By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Manage your Cookies Settings.
458,028 Members | 1,309 Online
Bytes IT Community
+ Ask a Question
Need help? Post your question and get tips & solutions from a community of 458,028 IT Pros & Developers. It's quick & easy.

Top posting

P: n/a
This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.

Since I'm leading off here, I'll state my opinion on the matter.

I really don't care one way or the other. I use Google, and for all
its faults, does do one thing right: it hides quoted text. So, I just
see the new post either above or below a little marker that says,
"Show quoted text". As a result, posting style doesn't matter a whit
to me.

However, I do understand that not everyone uses Google. Doubly so
since their latest round of "improvements" managed to make the
interface much, much worse than it was before. Other news readers may
not hide quoted text, and so posting style matters more to people who
use such news readers.

That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post." This leads to the inevitable response,
"What's top posting?" and then the original point of the thread is
pretty-much lost as the explanation is followed by a lengthy debate...
and another thread dies under a pile of posts about posting style.

I have a suggestion for those who feel strongly on this topic. It's
not a terribly original suggestion: I saw someone else do this a while
back. Write a little Web page on top posting: what it is, why it's
bad, etc. Then change your signature line to say, "Please don't top
post; see here" and provide a link to the Web page. It's simple,
unobtrusive, and every time you post you may make more converts. Even
better, it stands little or no chance of derailing otherwise useful
conversations.

Apr 4 '07 #1
Share this Question
Share on Google+
44 Replies


P: n/a
I'm afraid you're always going to have a new crop of newbies to teach about
top-posting. In the 10+ years I've been using newsgroups, this issue hasn't
gone away.

Personally, I don't see the problem with ostracizing, flaming, skewing,
burning at the stake, et. all someone who does this. Most get the point
after that, the others are trolls.

"Bruce Wood" <br*******@canada.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@y80g2000hsf.googlegro ups.com...
This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.

Since I'm leading off here, I'll state my opinion on the matter.

I really don't care one way or the other. I use Google, and for all
its faults, does do one thing right: it hides quoted text. So, I just
see the new post either above or below a little marker that says,
"Show quoted text". As a result, posting style doesn't matter a whit
to me.

However, I do understand that not everyone uses Google. Doubly so
since their latest round of "improvements" managed to make the
interface much, much worse than it was before. Other news readers may
not hide quoted text, and so posting style matters more to people who
use such news readers.

That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post." This leads to the inevitable response,
"What's top posting?" and then the original point of the thread is
pretty-much lost as the explanation is followed by a lengthy debate...
and another thread dies under a pile of posts about posting style.

I have a suggestion for those who feel strongly on this topic. It's
not a terribly original suggestion: I saw someone else do this a while
back. Write a little Web page on top posting: what it is, why it's
bad, etc. Then change your signature line to say, "Please don't top
post; see here" and provide a link to the Web page. It's simple,
unobtrusive, and every time you post you may make more converts. Even
better, it stands little or no chance of derailing otherwise useful
conversations.

Apr 4 '07 #2

P: n/a
----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospam>
Newsgroups: microsoft.public.dotnet.languages.csharp
Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2007 6:46 PM
Subject: Re: Top posting

I'm afraid you're always going to have a new crop of newbies to teach
about top-posting. In the 10+ years I've been using newsgroups, this
issue hasn't gone away.

Personally, I don't see the problem with ostracizing, flaming,
skewing, burning at the stake, et. all someone who does this. Most get
the point after that, the others are trolls.

<grin>

Thanks for the post...I got a chuckle out of.

Bill
>

"Bruce Wood" <br*******@canada.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@y80g2000hsf.googlegro ups.com...
>This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.

Since I'm leading off here, I'll state my opinion on the matter.

I really don't care one way or the other. I use Google, and for all
its faults, does do one thing right: it hides quoted text. So, I just
see the new post either above or below a little marker that says,
"Show quoted text". As a result, posting style doesn't matter a whit
to me.

However, I do understand that not everyone uses Google. Doubly so
since their latest round of "improvements" managed to make the
interface much, much worse than it was before. Other news readers may
not hide quoted text, and so posting style matters more to people who
use such news readers.

That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post." This leads to the inevitable response,
"What's top posting?" and then the original point of the thread is
pretty-much lost as the explanation is followed by a lengthy
debate...
and another thread dies under a pile of posts about posting style.

I have a suggestion for those who feel strongly on this topic. It's
not a terribly original suggestion: I saw someone else do this a
while
back. Write a little Web page on top posting: what it is, why it's
bad, etc. Then change your signature line to say, "Please don't top
post; see here" and provide a link to the Web page. It's simple,
unobtrusive, and every time you post you may make more converts. Even
better, it stands little or no chance of derailing otherwise useful
conversations.


Apr 5 '07 #3

P: n/a
"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:e%****************@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
I'm afraid you're always going to have a new crop of newbies to teach
about top-posting. In the 10+ years I've been using newsgroups, this
issue hasn't gone away.

Personally, I don't see the problem with ostracizing, flaming, skewing,
burning at the stake, et. all someone who does this. Most get the point
after that, the others are trolls.
Nice meta-troll.
Apr 5 '07 #4

P: n/a
That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post."
If top posting did not have some kind of perceived advantage, people
wouldn't do it.

I think people object to it because they've been told to object to it,
because they think the Elder Geeks object to it, and so forth.

Top posting was indeed very inconvenient in the days before threaded
newsreaders. Those days were a long time ago.

BTW, I am an Elder Geek (on BITNET in 1979, Urbana PLATO briefly in 1976,
Georgia wide-area network in 1973).
Apr 5 '07 #5

P: n/a
On 5 Apr, 00:56, "Bruce Wood" <brucew...@canada.comwrote:
This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.
...
>From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posting_styles
"""When a message is replied to in e-mail, Internet forums, and Usenet
the original can often be included, or "quoted", in a variety of
different posting styles.

The main options are top-posting ... bottom-posting ... or interleaved
posting. While each online community differs on which styles are
appropriate or acceptable, within any community the use of the "wrong"
method risks being seen as a major breach of netiquette, and can
provoke vehement response from community regulars."""

As I see it the use of the "wrong" posting style is nothing to argue
about - even if it may be bad netiquette to use the "wrong" style I
see it as *worse* netiquette to start bugging newbies and people who
just don't care about posting styles that they should "no top-
posting". If anything I think you should tell people what you think
they should do and not what not to do,

I totally agree with Bruce: just add a stupid signature that says
"""[YOUR NAME HERE]
1337 H4XXZ0R
Please Bottom-post (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bottompost)"""

or if you prefer top-posting:

"""[YOUR NAME HERE]
N00B 7R011
Please Top-post (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top-post)""

HTH,
/Per

--
Per Erik Strandberg
N00B H4XXZ0R
Please post using style: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posting_styles

Apr 5 '07 #6

P: n/a
On Apr 5, 3:17 am, "Michael A. Covington"
<l...@ai.uga.edu.for.addresswrote:
That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post."

If top posting did not have some kind of perceived advantage, people
wouldn't do it.
That assumes a degree of thought which I don't believe is present in
all people.

I suspect many people just type where their cursor starts, and don't
think about advantages or disadvantages. If pushed, I suppose "not
having to do anything before starting to type" could be viewed as an
advantage, but it's only an advantage to the person posting (one
person) compared with the advantages to the readers (potentially many)
of inline posting with appropriate snipping.

Jon

Apr 5 '07 #7

P: n/a
On Apr 4, 11:56 pm, "Bruce Wood" <brucew...@canada.comwrote:
This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.

Since I'm leading off here, I'll state my opinion on the matter.

I really don't care one way or the other. I use Google, and for all
its faults, does do one thing right: it hides quoted text. So, I just
see the new post either above or below a little marker that says,
"Show quoted text". As a result, posting style doesn't matter a whit
to me.
Suppose someone is replying to a post, and makes 10 different points
against 10 different statements made in the previous post.

Do you genuinely think it's as easy to follow the arguments if those
10 new points are all made at the top, in one block, rather than each
new point immediately following the statement it's addressing? That's
the main argument in favour of inline posting from my point of view,
and I can't see how using Google changes it at all.

Jon

Apr 5 '07 #8

P: n/a
On Apr 5, 8:14 am, "Jon Skeet [C# MVP]" <s...@pobox.comwrote:
On Apr 5, 3:17 am, "Michael A. Covington"

<l...@ai.uga.edu.for.addresswrote:
That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post."
If top posting did not have some kind of perceived advantage, people
wouldn't do it.

