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bottom / top posting

Vijaykumar Jain-2
I hear a lot of suggestions wrt bottom / top posting.

only when i read this,

I got a feeling it sounded rude to the top post, despite me not even having an iota of intention to think that way. I was mostly used to tickets or chat.
but as with chats, using CAPS was not known to me as shouting for a long time, when someone pointed out to me this is what others feel when they read.

Will keep this in mind, for me as well as others who are not aware of the same.

--
Thanks,
Vijay
Mumbai, India
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Re: bottom / top posting

Samuel Gendler


On Mon, Jun 7, 2021 at 5:06 AM Vijaykumar Jain <[hidden email]> wrote:

I got a feeling it sounded rude to the top post, despite me not even having an iota of intention to think that way. 

It's not so much that it is rude in the way of typing in all-caps, it's more that it leads to endlessly long chains of quoted posts below the relevant content, particularly in mailing lists that have a digest which delivers a full day's posts all in a single email to users who select that option - where many of those posts will each quote all of the previous posts, even when they immediately precede each other in the digest. It could probably be argued that the prohibition was more relevant in the days before 99% of users read their email  via clients which hide quoted content unless it is explicitly expanded. Arguably, smarter digesting software which strips out unnecessary quotations of earlier posts from beneath top-posted content would be a more effective solution now that it is no longer common netiquette (nor all that necessary) to avoid top posting.

--sam

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Re: bottom / top posting

Tom Lane-2
Sam Gendler <[hidden email]> writes:
> It's not so much that it is rude in the way of typing in all-caps, it's
> more that it leads to endlessly long chains of quoted posts below the
> relevant content,

It's really critical to understand that bottom-posting also requires
heavy trimming of how much of the previous message(s) you quote.
I despair of the number of people on these lists who think that
bottom-posting etiquette means "quote the entire thread up to this
point and then add a couple lines at the bottom".  The function of
quoting is to *briefly* remind readers of what you're responding to.
If they need more detail, they can go back to the prior messages, or
consult the list archives.  They definitely don't want to re-read
the whole thread before they see your contribution.

> It
> could probably be argued that the prohibition was more relevant in the days
> before 99% of users read their email  via clients which hide quoted content
> unless it is explicitly expanded.

Yeah, gmail is aggressively unfriendly for this purpose.  But if you
can't be bothered to trim your quotes, I'd actually much rather that
you top-post.

                        regards, tom lane


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Re: bottom / top posting

Francisco Olarte
In reply to this post by Samuel Gendler
Sam:

On Mon, Jun 7, 2021 at 6:20 PM Sam Gendler <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  It could probably be argued that the prohibition was more relevant in the days before 99% of users read their email  via clients which hide quoted content unless it is explicitly expanded. Arguably, smarter digesting software which strips out unnecessary quotations of earlier posts from beneath top-posted content would be a more effective solution now that it is no longer common netiquette (nor all that necessary) to avoid top posting.

I, personally, do not have a problem with the space, I use a 4k, gmail
collapses it AND stopping reading things like unnecessarily quoted
messages,  signatures and CO2 emitting eco recomendations to avoid
printing as become nearly automatic. My problem is I can understand a
message like yours in 5-10 seconds, properly scanning a top posted one
takes much longer. So normally I stop reading at the quote and discard
the message if I have not understood with what I have read UNLESS it's
from my mother or I'm been paid to read it.

I find top-posting moderately offensive, like saying "I am not going
to waste time to make your reading experience better".

Francisco Olarte.


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Re: bottom / top posting

Francisco Olarte
In reply to this post by Tom Lane-2
Tom:

On Mon, Jun 7, 2021 at 6:32 PM Tom Lane <[hidden email]> wrote:
> It's really critical to understand that bottom-posting also requires
> heavy trimming of how much of the previous message(s) you quote.

I think we would need to find a different name, Trim-posting?
Bottom posting with full quoting is, as you pointed later, as bad or
worst than top.
I do not know if people realize a properly quoted message is easier on
the eye, and more likely to generate responses, especially when you
are requesting help.

Francisco Olarte.

And do not get me started on the "sent from my iPhone / yahoo mail for
Android / ...", above/below the megaquote in mailing lists like this.
Just wait till you get a proper MUA, it's not a LOCA!

