[ubuntu-uk] Inline posting

Bruno Girin brunogirin at gmail.com
Sat Jul 27 11:12:55 UTC 2013

On 20 July 2013 07:36, mac <ammonius.grammaticus at gmx.co.uk> wrote:

> On 20 Jul 2013, at 03:48, Steven Roberts <cwmbranmathstutor at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > So, has anyone else been too worried about using the wrong protocol on
> here?
> This issue is a hardy perennial. There seem to be two worlds: one that
> maintains the original and ancient traditions of the early internet, and
> puts replies (preferably only plain text) below the original post; and one
> - containing the majority of the commercial, business and government world
> - that follows conventions introduced by Microsoft, and replies in HTML
> above the original.
> Here, we are hard-core traditionalists: plain text replies below original.
> We sometimes have to remind people to do it.

I see it more as a case of using the right approach for the context you're
in. I exchange email every day with a mix of people who all have different
preferences in that respect. So when I reply, I take two factors into

What is my reply about? Am I replying to individual point in the original
email or is it a general reply to the overall content?

Who am I replying to and what is the context of the conversation? Is it a
conversation between me and a small group of people or is it a conversation
with a large group of people some of whom I don't know?

Based on the answers to both questions, here's what I do:
- If I reply to individual points in the email, I always post inline and
delete the parts of the email I am not replying to. If my recipients are
used to top-posting, I will prefix the whole thing with "see reply inline
below" or words to that effect.
- If I reply to the whole email in a conversation with a small number of
people I know (like my own team), I will top-post because I assume they've
followed the discussion so far and don't need to refer to the original
email to understand my reply: therefore top-posting mean that they get the
information they need at the top of the message.
- If I reply to a mailing list or any conversation with a large number of
people, I will post inline to ensure that the people who haven't followed
the conversation know the context.

That's the basics. After that, I may sometimes adapt what I do to other
factors. For example, when replying to an old conversation in a situation
where I would normally top-post, I may post inline instead to ensure that
the recipients are reminded of the subject.

Or to summarise: there is not "one true way" to do it, just do what you
think is right based on context, taking into account both what you are
replying to and who you are replying to.

Thoughts anyone?


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