That assumes a degree of thought which I don't believe is present in
all people.

I suspect many people just type where their cursor starts, and don't
think about advantages or disadvantages. If pushed, I suppose "not
having to do anything before starting to type" could be viewed as an
advantage, but it's only an advantage to the person posting (one
person) compared with the advantages to the readers (potentially many)
of inline posting with appropriate snipping.

Jon

If there was no advantage, why would the browser/webpage include the
post? I've found that on the internet, as in life, it is much easier
to /accept/ these things happen, and find ways of dealing with it
(Such as using google groups which happily clean the thread up for
you). Flaming or otherwise attacking someone else reflects as badly on
yourself as your target - Besides that, why are people so presumtuous
to beleive that they have the authority to mete out "punishment"?
Surley their are admins to do this?

And of course, as the old saying goes (while not very PC): Fighting on
the internet is like the special olypics, No matter who wins or loses,
your still retarded.

Graeme

Apr 5 '07 #9

P: n/a
On Apr 5, 9:43 am, "gwoodho...@gmail.com" <gwoodho...@gmail.com>
wrote:
That assumes a degree of thought which I don't believe is present in
all people.
I suspect many people just type where their cursor starts, and don't
think about advantages or disadvantages. If pushed, I suppose "not
having to do anything before starting to type" could be viewed as an
advantage, but it's only an advantage to the person posting (one
person) compared with the advantages to the readers (potentially many)
of inline posting with appropriate snipping.

If there was no advantage, why would the browser/webpage include the
post?
I never suggested there was no advantage to quoting. I suggested there
was no advantage to top-posting. There's a huge difference.
I've found that on the internet, as in life, it is much easier
to /accept/ these things happen, and find ways of dealing with it
(Such as using google groups which happily clean the thread up for
you). Flaming or otherwise attacking someone else reflects as badly on
yourself as your target - Besides that, why are people so presumtuous
to beleive that they have the authority to mete out "punishment"?
Surley their are admins to do this?
Not really - this is an unmoderated group. There are admins for the MS
servers who will cancel spam posts, but they're not going to get
involved over posting style. That's not to say that using a good
posting style doesn't improve the communication on the group. While I
disagree with flaming someone over posting style, I don't think it's
outrageous to suggest to someone that their posts might be clearer if
they posted inline. I wouldn't make a post *just* saying that, but I
might tag it on the end of a post. I sometimes do a similar thing if
someone's posts regularly have lines going over 80 characters (which
can make it a pain to quote them in a netiquette-friendly way).
And of course, as the old saying goes (while not very PC): Fighting on
the internet is like the special olypics, No matter who wins or loses,
your still retarded.
I disagree - I've been in very vigorous discussions (e.g. of technical
issues) where by the end of the day, everyone agrees (i.e. someone has
"won") and the world is a slightly more educated place.

Certainly there are plenty of times when there *isn't* any benefit in
"fighting the good fight", but I think the saying you quoted is an
over-generalisation. Of course, the "fighting" should be done as
politely as possible...

Jon

Apr 5 '07 #10

P: n/a
"Bruce Wood" <br*******@canada.comwrote:
I really don't care one way or the other. I use Google, and for all
its faults, does do one thing right: it hides quoted text. So, I
just
see the new post either above or below a little marker that says,
"Show quoted text".
I'm reminded of an old chat room where major resources were spent on
encouraging people not to write in ALL CAPS. One day, the room was
changed so that any sentence containing more than 50% capitals was
converted to lower-case automatically: this immediately wiped out the
disputes, stopped the readability problem, and made everybody happy.

In this case, presumably, a newsreader program could have the option
to dynamically reformat top-postings by moving unquoted content to the
bottom if all of it precedes anything quoted. (You've already said
that Google, for example, can pick them out.) I don't see the sense in
shouting at people for not doing something a machine could do.

Eq.
Apr 5 '07 #11

P: n/a
On Apr 5, 10:36 am, "Paul E Collins" <find_my_real_addr...@CL4.org>
wrote:

<snip>
In this case, presumably, a newsreader program could have the option
to dynamically reformat top-postings by moving unquoted content to the
bottom if all of it precedes anything quoted. (You've already said
that Google, for example, can pick them out.) I don't see the sense in
shouting at people for not doing something a machine could do.
The machine can't work out which bits of the post are relevant and
snip the rest though. As I believe I said on the other thread, merely
quoting *everything* in the previous post isn't usually a good idea
(unless the whole post is relevant to your reply). It fixes the
"reading top to bottom" issue, but unless all the replies are short
and the thread dies after a few posts, it will still rapidly get to
the point where the new text is overwhelmed by the old.

The best way of replying, IMO, is to snip everything which isn't
relevant to your reply, and reply to each point beneath the section it
refers to. *That* can't be automated.

Jon

Apr 5 '07 #12

P: n/a
>merely
>quoting *everything* in the previous post isn't usually a good idea
(unless the whole post is relevant to your reply).
100% ACK, but other than that, I think top posting is "ok".

Apr 5 '07 #13

P: n/a
I'ts always enlightening to read about other people's pet peeves. While top -
posting can be an annoying idiosyncracy, it is nowhere near as high on my
list as the inane "Me Too" posts and posts which ask questions that provide
so little initial information that we must assume they think we are using the
Telepathy API.
Peter

--
Site: http://www.eggheadcafe.com
UnBlog: http://petesbloggerama.blogspot.com
Short urls & more: http://ittyurl.net


"Bruce Wood" wrote:
This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.

Since I'm leading off here, I'll state my opinion on the matter.

I really don't care one way or the other. I use Google, and for all
its faults, does do one thing right: it hides quoted text. So, I just
see the new post either above or below a little marker that says,
"Show quoted text". As a result, posting style doesn't matter a whit
to me.

However, I do understand that not everyone uses Google. Doubly so
since their latest round of "improvements" managed to make the
interface much, much worse than it was before. Other news readers may
not hide quoted text, and so posting style matters more to people who
use such news readers.

That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post." This leads to the inevitable response,
"What's top posting?" and then the original point of the thread is
pretty-much lost as the explanation is followed by a lengthy debate...
and another thread dies under a pile of posts about posting style.

I have a suggestion for those who feel strongly on this topic. It's
not a terribly original suggestion: I saw someone else do this a while
back. Write a little Web page on top posting: what it is, why it's
bad, etc. Then change your signature line to say, "Please don't top
post; see here" and provide a link to the Web page. It's simple,
unobtrusive, and every time you post you may make more converts. Even
better, it stands little or no chance of derailing otherwise useful
conversations.

Apr 5 '07 #14

P: n/a
On Apr 4, 6:56 pm, "Bruce Wood" <brucew...@canada.comwrote:
This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.

Since I'm leading off here, I'll state my opinion on the matter.

I really don't care one way or the other. I use Google, and for all
its faults, does do one thing right: it hides quoted text. So, I just
see the new post either above or below a little marker that says,
"Show quoted text". As a result, posting style doesn't matter a whit
to me.

However, I do understand that not everyone uses Google. Doubly so
since their latest round of "improvements" managed to make the
interface much, much worse than it was before. Other news readers may
not hide quoted text, and so posting style matters more to people who
use such news readers.

That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post." This leads to the inevitable response,
"What's top posting?" and then the original point of the thread is
pretty-much lost as the explanation is followed by a lengthy debate...
and another thread dies under a pile of posts about posting style.

I have a suggestion for those who feel strongly on this topic. It's
not a terribly original suggestion: I saw someone else do this a while
back. Write a little Web page on top posting: what it is, why it's
bad, etc. Then change your signature line to say, "Please don't top
post; see here" and provide a link to the Web page. It's simple,
unobtrusive, and every time you post you may make more converts. Even
better, it stands little or no chance of derailing otherwise useful
conversations.
I mostly agree with your post, but I disagree that even posting a link
is unobtrusive. Invariably, questions about posting style will end up
in the thread where it does not belong.

Also, you believe that simply posting a link explaining why you
should do something will cause those people to do so. It will not.
My suggestion is this; learn to deal with the different posting styles
of people, or simply ignore posts that don't meet your 'standards.'

One of the reasons I like this group is because its been free (until
now) about pointless posting style wars. Please, don't post about
this again here, people (including me) are wasting time on this topic,
which really has nothing to do with C#.