FOS.


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Re: bottom / top posting

Dean Gibson (DB Administrator)-3

And do not get me started on the "sent from my iPhone / yahoo mail for Android / ...", above/below the megaquote in mailing lists like this.

And then there's the wonderful signatures stating that there were no viruses in the outgoing message ...

  



	
	
	
	
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Re: bottom / top posting

Joshua Drake-2
In reply to this post by Tom Lane-2

> It
> could probably be argued that the prohibition was more relevant in the days
> before 99% of users read their email  via clients which hide quoted content
> unless it is explicitly expanded.

Yeah, gmail is aggressively unfriendly for this purpose.  But if you
can't be bothered to trim your quotes, I'd actually much rather that
you top-post.

                        regards, tom lane

At least the students haven't discovered this list yet and are posting their homework assignments (like they do on chat channels).

JD

 
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Re: bottom / top posting

Bruce Momjian
In reply to this post by Francisco Olarte
On Mon, Jun  7, 2021 at 07:53:30PM +0200, Francisco Olarte wrote:
> message like yours in 5-10 seconds, properly scanning a top posted one
> takes much longer. So normally I stop reading at the quote and discard
> the message if I have not understood with what I have read UNLESS it's
> from my mother or I'm been paid to read it.
>
> I find top-posting moderately offensive, like saying "I am not going
> to waste time to make your reading experience better".

Yes, that is basically it, and if you are only communicating with one
other person, maybe that is reasonable.  However, since our emails are
read by thousands, we have a responsibility to make them as clear as
possible, and that includes trimming and quoting relevant parts of
messages.  However, as much as I try, I still regularly have typos in my
emails.  :-(

And you are right in your earlier email in saying that "don't top-post"
or "bottom-post" is not clear enough in explaining how to properly
"trim-post", as you stated.  Some people trim-post automatically, while
others have never thought about it since their communication is almost
always informal.

--
  Bruce Momjian  <[hidden email]>        https://momjian.us
  EDB                                      https://enterprisedb.com

  If only the physical world exists, free will is an illusion.



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Re: bottom / top posting

Jan Wieck-3
In reply to this post by Joshua Drake-2
On 6/7/21 5:40 PM, Joshua Drake wrote:
> At least the students haven't discovered this list yet and are posting
> their homework assignments (like they do on chat channels).

You forgot to mention that they are posting their homework assignments
as cellphone pictures taken from half broken implementations in whatever
GUI they are using.


Regards, Jan

--
Jan Wieck
Postgres User since 1994


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Re: bottom / top posting

Dean Gibson (DB Administrator)-3
In reply to this post by Bruce Momjian

On Mon, Jun  7, 2021 at 07:53:30PM +0200, Francisco Olarte wrote:
... properly scanning a top posted one takes much longer.

Not here.

I find top-posting moderately offensive, like saying "I am not going to waste time to make your reading experience better".

Not here either.

Top-posting has been the predominantly common practice in the business & government world for decades, & it is easy to adapt to.  Just like HTML eMail (within reason) & more than 80 columns on a line.  Somehow, millions of ordinary people are able to adapt to this, on very popular network eMail providers, like Google groups & groups.io, as well as their work environment.

I suppose it comes from the practice in those environs when paper memos were the norm, & if you needed to attach the contents of other paper memos to your own for context, you stapled them to the BACK of your own.

Of course, wherever (top/bottom) one posts, trimming is important, but it's far less important with top-posting.  You usually don't have to scroll down to get the immediate context, & if you do, you have less far to scroll. 

I wonder about the tolerance of the world we live in.  Somehow, I can deal with top-posting, bottom-posting, middle-posting, HTML eMail, straight-text eMails, 80-column eMails, variable-width eMails, occasional ALL CAPS eMails, & stupid multi-line signatures, all without getting my tail in a knot over it.

But then, I was VERY successful in my software development career, consulting at about 30 companies (now retired).  Maybe working with others without conflict on silly issues, had something to do with it.

This message would normally have been top-posted, but was bottom-posted to avoid offending or irritating people here.  Seriously.

ps:  The people on this list have been very helpful, despite the above.

