turn gets transformed by
cutting and pasting, etc., etc.).

If top-psting is well done, the writer takes care to summarize and/or
quote the specific points she or is responding to, and makes clear the
context of the discussion. Readers who choose to do so may then wade (or
slog) through the chain of correspondence in the "original message."
When top-posting is badly done, readers *have* to slog through all that
stuff to have any chance at all of figuring out what the discussion is
about.
I think the same holds for responses that are interwoven with the
original message.  Do it well and you provide the context for the
discussion.  Do it badly, and everyone's slogging through anyway.

So let's all just write as clearly as we can and get back to worrying
about *Web* content instead of email.
John
Received on Monday, 28 June 2004 16:40:26 GMT

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