Apr 5 '07 #15

P: n/a
Top posting was indeed very inconvenient in the days before threaded
newsreaders. Those days were a long time ago.
Sorry Elder Geek, but they are not. I use OE and top posts sit there at the
top until their expiration date. I could change the configuration of OE so
that these particular posts don't cause me to see them day after day, but
why should I? This is the whole point of why top-posting is bad, it is
inconvenient to others and there really is no good reason to do it.

Apr 5 '07 #16

P: n/a
I don't really care how the posts are made, but if you aren't going to snip the previous post, I prefer top posting as the answer is immediatly readable without having to scroll (more reasons for this at the bottom). If there are several questions, keep the answers separate (paragraph per answer) on top, bottom or inline.

However, during all the years in various public internet communities, there is one important rule to remember. There are no rules, and the quicker you accept it, the faster you will stop being annoyed at people not following what you consider rules. That said, there are guidelines, and the more guidelines you follow, the more respect you will get, but guidelines are optional. In a non public, or semi-public, moderated forum you may enforce rules as you like, but you may well find out that the less rules enforced, the happier the community.

As for guidelines, those are tricky, as there are very few common grounds where every community agree. Usually they all agree on abusive language, but posting style is too dependent on how you read and write the messages.

One point regarding "reasons for not top posting" which claims it is unnatural to read the question after the answer. This is true only if you haven't already read the question, and is relevant only if you go directly to an answer, which in my mind is rather unnatural, although if would make sense if you search an archive and get more relevant hits on the answer than the question. In this regard I often keep the original question included in my answer (for archive reasons), but at the bottom as it is relevant only to people not following the thread.

Btw, since entering news net (usenet) in 1994 I have seen two posts complaining about top posted answers, both during the last year. Not sure what to make of that.
On Thu, 05 Apr 2007 00:56:58 +0200, Bruce Wood <br*******@canada.comwrote:
This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.

Since I'm leading off here, I'll state my opinion on the matter.

I really don't care one way or the other. I use Google, and for all
its faults, does do one thing right: it hides quoted text. So, I just
see the new post either above or below a little marker that says,
"Show quoted text". As a result, posting style doesn't matter a whit
to me.

However, I do understand that not everyone uses Google. Doubly so
since their latest round of "improvements" managed to make the
interface much, much worse than it was before. Other news readers may
not hide quoted text, and so posting style matters more to people who
use such news readers.

That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post." This leads to the inevitable response,
"What's top posting?" and then the original point of the thread is
pretty-much lost as the explanation is followed by a lengthy debate...
and another thread dies under a pile of posts about posting style.

I have a suggestion for those who feel strongly on this topic. It's
not a terribly original suggestion: I saw someone else do this a while
back. Write a little Web page on top posting: what it is, why it's
bad, etc. Then change your signature line to say, "Please don't top
post; see here" and provide a link to the Web page. It's simple,
unobtrusive, and every time you post you may make more converts. Even
better, it stands little or no chance of derailing otherwise useful
conversations.



--
Happy coding!
Morten Wennevik [C# MVP]
Apr 5 '07 #17

P: n/a
Hmmm,

"Flaming or otherwise attacking someone else reflects as badly on
yourself as your target "

"No matter who wins or loses, your still retarded."

Did two different people write this post?
<gw********@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@e65g2000hsc.googlegro ups.com...
On Apr 5, 8:14 am, "Jon Skeet [C# MVP]" <s...@pobox.comwrote:
>On Apr 5, 3:17 am, "Michael A. Covington"

<l...@ai.uga.edu.for.addresswrote:
That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post."
If top posting did not have some kind of perceived advantage, people
wouldn't do it.

That assumes a degree of thought which I don't believe is present in
all people.

I suspect many people just type where their cursor starts, and don't
think about advantages or disadvantages. If pushed, I suppose "not
having to do anything before starting to type" could be viewed as an
advantage, but it's only an advantage to the person posting (one
person) compared with the advantages to the readers (potentially many)
of inline posting with appropriate snipping.

Jon


If there was no advantage, why would the browser/webpage include the
post? I've found that on the internet, as in life, it is much easier
to /accept/ these things happen, and find ways of dealing with it
(Such as using google groups which happily clean the thread up for
you). Flaming or otherwise attacking someone else reflects as badly on
yourself as your target - Besides that, why are people so presumtuous
to beleive that they have the authority to mete out "punishment"?
Surley their are admins to do this?

And of course, as the old saying goes (while not very PC): Fighting on
the internet is like the special olypics, No matter who wins or loses,
your still retarded.

Graeme

Apr 5 '07 #18

P: n/a
"Andy" <an***@med-associates.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@y80g2000hsf.googlegro ups.com...
On Apr 4, 6:56 pm, "Bruce Wood" <brucew...@canada.comwrote:
>This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.

Since I'm leading off here, I'll state my opinion on the matter.

I really don't care one way or the other. I use Google, and for all
its faults, does do one thing right: it hides quoted text. So, I just
see the new post either above or below a little marker that says,
"Show quoted text". As a result, posting style doesn't matter a whit
to me.

However, I do understand that not everyone uses Google. Doubly so
since their latest round of "improvements" managed to make the
interface much, much worse than it was before. Other news readers may
not hide quoted text, and so posting style matters more to people who
use such news readers.

That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post." This leads to the inevitable response,
"What's top posting?" and then the original point of the thread is
pretty-much lost as the explanation is followed by a lengthy debate...
and another thread dies under a pile of posts about posting style.

I have a suggestion for those who feel strongly on this topic. It's
not a terribly original suggestion: I saw someone else do this a while
back. Write a little Web page on top posting: what it is, why it's
bad, etc. Then change your signature line to say, "Please don't top
post; see here" and provide a link to the Web page. It's simple,
unobtrusive, and every time you post you may make more converts. Even
better, it stands little or no chance of derailing otherwise useful
conversations.

I mostly agree with your post, but I disagree that even posting a link
is unobtrusive. Invariably, questions about posting style will end up
in the thread where it does not belong.

Also, you believe that simply posting a link explaining why you
should do something will cause those people to do so. It will not.
My suggestion is this; learn to deal with the different posting styles
of people, or simply ignore posts that don't meet your 'standards.'

One of the reasons I like this group is because its been free (until
now) about pointless posting style wars. Please, don't post about
this again here, people (including me) are wasting time on this topic,
which really has nothing to do with C#.
It has been moved to another thread - you should be able to block the thread
if it is truly bothering you :)

And it obviously is an issue - or it wouldn't have come up at all.

I would speculate that the reason it was never an issue is because C# is a
relatively new technology. It has not, been being shoved down first year CS
and EE majors' throats. When that changes, you will see a paradigm shift.
All the sudden instead of professionals, people teaching themselves and
uber-geeks there will be a flood of people wanting their homework done for
them and asking what a class is. For the most part this will probably not
push away all technical arguments - but it will slowly wear on everyone's
patience.

--
LTP

:)
Apr 5 '07 #19

P: n/a
"Jon Skeet [C# MVP]" <sk***@pobox.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@l77g2000hsb.googlegro ups.com...
On Apr 5, 3:17 am, "Michael A. Covington"
<l...@ai.uga.edu.for.addresswrote:
That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post."

If top posting did not have some kind of perceived advantage, people
wouldn't do it.

That assumes a degree of thought which I don't believe is present in
all people.

I suspect many people just type where their cursor starts, and don't
think about advantages or disadvantages. If pushed, I suppose "not
having to do anything before starting to type" could be viewed as an
advantage, but it's only an advantage to the person posting (one
person) compared with the advantages to the readers (potentially many)
of inline posting with appropriate snipping.
In groups with consensus, most people are willing to follow convention with
the exception of a few top posting zealot trolls.

Generally, most people don't even think about it which is where gentle
reminders are supposed to come in :)

The only thing that caught me off guard was the "lack of consensus"

--
LTP

:)
Apr 5 '07 #20

P: n/a
"Peter Bromberg [C# MVP]" <pb*******@yahoo.yabbadabbadoo.comwrote in
message news:59**********************************@microsof t.com...
I'ts always enlightening to read about other people's pet peeves. While
top -
posting can be an annoying idiosyncracy, it is nowhere near as high on my
list as the inane "Me Too" posts and posts which ask questions that
provide
so little initial information that we must assume they think we are using
the
Telepathy API.
Peter
Me too

;)

And top posting is certainly superior to not quoting at all!