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Re: bottom / top posting

Tom Lane-2
"Dean Gibson (DB Administrator)" <[hidden email]> writes:
> Top-posting has been the predominantly common practice in the business &
> government world for decades, & it is easy to adapt to.

The reason why the old-timers around here are sticky about this is that
we believe we are writing for the mailing list archives.  Gmail-style
quoting is indeed the appropriate amount of effort for throwaway threads
that only a few people will read and (probably) none of them will consult
again later.  But for threads that (a) will be read by hundreds or
thousands of people right now, and (b) will be searched for in the project
archives some unknowable number of times in future, it is worth spending
extra effort to make the conversation easy to follow.

I realize that a lot of posters to these lists can't be bothered to
save a few seconds of my time.  That's fine; I tend to stop reading
their messages right away.

                        regards, tom lane


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Re: bottom / top posting

Tom Browder
On Wed, Jun 9, 2021 at 17:05 Tom Lane <[hidden email]> wrote:
"Dean Gibson (DB Administrator)" <[hidden email]> writes:
> Top-posting has been the predominantly common practice in the business &
> government world for decades, & it is easy to adapt to.

But it sure adds to the digital clutter!

The reason why the old-timers around here are sticky about this is that
we believe we are writing for the mailing list archives.  Gmail-style

I agree wholeheartedly, Tom.

I realize that a lot of posters to these lists can't be bothered to
save a few seconds of my time.  That's fine; I tend to stop reading
their messages right away.

Ditto.

Best regards,

-Tom Browder
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Re: bottom / top posting

Dave Cramer-7
In reply to this post by Tom Lane-2

The reason why the old-timers around here are sticky about this is that
we believe we are writing for the mailing list archives.  Gmail-style
quoting is indeed the appropriate amount of effort for throwaway threads
that only a few people will read and (probably) none of them will consult
again later.  But for threads that (a) will be read by hundreds or
thousands of people right now, and (b) will be searched for in the project
archives some unknowable number of times in future, it is worth spending
extra effort to make the conversation easy to follow.



So on this page PostgreSQL mailing lists there is no mention of  top/bottom posting, 
One has to go to Mailing Lists - PostgreSQL wiki to find the etiquette. 

Seems to me that adding a link to the wiki on the first link makes sense as well as possibly adding it to the subscription message

Dave

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Re: bottom / top posting

Adrian Klaver-4
In reply to this post by Dean Gibson (DB Administrator)-3
On 6/9/21 2:41 PM, Dean Gibson (DB Administrator) wrote:
>
>> On Mon, Jun  7, 2021 at 07:53:30PM +0200, Francisco Olarte wrote:
>>> ... properly scanning a top posted one takes much longer.
>

> I wonder about the tolerance of the world we live in.  Somehow, I can
> deal with top-posting, bottom-posting, middle-posting, HTML eMail,
> straight-text eMails, 80-column eMails, variable-width eMails,
> occasional ALL CAPS eMails, & stupid multi-line signatures, all without
> getting my tail in a knot over it.
>

Think of it as a conforming to a style guide when writing for a
publication. In this case the style is preferred for the reasons Tom
Lane stated in his post.


--
Adrian Klaver
[hidden email]


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Re: bottom / top posting

Adrian Ho
In reply to this post by Vijaykumar Jain-2
On 7/6/21 8:05 pm, Vijaykumar Jain wrote:
> I hear a lot of suggestions wrt bottom / top posting.

To be pedantic, the preferred posting style seems in fact to be *inline
trim-posting*, i.e.

* your responses are immediately below the text you're replying to, so
the context is immediately apparent

* anything not relevant to your response is removed

Pure bottom-posting seems to be acceptable too, but if you're responding
to multiple quotes, inline posting is *much* friendlier to the reader.

--
Best Regards,
Adrian



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Re: bottom / top posting

Steve Litt
In reply to this post by Dean Gibson (DB Administrator)-3
Dean Gibson (DB Administrator) said on Wed, 9 Jun 2021 14:41:47 -0700

>> On Mon, Jun  7, 2021 at 07:53:30PM +0200, Francisco Olarte wrote:  
>>> ... properly scanning a top posted one takes much longer.  
>
>Not here.

