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Re: [WAI-IG] list policies (top posting for vision impairments)

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 29 Feb 2004 08:41:28 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200402290841.i1T8fSO00430@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Derek wrote:
> David Poehlman wrote:

> I could be wrong, but I'd hazard a guess that the main reason top posting
> occurs is use of email clients that don't allow you to fully configure your
> replies, or that just top post by default (i.e., Outlook). Outlook also

I think the reasons are:

- laziness;
- GUI email clients that don't treat email as line oriented (this also
  causes other problems on standards compliant email programs) and 
  therefore don't provide natural breaks to insert responses;
- possibly an ability of the general public to adapt to new technology
  fully (leaving in the old text is a combination of a slight adaptation
  and laziness).

(Note that GUI programs that offer options to start the reply at top are
bottom don't really get it right, as one really is starting in the 
middle, and starting at the top is probably right, but is not top posting.)

> I'll be honest with you - when email was young, my recollection is that top
> posting was *never* the norm. Certainly not on email, and definitely not on

I'd agree with that.  Moreover, I didn't have to be taught to interleave
replies.  I saw it being used in response to a very early email of mine
and instantly thought it was a good thing.

> > Interleaving stuff is sort of ok, but jumping through the hoops that 
> > must be jumpped through in order to pick out the new bits after you 
> > have already read the old bits can be tricky

Some newsreaders have an option to hide conventionally quoted material,
so this is clearly a user agent issue, not an authoring issue.  This
was done because good news clients also tend to have a way of working in
which pressing space moves you through the complete thread; pure top
posted articles force you to switch to a skip to next article command,
and pure bottom posted can be worse, as you have to step through all
the irrelevant previous material.

> Which is why trimming the message to leave just the important bits in is
> important. It shows that you've taken the care and the time to consider

Even if you feel that it is important that each article have the whole
back history of the thread, you should still do this in you reply; then
include a second complete copy afterwards.
Received on Sunday, 29 February 2004 03:41:31 UTC

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