--
LTP
Apr 5 '07 #21

P: n/a
"Paul E Collins" <fi******************@CL4.orgwrote in message
news:Ft*********************@bt.com...
In this case, presumably, a newsreader program could have the option to
dynamically reformat top-postings by moving unquoted content to the bottom
if all of it precedes anything quoted. (You've already said that Google,
for example, can pick them out.) I don't see the sense in shouting at
people for not doing something a machine could do.
That only works in a system with indefinite message retention (IE google)

There is associated inherant latency with switching back and forth between
web pages on a remote server. That is what I cache all messages locally and
prefer something like agent or outlook express for message reading. And
the reason there doesn't exist a standard precache on all links is not
because it is impossible, but because companies are not willing to make all
their webpage views do 10-50 times as much work to get links ready when so
many people are just going to close the window. Granted, if the server is
working well and you have a good connection (medium to high grade DSL for
instance) then the latency can be acceptable.

In Outlook Express I can scroll through the messages with what seems like
infinitely small piece of time. I push the down arrow and I'm at the next
message. I have never seen that kind of speed from any webbased system,
including google.

And who knows - maybe they have a new web interface that allows me to read
2000 posts as quickly on the web as in outlook express. But, I doubt it. I
would even settle for close.

--
LTP

:)
Apr 5 '07 #22

P: n/a
This is a software newsgroup, for developers. As developers, we should be
keenly aware of the concept of "requirements." Software is designed to
fulfill requirements. Any part of a piece of software which is not specified
in the requirements, due to ambiguity or omission, is irrelevant with
regards to the requirements, as long as it either supports the fulfillment
of the requirements, or does not inhibit the fulfillment of those
requirements. So, let's talk about the requirements for these support
newsgroups:

The NNTP protocol does not specify a requirement with regards to the format
of a reply, nor does the W3C. Therefore, it is not a requirement that the
reply be formatted in any way whatsoever. However, the purpose of these
newsgroups is to communicate information. Communication requires 2 things:
Clarity on the part of the originator, and the ability to correctly
interpret on the part of the recipient.

Therefore, the format of a reply is irrelevant to the fulfillment of the
requirements of these newsgroups, as long as the format does not inhibit the
communication of information. In other words, with regards to the
requirements of these newsgroups, unless the format inhibits the clarity of
communication on the part of the poster, it is irrelevant. The correct
interpretation on the part of the recipient or reader is purely subjective,
and is the responsibility of the person reading.

Any developer that is concerned about an aspect of a project that has no
relevance to the fulfillment of the requirements is a poor developer. Anyone
participating in a discussion in these newsgroups that is concerned about
the format rather than the communication of ideas is a poor communicator.

Now, the argument might be made that top posting or bottom posting inhibits
the ability of the reader or recipient from interpreting the message.
However, as there is no standard established, the expectation on the part of
the recipient or reader is not relevant to the ability of the reader to
interpret a message. Therefore, since it is the reader's responsibility to
interpret and understand the message, the argument fails.

So, assuming that the reader desires the information, but is unable to
interpret the message correctly for some other reason, or because of lack of
clarity on the part of the originator? At that point, it is the
responsibility of the reader to ask for clarification. Note that the format
of the message is not relevant to this process either.

Personally, I like to eat my boiled eggs from the middle. ;-)

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Microsoft MVP

Printing Components, Email Components,
FTP Client Classes, Enhanced Data Controls, much more.
DSI PrintManager, Miradyne Component Libraries:
http://www.miradyne.net

"Bruce Wood" <br*******@canada.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@y80g2000hsf.googlegro ups.com...
This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.

Since I'm leading off here, I'll state my opinion on the matter.
< content snipped to make Jon Skeet happy ;-) >
>

Apr 5 '07 #23

P: n/a
On Apr 5, 9:50 am, "Luc The Perverse"
<sll_noSpamlicious_z_XX...@cc.usu.eduwrote:
It has been moved to another thread - you should be able to block the thread
if it is truly bothering you :)
That still doesn't solve the problem that myself and others in the
group are here instead of other, relevant threads.
And it obviously is an issue - or it wouldn't have come up at all.
Actually it was only one person that brought it up; I believe if that
one post had not been made, it still wouldn't have come up.
I would speculate that the reason it was never an issue is because C# is a
relatively new technology. It has not, been being shoved down first year CS
and EE majors' throats. When that changes, you will see a paradigm shift.
All the sudden instead of professionals, people teaching themselves and
uber-geeks there will be a flood of people wanting their homework done for
them and asking what a class is. For the most part this will probably not
push away all technical arguments - but it will slowly wear on everyone's
patience.
I would speculate that its never been an issue because 99% of the
people that use this group simply don't care how posts are quoted.
As far as zealous goes, it seems to be those that want only bottom
posts that exhibit that behavior; I don't think I've even seen someone
getting blasted because they were bottom posting in a group that is
typically top posting.

Its been my experience that those that complain about top posting
wrongly believe they are a majority, when they are not. They also
fail to realize that newsgroups are a community, and that community
norms change overtime. Telling people to do something one way
because that's how it was done 20 years ago is simply silly and a
little arrogant.
Apr 5 '07 #24

P: n/a
On Apr 5, 12:20 am, "Jon Skeet [C# MVP]" <s...@pobox.comwrote:
On Apr 4, 11:56 pm, "Bruce Wood" <brucew...@canada.comwrote:
This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.
Since I'm leading off here, I'll state my opinion on the matter.
I really don't care one way or the other. I use Google, and for all
its faults, does do one thing right: it hides quoted text. So, I just
see the new post either above or below a little marker that says,
"Show quoted text". As a result, posting style doesn't matter a whit
to me.

Suppose someone is replying to a post, and makes 10 different points
against 10 different statements made in the previous post.

Do you genuinely think it's as easy to follow the arguments if those
10 new points are all made at the top, in one block, rather than each
new point immediately following the statement it's addressing? That's
the main argument in favour of inline posting from my point of view,
and I can't see how using Google changes it at all.
I agree: it's easier to read when someone who responds to a variety of
points in the preceding post uses in-line or interleaved posting. It's
one of the few times that I bother to click on the links that say
"Show quoted text" to see the context. Come to think of it, Jon, yours
are probably the only posts in this category. :-)

The majority of the time, if I'm following the discussion, I already
know what the current points are, and I just read the response in that
context. It really does take a lot to make me bother looking at the
quoted text.

So does proper posting style matter to me? Well, 99% of the time, no.
On rare occasion, yes, but then for that tiny proportion of the time I
could probably just figure it out, regardless of posting style.

In summary, then, good posting style is nice, but not so necessary for
me that I consider it worth interrupting otherwise productive threads.

As an analogy, consider proper spelling and grammar. I would consider
these even more important to understanding what a poster is on about
than whether they top, bottom, or interleave-post. However, I accept
that there are a lot of posters in this group for whom English is a
second (or third, or fourth) language. Yes, it would be nice if they
would improve their English so that I could better understand their
questions or responses, but I would sooner plonk someone who insists
on chiming in with spelling and grammar corrections than I would plonk
someone who is struggling with the language. So it is with posting
style: if posting "Please don't top post" is the cure, then it's worse
than the disease, IMHO.

Apr 5 '07 #25

P: n/a
On Apr 5, 6:50 am, "Luc The Perverse"
<sll_noSpamlicious_z_XX...@cc.usu.eduwrote:
I would speculate that the reason it was never an issue is because C# is a
relatively new technology. It has not, been being shoved down first year CS
and EE majors' throats. When that changes, you will see a paradigm shift.
All the sudden instead of professionals, people teaching themselves and
uber-geeks there will be a flood of people wanting their homework done for
them and asking what a class is. For the most part this will probably not
push away all technical arguments - but it will slowly wear on everyone's
patience.
Well, I wouldn't call it a "flood", but we do get a lot of that here.
As Peter Bromberg pointed out, we also get magic mystery posts like,
"I need to control an elevator in C#; how do I do that?"

In many other, older newsgroups, people are seriously flame-roasted
for making posts like this. In fact, in some long-established
newsgroups, posting a question that is answered--even tangentially--in
the FAQ is grounds for merciless flaming. This group is much more
relaxed. Newbie questions, crazy questions, questions with tortured
syntax: we field them all here.

