[OS X TeX] Re: [OS X TeX]
amorton at fastmail.fm
Mon Dec 11 20:37:22 EST 2006
> If one is following a thread, one might have in mind the preceding
> messages in the conversation. In such a case the repetition of the
> previous message(s) at the top --- especially in the fourth message in
> a thread --- could conceivably be inefficient for the reader. One
> might think of a top-posted message as one that puts the news first
> and provides a reminder of the conversation as a sequence of nested
> footnotes, as it were.
There's far too much of a tendency to frame a false dilemma between
quoting the entire text of an original message and replying at the top
on the one hand, and quoting the entire text and replying at the bottom
on the other.
It's never necessary to include the entire original message in a reply,
unless it's literally a couple of sentences. The form of reply that
shows greatest consideration for the reader is a couple of
context-setting sentences from the original message followed by your
reply. That's usually all that's necessary. The reader should never
have to scroll down either to read your reply or to work out what it
was you replied to.
The term 'bottom posting' obviously creates too much confusion to be
useful. I get annoyed with bottom posting (definition 1) and instead
practice bottom posting (definition 2). Obviously we need a better
term for it.
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