Depends on whether the top-poster reiterates nouns instead of just
using pronouns, and whether he/she identifies what is being responded
to. Most don't. Hence the frustration.

>
>>> I find top-posting moderately offensive, like saying "I am not
>>> going to waste time to make your reading experience better".  
>
>Not here either.
>
>Top-posting has been the predominantly common practice in the business
>& government world for decades, & it is easy to adapt to. 

OF COURSE! In business you need the CYA of having the entire discussion
archived, and often the discussion is between two people. But a mailing
list is a mind-meld of tens or hundreds of people. Placing the response
directly below the text that prompted the response makes everything
crystal clear. But just one top-poster can blow up that whole clarity
for the remainder of the thread, making everything a data mine through
posts and guessing who meant what.



> Just like
>HTML eMail (within reason) & more than 80 columns on a line.  Somehow,
>millions of ordinary people are able to adapt to this,

in business contexts


> on very popular
>network eMail providers, like Google groups & groups.io, as well as
>their work environment.

Yeah, google, microsoft and the rest of the
big boys make it much easier to top post. If they made interleave
posting easier, you'd be arguing for that right now, in all contexts
except businss.

>I suppose it comes from the practice in those environs when paper
>memos were the norm, & if you needed to attach the contents of other
>paper memos to your own for context, you stapled them to the BACK of
>your own.
>
>Of course, wherever (top/bottom) one posts, trimming is important,

Thank you!

People see mile long emails and blame interleave or bottom posting, when
what's to blame is a failure to remove material not germane to the
current responses. Have you ever noticed these guys who write their
last line, then leave a couple thousand lines of previous stuff, not at
all apropos to the current post, so you have to read thru all that
stuff to make sure there's nothing else? This isn't about bottom
posting, it's about laziness and/or not understanding communication.
 
>it's far less important with top-posting.  You usually don't have to
>scroll down to get the immediate context,

:-) The top-posted emails you and I have read must be incredibly
different. I usually find top-posts require an archaeological dig
through layers of emails past.

[snip]

>
>But then, I was VERY successful in my software development career,
>consulting at about 30 companies (now retired).  Maybe working with
>others without conflict on silly issues, had something to do with it.

I find nothing silly about clarity or the lack thereof. Imagine the
problems a project could face because person A was too lazy to
interleave post, and person B was tolerant of it and didn't ask enough
"what do you mean by" questions.

>
>This message would normally have been top-posted, but was
>bottom-posted to avoid offending or irritating people here. Seriously.

Thanks! Your message was crystal clear and easy to respond to.

SteveT

Steve Litt
Spring 2021 featured book: Troubleshooting Techniques of the Successful
Technologist http://www.troubleshooters.com/techniques


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Re: bottom / top posting

Basques, Bob (CI-StPaul)
In reply to this post by Vijaykumar Jain-2

All,

 

First, I AM an old-timer, and prefer the top posting for a number of reasons.  I’ve tried the Digest versions of lists in the past and they didn’t quite work out (for me).

 

Top post, newest on top, older stuff indented, can be clipped wherever, although I prefer to see everything if I need to, below. Why should I need to scroll down to see the newest stuff, especially in long threads. Top posting is very easy to understand what’s what, always see the latest stuff first, no scrolling to get going, if I want to see history, I scroll down, I prefer to see the whole thread at once, even the really long ones, for the context.  I tend to search for old stuff in the archives through Nabble which works great (for me).

 

Alternatively, where I deem appropriate I will do inline posting/clipping, but I always announce that at the top (posting) of the response.

 

My tarnished two cents worth . . .  :c)

 

Bobb

 

P.S.  BTW, I intentionally don’t use a big SIG in my Email because of my list participation.  I have no control over my companies addition of those “Think Before You Click . . .” placards either.  Only alternative there is to not use my Company account, which seems wrong to me for some reason  . . .  I could probably figure out some way to address those placards automatically, but haven’t tried as of yet.  I wonder if I could do it with a rule/scripting . . . .

 

 

From: Vijaykumar Jain <[hidden email]>
Date: Monday, June 7, 2021 at 7:06 AM
To: pgsql-general <[hidden email]>
Subject: bottom / top posting

 

Think Before You Click: This email originated outside our organization.

 

I hear a lot of suggestions wrt bottom / top posting.