Perhaps that's why we don't care as much about posting style: our goal
isn't to maintain the purity of the newsgroup content. It is, rather,
to help others and to receive help. The only time we chide posters is
when their posts don't contain enough information to give them useful
assistance, in which case we try to teach them how to improve the
quality of their content so that next time they will receive a swifter
and more accurate response.

A while back someone cross-posted a question here and to comp.lang.c.
The difference in temperament between the two groups was an eye-opener.

Apr 5 '07 #26

P: n/a
On Apr 5, 5:57 am, "Andy" <a...@med-associates.comwrote:
On Apr 4, 6:56 pm, "Bruce Wood" <brucew...@canada.comwrote:
I have a suggestion for those who feel strongly on this topic. It's
not a terribly original suggestion: I saw someone else do this a while
back. Write a little Web page on top posting: what it is, why it's
bad, etc. Then change your signature line to say, "Please don't top
post; see here" and provide a link to the Web page. It's simple,
unobtrusive, and every time you post you may make more converts. Even
better, it stands little or no chance of derailing otherwise useful
conversations.

I mostly agree with your post, but I disagree that even posting a link
is unobtrusive. Invariably, questions about posting style will end up
in the thread where it does not belong.
Oh, I don't know about that: in the case I saw the poster had a
humorous signature that explained why top-posting was bad. I never saw
anyone post a response asking him about his sig. I suppose it might
happen, but as it's not part of the message content proper, most
people don't respond to it.
Also, you believe that simply posting a link explaining why you
should do something will cause those people to do so. It will not.
I agree to a point: adding a "don't top post" signature will not cause
_everyone_ to stop top-posting. It may, however, convince a few, and
do so without the disruption caused by actually posting about posting
style. It's not a perfect solution by any means: some may still
respond to the sig, derailing the thread, and from the point of view
of the no-top-posting zealot, he's not reaching "offenders" with the
kind of directness that would tend to guarantee results.

The suggestion is, in the end, a compromise: one can make one's
preferences known without unduly polluting the discussion.
One of the reasons I like this group is because its been free (until
now) about pointless posting style wars. Please, don't post about
this again here, people (including me) are wasting time on this topic,
which really has nothing to do with C#.
Which is why this discussion is now in a separate, thoroughly-
ignorable thread. (Although I note with wry amusement that this has
not quelled the discussion in the now horribly-misnamed thread on
string literals.)

Apr 5 '07 #27

P: n/a
Andy <an***@med-associates.comwrote:

<snip>
Its been my experience that those that complain about top posting
wrongly believe they are a majority, when they are not. They also
fail to realize that newsgroups are a community, and that community
norms change overtime. Telling people to do something one way
because that's how it was done 20 years ago is simply silly and a
little arrogant.
I don't think anyone would say that "that's how it was done 20 years
ago" is a good reason. However, there *are* good reasons for inline
posting, as discussed.

--
Jon Skeet - <sk***@pobox.com>
http://www.pobox.com/~skeet Blog: http://www.msmvps.com/jon.skeet
If replying to the group, please do not mail me too
Apr 5 '07 #28

P: n/a
On Apr 5, 2:09 pm, Jon Skeet [C# MVP] <s...@pobox.comwrote:
I don't think anyone would say that "that's how it was done 20 years
ago" is a good reason. However, there *are* good reasons for inline
posting, as discussed.
No, I never said it was a good argument, but I have seen it used. My
comments were not specific to anything in this newsgroup, just what
I've experienced in newsgroups in general.

Many of the reasons given for one posting style vs. another though are
highly subject and depend on the reader one is using. For some, its
easier not to have to scroll down because they've been active in
reading a topic.

As long as I can figure out the flow (be it top, bottom or inline
posted) I'm fine.

Apr 5 '07 #29

P: n/a
On Apr 5, 6:24 am, Peter Bromberg [C# MVP]
<pbromb...@yahoo.yabbadabbadoo.comwrote:
I'ts always enlightening to read about other people's pet peeves. While top -
posting can be an annoying idiosyncracy, it is nowhere near as high on my
list as the inane "Me Too" posts and posts which ask questions that provide
so little initial information that we must assume they think we are using the
Telepathy API.
Peter
Speaking of pet peaves...one at the top of my list is automatically
assuming someone is asking a homework question. It's pretty annoying
to see accusations going back-and-forth before everyone realizes it
really was a legitimate question in the first place.

Apr 5 '07 #30

P: n/a
"Andy" <an***@med-associates.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@n76g2000hsh.googlegr oups.com...
On Apr 5, 2:09 pm, Jon Skeet [C# MVP] <s...@pobox.comwrote:
>I don't think anyone would say that "that's how it was done 20 years
ago" is a good reason. However, there *are* good reasons for inline
posting, as discussed.

No, I never said it was a good argument, but I have seen it used. My
comments were not specific to anything in this newsgroup, just what
I've experienced in newsgroups in general.

Many of the reasons given for one posting style vs. another though are
highly subject and depend on the reader one is using. For some, its
easier not to have to scroll down because they've been active in
reading a topic.

As long as I can figure out the flow (be it top, bottom or inline
posted) I'm fine.
Top posting would not be annoying if everyone did it. Then you could figure
out the context of the message from bottom to top fairly easily.

The annoyance is when one person top posted to an inline reply which was a
bottom post . . etc. etc. and didn't take the time to fix or snip. The
deeper the greater than signs the harder is to determine who said what.

Nevertheless, you (I mean this thread) have made you point. I am not going
to remind anyone to not top post.

However - I seek your opinion. Am I allowed to remind people to quote if
simultaniously answering their question? In the spirit of conversation, I
will generally tell someone that I am helping if they are doing something
that is making it inconvenient.

--
LTP

:)

Apr 5 '07 #31

P: n/a
"Bruce Wood" <br*******@canada.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@b75g2000hsg.googlegro ups.com...
Well, I wouldn't call it a "flood", but we do get a lot of that here.
As Peter Bromberg pointed out, we also get magic mystery posts like,
"I need to control an elevator in C#; how do I do that?"
That is exactly what I am saying. To expect it more and more. Ah . .
Chapter 6 Deitel and Deitel . . Elevator simulation. Brings back memories
of my college days :) That was C++ though.
In many other, older newsgroups, people are seriously flame-roasted
for making posts like this. In fact, in some long-established
newsgroups, posting a question that is answered--even tangentially--in
the FAQ is grounds for merciless flaming. This group is much more
relaxed. Newbie questions, crazy questions, questions with tortured
syntax: we field them all here.
That is not a bad thing. Although, to me it seems an FAQ would still be
helpful - even for nothing more than a point of reference.
Perhaps that's why we don't care as much about posting style: our goal
isn't to maintain the purity of the newsgroup content. It is, rather,
to help others and to receive help. The only time we chide posters is
when their posts don't contain enough information to give them useful
assistance, in which case we try to teach them how to improve the
quality of their content so that next time they will receive a swifter
and more accurate response.

A while back someone cross-posted a question here and to comp.lang.c.
The difference in temperament between the two groups was an eye-opener.
sci.crypt is pretty "strict" too.

But I can adapt. I have been to other groups that didn't care - just never
a tech group.

--
LTP

:)
Apr 5 '07 #32

P: n/a
And it magically turns into a spelling thread... it's "you're still
retarded." And I've poly-posted this reply so as not to offend anybody.

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:%2***************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
Hmmm,

"Flaming or otherwise attacking someone else reflects as badly on
yourself as your target "

"No matter who wins or loses, your still retarded."
And it magically turns into a spelling thread... it's "you're still
retarded." And I've poly-posted this reply so as not to offend anybody.
Did two different people write this post?
<gw********@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@e65g2000hsc.googlegro ups.com...
>On Apr 5, 8:14 am, "Jon Skeet [C# MVP]" <s...@pobox.comwrote:
>>On Apr 5, 3:17 am, "Michael A. Covington"

<l...@ai.uga.edu.for.addresswrote:
That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post."

If top posting did not have some kind of perceived advantage, people
wouldn't do it.

That assumes a degree of thought which I don't believe is present in
all people.

I suspect many people just type where their cursor starts, and don't
think about advantages or disadvantages. If pushed, I suppose "not
having to do anything before starting to type" could be viewed as an
advantage, but it's only an advantage to the person posting (one
person) compared with the advantages to the readers (potentially many)
of inline posting with appropriate snipping.

