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Re: Top-Posting And Guideline 3.1

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 17:22:26 -0500 (CDT)
To: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0406291717020.8051-100000@socrates.scdns.net>

> > Enforcing a prohibition on top posting does not
> > lead to more comprehension.
> There are many who disagree with you (hi Joe). 

People who don't understand E-mail, maybe. Ignoramuses and arrivistes, in
other words. Do they count?

Answers don't come after questions; we already saw the original posting; 
there are *twenty* years of experience of threaded electronic discussions 
using interleaved replies; and, to be frank, people who top-post are 
lazy-arse bastards with crappy mail programs. Why cater to them?

Clearer now?

> Have you seen research to back your claim?

How about the fact that proponents of top-posting can never muster 
anything other than "I like it," "My software does it automatically" 
("until user agents"?), or "People need it" as justifications. People 
*don't* need it. And there's an enormous range of documentation proving 
why top-posting is harmful.

<http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?TrimYourPosts>: Trim Your Posts
<http://www.xerez.demon.co.uk/usenet.htm>: Usenet Newsgroups
<http://www.redballoon.net/~snorwood/quote-rant.shtml>: Annoying quoting 
practices rant
<http://www.enabling.org/ia/celiac/netiquett.html#TRIM>: Email Netiquette 
<http://www.allmyfaqs.com/faq.pl?How_to_post>: All My FAQs Wiki: How to 
<http://www.amk.ca/conceit/mailing-list.html>: A Look at a Mailing List
<http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/usenet/brox.html>: Bottom vs. top posting 
and quotation style on Usenet
<http://www.caliburn.nl/topposting.html>: Why is Bottom-posting better 
than Top-posting
<http://homepage.ntlworld.com/g.mccaughan/g/remarks/uquote.html>: The 
advantages of Usenet's quoting conventions

If your screen reader can't voice quoted text correctly, get it fixed.  
("Until user agents"?)  Even Eudora can enunciate quoted text in a
different voice.

And the format=flowed spec, which, by curious coincidence, I wrote the FAQ 
for, adds even further structure.

It's insane to suggest that learning-disabled persons can understand 
answers that come before questions. How's that gonna work again?


    Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
    Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
    Expect criticism if you top-post
Received on Tuesday, 29 June 2004 18:22:31 UTC

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