 

only when i read this,

 

I got a feeling it sounded rude to the top post, despite me not even having an iota of intention to think that way. I was mostly used to tickets or chat.

but as with chats, using CAPS was not known to me as shouting for a long time, when someone pointed out to me this is what others feel when they read.

 

Will keep this in mind, for me as well as others who are not aware of the same.

 

--

Thanks,

Vijay

Mumbai, India

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Re: bottom / top posting

Peter J. Holzer
In reply to this post by Dean Gibson (DB Administrator)-3
On 2021-06-09 14:41:47 -0700, Dean Gibson (DB Administrator) wrote:

>
>     On Mon, Jun  7, 2021 at 07:53:30PM +0200, Francisco Olarte wrote:
>
>         ... properly scanning a top posted one takes much longer.
>
>
> Not here.
>
>
>         I find top-posting moderately offensive, like saying "I am not going to waste time to make your reading experience better".
>
>
> Not here either.
>
> Top-posting has been the predominantly common practice in the business &
> government world for decades, & it is easy to adapt to.  Just like HTML eMail
> (within reason) & more than 80 columns on a line.  Somehow, millions of
> ordinary people are able to adapt to this,
They have probably never known anything else, so they didn't "adapt" to
it.

> I suppose it comes from the practice in those environs when paper memos were
> the norm, & if you needed to attach the contents of other paper memos to your
> own for context, you stapled them to the BACK of your own.

Yes, that's also my theory. That made a lot of sense with paper,
especially before photocopiers were invented, and you simply added your
memo to the file and then passed the whole file to the next person.

Makes much less sense in an electronic medium where you can copy and
delete without scissors and glue.

> Of course, wherever (top/bottom) one posts, trimming is important, but it's far
> less important with top-posting.  You usually don't have to scroll down to get
> the immediate context, & if you do, you have less far to scroll. 

I know at least one person who insists that you never trim anything,
because he wants to keep only the last mail in each thread, so of course
that mail must contain everything. Of course that breaks down as soon as
somebody replies to some other mail than the most recent one. Don't know
how he deals with that.

> I wonder about the tolerance of the world we live in.  Somehow, I can deal with
> top-posting, bottom-posting, middle-posting, HTML eMail, straight-text eMails,
> 80-column eMails, variable-width eMails, occasional ALL CAPS eMails, & stupid
> multi-line signatures, all without getting my tail in a knot over it.

I can deal with it. Especially when I'm paid for it. I think it's a
waste of my time (but if somebody else pays ...) and it is inefficient,
as it is very easy to overlook relevant details in that ever-growing
mess. I never understood why so many people hated e-mail as a
communication medium. Now I do.

        hp

--
   _  | Peter J. Holzer    | Story must make more sense than reality.
|_|_) |                    |
| |   | [hidden email]         |    -- Charles Stross, "Creative writing
__/   | http://www.hjp.at/ |       challenge!"

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Re: bottom / top posting

Peter J. Holzer
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
On 2021-06-10 01:23:34 -0400, Steve Litt wrote:
> Dean Gibson (DB Administrator) said on Wed, 9 Jun 2021 14:41:47 -0700
> >Top-posting has been the predominantly common practice in the business
> >& government world for decades, & it is easy to adapt to. 
>
> OF COURSE! In business you need the CYA of having the entire discussion
> archived,

You can archive more than one e-mail per thread, you know :-)

        hp

--
   _  | Peter J. Holzer    | Story must make more sense than reality.
|_|_) |                    |
| |   | [hidden email]         |    -- Charles Stross, "Creative writing
__/   | http://www.hjp.at/ |       challenge!"

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Re: bottom / top posting

Jan Wieck-3
In reply to this post by Basques, Bob (CI-StPaul)
On 6/10/21 12:08 PM, Basques, Bob (CI-StPaul) wrote:

> Alternatively, where I deem appropriate I will do inline
> posting/clipping, but I always announce that at the top (posting) of the
> response.

"where you deem appropriate" you will do that, and where "I deem
appropriate" I will stop reading whatever you thought was important.

Want to get a message to me? Think less about what you deem appropriate.


Best Regards, Jan

--
Jan Wieck
Postgres User since 1994


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