Jon


If there was no advantage, why would the browser/webpage include the
post? I've found that on the internet, as in life, it is much easier
to /accept/ these things happen, and find ways of dealing with it
(Such as using google groups which happily clean the thread up for
you). Flaming or otherwise attacking someone else reflects as badly on
yourself as your target - Besides that, why are people so presumtuous
to beleive that they have the authority to mete out "punishment"?
Surley their are admins to do this?

And of course, as the old saying goes (while not very PC): Fighting on
the internet is like the special olypics, No matter who wins or loses,
your still retarded.

Graeme
And it magically turns into a spelling thread... it's "you're still
retarded." And I've poly-posted this reply so as not to offend anybody.
Apr 5 '07 #33

P: n/a
On Apr 5, 2:55 pm, "Luc The Perverse"
<sll_noSpamlicious_z_XX...@cc.usu.eduwrote:
I seek your opinion. Am I allowed to remind people to quote if
simultaniously answering their question? In the spirit of conversation, I
will generally tell someone that I am helping if they are doing something
that is making it inconvenient.
I see nothing wrong with posting a response something like, "Next
time, please include at least some of the text of the original
question; it will make it easier for me to understand what the problem
is."

We make responses like that all the time here, including Jon Skeet's
famous "Small but complete program" web page instructions,
particularly in cases in which we just can't figure out what the
person's problem is. That's probably the most common peeve I've seen
expressed here, which results in the most common piece of posting
advice: copy straight from your code and paste it to the newsgroup.

Asking for more information, or better information, or telling a
poster how to provide good information so that next time they get a
better response... all of these lead to the goal, which is helping
solve problems. None of this is necessarily arguing over form for
form's sake: when poor form makes it difficult to deliver good advice,
helpful comments are fair game.

Apr 5 '07 #34

P: n/a
Let me state for the record that your speculation isn't supported by any
facts. Idle speculation and spelling errors bother far more people that
posting at the top of a response (notice how I just posted something
completely unsubstantiated?) that's clearly par for the course here :-)

Out of curiosity is the average age of the respondents to this thread 14 or
thereabouts? :-)
"Luc The Perverse" <sl***********************@cc.usu.eduwrote in message
news:k9************@loki.cmears.id.au...
"Andy" <an***@med-associates.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@y80g2000hsf.googlegro ups.com...
>On Apr 4, 6:56 pm, "Bruce Wood" <brucew...@canada.comwrote:
>>This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.

Since I'm leading off here, I'll state my opinion on the matter.

I really don't care one way or the other. I use Google, and for all
its faults, does do one thing right: it hides quoted text. So, I just
see the new post either above or below a little marker that says,
"Show quoted text". As a result, posting style doesn't matter a whit
to me.

However, I do understand that not everyone uses Google. Doubly so
since their latest round of "improvements" managed to make the
interface much, much worse than it was before. Other news readers may
not hide quoted text, and so posting style matters more to people who
use such news readers.

That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post." This leads to the inevitable response,
"What's top posting?" and then the original point of the thread is
pretty-much lost as the explanation is followed by a lengthy debate...
and another thread dies under a pile of posts about posting style.

I have a suggestion for those who feel strongly on this topic. It's
not a terribly original suggestion: I saw someone else do this a while
back. Write a little Web page on top posting: what it is, why it's
bad, etc. Then change your signature line to say, "Please don't top
post; see here" and provide a link to the Web page. It's simple,
unobtrusive, and every time you post you may make more converts. Even
better, it stands little or no chance of derailing otherwise useful
conversations.

I mostly agree with your post, but I disagree that even posting a link
is unobtrusive. Invariably, questions about posting style will end up
in the thread where it does not belong.

Also, you believe that simply posting a link explaining why you
should do something will cause those people to do so. It will not.
My suggestion is this; learn to deal with the different posting styles
of people, or simply ignore posts that don't meet your 'standards.'

One of the reasons I like this group is because its been free (until
now) about pointless posting style wars. Please, don't post about
this again here, people (including me) are wasting time on this topic,
which really has nothing to do with C#.

It has been moved to another thread - you should be able to block the
thread if it is truly bothering you :)

And it obviously is an issue - or it wouldn't have come up at all.

I would speculate that the reason it was never an issue is because C# is a
relatively new technology. It has not, been being shoved down first year
CS and EE majors' throats. When that changes, you will see a paradigm
shift. All the sudden instead of professionals, people teaching themselves
and uber-geeks there will be a flood of people wanting their homework done
for them and asking what a class is. For the most part this will probably
not push away all technical arguments - but it will slowly wear on
everyone's patience.

--
LTP

:)


Apr 5 '07 #35

P: n/a
Well-stated Morten.

"Morten Wennevik [C# MVP]" <Mo************@hotmail.comwrote in message
news:op.tqba6faadj93y5@stone...
>I don't really care how the posts are made, but if you aren't going to snip
the previous post, I prefer top posting as the answer is immediatly
readable without having to scroll (more reasons for this at the bottom).
If there are several questions, keep the answers separate (paragraph per
answer) on top, bottom or inline.

However, during all the years in various public internet communities,
there is one important rule to remember. There are no rules, and the
quicker you accept it, the faster you will stop being annoyed at people
not following what you consider rules. That said, there are guidelines,
and the more guidelines you follow, the more respect you will get, but
guidelines are optional. In a non public, or semi-public, moderated forum
you may enforce rules as you like, but you may well find out that the less
rules enforced, the happier the community.

As for guidelines, those are tricky, as there are very few common grounds
where every community agree. Usually they all agree on abusive language,
but posting style is too dependent on how you read and write the messages.

One point regarding "reasons for not top posting" which claims it is
unnatural to read the question after the answer. This is true only if you
haven't already read the question, and is relevant only if you go directly
to an answer, which in my mind is rather unnatural, although if would make
sense if you search an archive and get more relevant hits on the answer
than the question. In this regard I often keep the original question
included in my answer (for archive reasons), but at the bottom as it is
relevant only to people not following the thread.

Btw, since entering news net (usenet) in 1994 I have seen two posts
complaining about top posted answers, both during the last year. Not sure
what to make of that.

Apr 5 '07 #36

P: n/a
Well-stated Kevin. :-)

Are the people expecting answers (aka "help") of the mind that the format of
that help should be in a format that they dictate? Should we then require
those who post questions to indicate their formatting requirements so
repliers don't offend them? How 21st century! :-)

Personally I tend to believe that a person who bottom-posts doesn't really
know the answer but desires to appear technically adroit. :-)
"Kevin Spencer" <un**********@nothinks.comwrote in message
news:eh******************@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
This is a software newsgroup, for developers. As developers, we should be
keenly aware of the concept of "requirements." Software is designed to
fulfill requirements. Any part of a piece of software which is not
specified in the requirements, due to ambiguity or omission, is irrelevant
with regards to the requirements, as long as it either supports the
fulfillment of the requirements, or does not inhibit the fulfillment of
those requirements. So, let's talk about the requirements for these
support newsgroups:

The NNTP protocol does not specify a requirement with regards to the
format of a reply, nor does the W3C. Therefore, it is not a requirement
that the reply be formatted in any way whatsoever. However, the purpose of
these newsgroups is to communicate information. Communication requires 2
things: Clarity on the part of the originator, and the ability to
correctly interpret on the part of the recipient.

Therefore, the format of a reply is irrelevant to the fulfillment of the
requirements of these newsgroups, as long as the format does not inhibit
the communication of information. In other words, with regards to the
requirements of these newsgroups, unless the format inhibits the clarity
of communication on the part of the poster, it is irrelevant. The correct
interpretation on the part of the recipient or reader is purely
subjective, and is the responsibility of the person reading.

Any developer that is concerned about an aspect of a project that has no
relevance to the fulfillment of the requirements is a poor developer.
Anyone participating in a discussion in these newsgroups that is concerned
about the format rather than the communication of ideas is a poor
communicator.

Now, the argument might be made that top posting or bottom posting
inhibits the ability of the reader or recipient from interpreting the
message. However, as there is no standard established, the expectation on
the part of the recipient or reader is not relevant to the ability of the
reader to interpret a message. Therefore, since it is the reader's
responsibility to interpret and understand the message, the argument
fails.

So, assuming that the reader desires the information, but is unable to
interpret the message correctly for some other reason, or because of lack
of clarity on the part of the originator? At that point, it is the
responsibility of the reader to ask for clarification. Note that the
format of the message is not relevant to this process either.

Personally, I like to eat my boiled eggs from the middle. ;-)

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Microsoft MVP

Printing Components, Email Components,
FTP Client Classes, Enhanced Data Controls, much more.
DSI PrintManager, Miradyne Component Libraries:
http://www.miradyne.net

"Bruce Wood" <br*******@canada.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@y80g2000hsf.googlegro ups.com...
>This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.

Since I'm leading off here, I'll state my opinion on the matter.
< content snipped to make Jon Skeet happy ;-) >
>>


Apr 5 '07 #37

P: n/a
I didn't want to change the quote, so as not to get flamed for mis-quoting
the multiple authors of that post.

:)
"Tom Leylan" <tl*****@nospam.netwrote in message
news:OC**************@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
And it magically turns into a spelling thread... it's "you're still
retarded." And I've poly-posted this reply so as not to offend anybody.

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:%2***************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
>Hmmm,

"Flaming or otherwise attacking someone else reflects as badly on
yourself as your target "

"No matter who wins or loses, your still retarded."

And it magically turns into a spelling thread... it's "you're still
retarded." And I've poly-posted this reply so as not to offend anybody.
>Did two different people write this post?
<gw********@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@e65g2000hsc.googlegr oups.com...
>>On Apr 5, 8:14 am, "Jon Skeet [C# MVP]" <s...@pobox.comwrote:
On Apr 5, 3:17 am, "Michael A. Covington"

<l...@ai.uga.edu.for.addresswrote:
That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post."

If top posting did not have some kind of perceived advantage, people
wouldn't do it.

That assumes a degree of thought which I don't believe is present in
all people.

I suspect many people just type where their cursor starts, and don't
think about advantages or disadvantages. If pushed, I suppose "not
having to do anything before starting to type" could be viewed as an
advantage, but it's only an advantage to the person posting (one
person) compared with the advantages to the readers (potentially many)
of inline posting with appropriate snipping.

Jon
If there was no advantage, why would the browser/webpage include the
post? I've found that on the internet, as in life, it is much easier
to /accept/ these things happen, and find ways of dealing with it
(Such as using google groups which happily clean the thread up for
you). Flaming or otherwise attacking someone else reflects as badly on
yourself as your target - Besides that, why are people so presumtuous
to beleive that they have the authority to mete out "punishment"?
Surley their are admins to do this?

And of course, as the old saying goes (while not very PC): Fighting on
the internet is like the special olypics, No matter who wins or loses,
your still retarded.

Graeme

And it magically turns into a spelling thread... it's "you're still
retarded." And I've poly-posted this reply so as not to offend anybody.


Apr 6 '07 #38

P: n/a
To adhere to the recent call from some here to "berate other posters in your
signature" I offer my new one :-)

Tom
Consider using "sic" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic when quoting things
with obvious errors
Oh and don't bottom-post.

Great thread we have here :-)
"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:%2******************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
>I didn't want to change the quote, so as not to get flamed for mis-quoting
the multiple authors of that post.

:)
"Tom Leylan" <tl*****@nospam.netwrote in message
news:OC**************@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
>And it magically turns into a spelling thread... it's "you're still
retarded." And I've poly-posted this reply so as not to offend anybody.

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:%2***************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
>>Hmmm,

"Flaming or otherwise attacking someone else reflects as badly on
yourself as your target "

"No matter who wins or loses, your still retarded."

And it magically turns into a spelling thread... it's "you're still
retarded." And I've poly-posted this reply so as not to offend anybody.
>>Did two different people write this post?
<gw********@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@e65g2000hsc.googleg roups.com...
On Apr 5, 8:14 am, "Jon Skeet [C# MVP]" <s...@pobox.comwrote:
On Apr 5, 3:17 am, "Michael A. Covington"
>
<l...@ai.uga.edu.for.addresswrote:
That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post."
>
If top posting did not have some kind of perceived advantage, people
wouldn't do it.
>
That assumes a degree of thought which I don't believe is present in
all people.
>
I suspect many people just type where their cursor starts, and don't
think about advantages or disadvantages. If pushed, I suppose "not
having to do anything before starting to type" could be viewed as an
advantage, but it's only an advantage to the person posting (one
person) compared with the advantages to the readers (potentially many)
of inline posting with appropriate snipping.
>
Jon
If there was no advantage, why would the browser/webpage include the
post? I've found that on the internet, as in life, it is much easier
to /accept/ these things happen, and find ways of dealing with it
(Such as using google groups which happily clean the thread up for
you). Flaming or otherwise attacking someone else reflects as badly on
yourself as your target - Besides that, why are people so presumtuous
to beleive that they have the authority to mete out "punishment"?
Surley their are admins to do this?

And of course, as the old saying goes (while not very PC): Fighting on
the internet is like the special olypics, No matter who wins or loses,
your still retarded.

Graeme

And it magically turns into a spelling thread... it's "you're still
retarded." And I've poly-posted this reply so as not to offend anybody.



Apr 6 '07 #39

P: n/a

"Brian Gideon" <br*********@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@n59g2000hsh.googlegr oups.com...
On Apr 5, 6:24 am, Peter Bromberg [C# MVP]
<pbromb...@yahoo.yabbadabbadoo.comwrote:
>I'ts always enlightening to read about other people's pet peeves. While
top -
posting can be an annoying idiosyncracy, it is nowhere near as high on
my
list as the inane "Me Too" posts and posts which ask questions that
provide
so little initial information that we must assume they think we are
using the
Telepathy API.
Peter

Speaking of pet peaves...one at the top of my list is automatically
assuming someone is asking a homework question. It's pretty annoying
to see accusations going back-and-forth before everyone realizes it
really was a legitimate question in the first place.
Yeah, there can be a lot of business reasons why a programmer needs to ask
how to write a routine to figure out the first 100 prime numbers, or
something like that...

Robin S.
Apr 6 '07 #40

P: n/a

"RobinS" <Ro****@NoSpam.yah.nonewrote in message
news:3t******************************@comcast.com. ..
>
"Brian Gideon" <br*********@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@n59g2000hsh.googlegr oups.com...
>On Apr 5, 6:24 am, Peter Bromberg [C# MVP]
<pbromb...@yahoo.yabbadabbadoo.comwrote:
>>I'ts always enlightening to read about other people's pet peeves. While
top -
posting can be an annoying idiosyncracy, it is nowhere near as high on
my
list as the inane "Me Too" posts and posts which ask questions that
provide
so little initial information that we must assume they think we are
using the
Telepathy API.
Peter

Speaking of pet peaves...one at the top of my list is automatically
assuming someone is asking a homework question. It's pretty annoying
to see accusations going back-and-forth before everyone realizes it
really was a legitimate question in the first place.

Yeah, there can be a lot of business reasons why a programmer needs to
ask how to write a routine to figure out the first 100 prime numbers, or
something like that...

Robin S.
Just to clarify, I was being facetious.

Robin S.
p.s. I bottom-posted this because he did. I never top-post if someone has
already bottom-posted first.
Apr 6 '07 #41

P: n/a
I agree.

Robin S.
--------------------
"Morten Wennevik [C# MVP]" <Mo************@hotmail.comwrote in message
news:op.tqba6faadj93y5@stone...
>I don't really care how the posts are made, but if you aren't going to
snip the previous post, I prefer top posting as the answer is immediatly
readable without having to scroll (more reasons for this at the bottom).
If there are several questions, keep the answers separate (paragraph per
answer) on top, bottom or inline.

However, during all the years in various public internet communities,
there is one important rule to remember. There are no rules, and the
quicker you accept it, the faster you will stop being annoyed at people
not following what you consider rules. That said, there are guidelines,
and the more guidelines you follow, the more respect you will get, but
guidelines are optional. In a non public, or semi-public, moderated
forum you may enforce rules as you like, but you may well find out that
the less rules enforced, the happier the community.

As for guidelines, those are tricky, as there are very few common grounds
where every community agree. Usually they all agree on abusive language,
but posting style is too dependent on how you read and write the
messages.

One point regarding "reasons for not top posting" which claims it is
unnatural to read the question after the answer. This is true only if
you haven't already read the question, and is relevant only if you go
directly to an answer, which in my mind is rather unnatural, although if
would make sense if you search an archive and get more relevant hits on
the answer than the question. In this regard I often keep the original
question included in my answer (for archive reasons), but at the bottom
as it is relevant only to people not following the thread.

Btw, since entering news net (usenet) in 1994 I have seen two posts
complaining about top posted answers, both during the last year. Not
sure what to make of that.
On Thu, 05 Apr 2007 00:56:58 +0200, Bruce Wood <br*******@canada.com>
wrote:
>This subject has come up several times in this group over the last
year. Several people in this group seem to feel strongly about this
topic. Rather than derail other threads with this discussion, I
figured we could talk about it here.

Since I'm leading off here, I'll state my opinion on the matter.

I really don't care one way or the other. I use Google, and for all
its faults, does do one thing right: it hides quoted text. So, I just
see the new post either above or below a little marker that says,
"Show quoted text". As a result, posting style doesn't matter a whit
to me.

However, I do understand that not everyone uses Google. Doubly so
since their latest round of "improvements" managed to make the
interface much, much worse than it was before. Other news readers may
not hide quoted text, and so posting style matters more to people who
use such news readers.

That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post." This leads to the inevitable response,
"What's top posting?" and then the original point of the thread is
pretty-much lost as the explanation is followed by a lengthy debate...
and another thread dies under a pile of posts about posting style.

I have a suggestion for those who feel strongly on this topic. It's
not a terribly original suggestion: I saw someone else do this a while
back. Write a little Web page on top posting: what it is, why it's
bad, etc. Then change your signature line to say, "Please don't top
post; see here" and provide a link to the Web page. It's simple,
unobtrusive, and every time you post you may make more converts. Even
better, it stands little or no chance of derailing otherwise useful
conversations.


--
Happy coding!
Morten Wennevik [C# MVP]

Apr 6 '07 #42

P: n/a
Morten,
I don't really care how the posts are made, but if you aren't going
to snip the previous post, I prefer top posting as the answer is
immediatly readable without having to scroll (more reasons for this
at the bottom).

I would agree that these things boil down to simple personal preference.

There are no rules, and the
quicker you accept it, the faster you will stop being annoyed at
people not following what you consider rules. That said, there are
guidelines, and the more guidelines you follow, the more respect you
will get, but guidelines are optional. In a non public, or
semi-public, moderated forum you may enforce rules as you like, but
you may well find out that the less rules enforced, the happier the
community.

As you say, some communities offer guidelines as to how to use their
newsgroups, including rules which are enforced by the people responsible for
managing these groups. A good example of this, without going outside of the
programming community, are the guidelines Borland offer to the users of
their newsgroups here:
http://info.borland.com/newsgroups/guide.html

Borland even offers suggestions for newsgroup etiquette here:
http://info.borland.com/newsgroups/netiquette.html

which includes the following:
"Keep quoted text to a minimum. When quoting a previous post, edit out the
non-relevant parts of the message. Remove salutations and signatures. A good
rule of thumb is, there should not be more quoted text than new text.

NOTE: Under certain circumstances your message may be cancelled for quoting
style. One such circumstance is quoting a message that is subsequently
determined to be in violation of the newsgroup rules; when the message in
violation is cancelled, your message quoting it will also be cancelled.
Another special case is EXTREME over-quoting. If you post a very brief reply
to a very long message, and you quote the entire message, your message may
be cancelled. "

I think such guidelines do a very good job of reducing the signal to noise
ratio in a community. I see that Microsoft has published its own rules of
conduct, here http://www.microsoft.com/communities...t/default.mspx,
but these are much less extensive than the Borland ones and as such, in my
opinion, leave the newsgroups open to more 'noise'.
--
Thank you,

Christopher Ireland

Apr 6 '07 #43

P: n/a
Honestly, I've seen [sic] used in various places over the years, but never
really knew exactly what it meant. I looked it up a few years back and,
while I now know what it means, I'm not sure all others would, so I don't
use it. But I do get your irony/sarcasm!

We're programmers, but not journalists.

:)
Scott

- When paying for your groceries by check, have the check made out (minus
the dollar amount) ahead of time so as not to hold up the line.
- Please don't bring carry on luggage that has no chance of fitting into the
overhead compartments on to the plane.
- If you work in the retail or hospitality industries: I am your customer,
the reason for your work, not an interruption of it. Please treat me that
way.
- If you run a convenience store: please make a separate cash register for
lotto/scratch ticket sales (some do & thank you) so I don't have to wait 20
minutes to pay for milk because the guy/woman in front of me can't decide if
they want a quick pic or the multiplier.
- Oh, and please don't top post.

"Tom Leylan" <tl*****@nospam.netwrote in message
news:uq**************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
To adhere to the recent call from some here to "berate other posters in
your signature" I offer my new one :-)

Tom
Consider using "sic" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic when quoting things
with obvious errors
Oh and don't bottom-post.

Great thread we have here :-)
"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:%2******************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
>>I didn't want to change the quote, so as not to get flamed for mis-quoting
the multiple authors of that post.

:)
"Tom Leylan" <tl*****@nospam.netwrote in message
news:OC**************@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
>>And it magically turns into a spelling thread... it's "you're still
retarded." And I've poly-posted this reply so as not to offend anybody.

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:%2***************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
Hmmm,

"Flaming or otherwise attacking someone else reflects as badly
on yourself as your target "

"No matter who wins or loses, your still retarded."

And it magically turns into a spelling thread... it's "you're still
retarded." And I've poly-posted this reply so as not to offend anybody.

Did two different people write this post?
<gw********@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@e65g2000hsc.google groups.com...
On Apr 5, 8:14 am, "Jon Skeet [C# MVP]" <s...@pobox.comwrote:
>On Apr 5, 3:17 am, "Michael A. Covington"
>>
><l...@ai.uga.edu.for.addresswrote:
That said, it really pisses me off when an otherwise productive /
interesting thread goes off the rails because one person posts,
"Please don't top post."
>>
If top posting did not have some kind of perceived advantage,
people
wouldn't do it.
>>
>That assumes a degree of thought which I don't believe is present in
>all people.
>>
>I suspect many people just type where their cursor starts, and don't
>think about advantages or disadvantages. If pushed, I suppose "not
>having to do anything before starting to type" could be viewed as an
>advantage, but it's only an advantage to the person posting (one
>person) compared with the advantages to the readers (potentially
>many)
>of inline posting with appropriate snipping.
>>
>Jon
>
>
If there was no advantage, why would the browser/webpage include the
post? I've found that on the internet, as in life, it is much easier
to /accept/ these things happen, and find ways of dealing with it
(Such as using google groups which happily clean the thread up for
you). Flaming or otherwise attacking someone else reflects as badly on
yourself as your target - Besides that, why are people so presumtuous
to beleive that they have the authority to mete out "punishment"?
Surley their are admins to do this?
>
And of course, as the old saying goes (while not very PC): Fighting on
the internet is like the special olypics, No matter who wins or loses,
your still retarded.
>
Graeme

And it magically turns into a spelling thread... it's "you're still
retarded." And I've poly-posted this reply so as not to offend anybody.




Apr 6 '07 #44

P: n/a
Me too :-)

"RobinS" <Ro****@NoSpam.yah.nonewrote in message
news:sM******************************@comcast.com. ..
>
"RobinS" <Ro****@NoSpam.yah.nonewrote in message
news:3t******************************@comcast.com. ..
>>
"Brian Gideon" <br*********@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@n59g2000hsh.googleg roups.com...
>>On Apr 5, 6:24 am, Peter Bromberg [C# MVP]
<pbromb...@yahoo.yabbadabbadoo.comwrote:
I'ts always enlightening to read about other people's pet peeves. While
top -
posting can be an annoying idiosyncracy, it is nowhere near as high on
my
list as the inane "Me Too" posts and posts which ask questions that
provide
so little initial information that we must assume they think we are
using the
Telepathy API.
Peter

Speaking of pet peaves...one at the top of my list is automatically
assuming someone is asking a homework question. It's pretty annoying
to see accusations going back-and-forth before everyone realizes it
really was a legitimate question in the first place.

Yeah, there can be a lot of business reasons why a programmer needs to
ask how to write a routine to figure out the first 100 prime numbers, or
something like that...

Robin S.

Just to clarify, I was being facetious.

Robin S.
p.s. I bottom-posted this because he did. I never top-post if someone has
already bottom-posted first.

Apr 6 '07 #45

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.