A Plea for sanity when posting to this list.

Ewan Mac Mahon ewan at macmahon.me.uk
Wed May 4 12:23:16 UTC 2005


On Wed, May 04, 2005 at 08:49:41PM +1000, Russell Cook wrote:
> Sam Tygier wrote:
> >and personally i think top posting is easier, so that you can follow
> >a thread using a threaded mail viewer. other wise when you select the
> >next message you have to scroll through a load of stuff you have
> >already read. if people only left in the relivent parts it would be
> >ok.
> 
No-one here is suggesting blindly bottom posting without trimming;
people are suggesting doing it right, which means means proper trimming,
interleaved responses.

> Best argument I've heard yet.

It's not a good arguement at all; it's based on an assumption that
people are going to behave badly, and that we should aim for the least
offensive bad behaviour. It's better to aim for good behaviour.
Furthermore I'm using a threading mail client and top-posting is still a
pain in the neck.

> I like it when we use the technology to simplify things, not have us
> change the way we want to work, because the technology is limited. But
> all my Unix colleagues, still want to use hard returns at 80
> characters and text based mailers that don't cope with HTML, binary
> attachments and auto word wrap. 
Not everyone has the flashy technology, and some of us have good reasons
for not wanting it. Plain text is much easier to handle in archives, and
plain text mail and mailers have their advantages. 

I, for example, have a lot of list subscriptions, and at the moment I
can fit my mail onto a USB memory stick to read at home; if everyone
posts in html the mail would be 4-5 times the size and wouldn't fit on
the stick anymore. The exact same thing applies on a larger scale to
proper archives like marc, gmane, google et al. Using a plain text
client (mutt in my case) means that I can use it over slow ssh links and
from a PDA; you wouldn't want to try that with Evo or Thunderbird, nice
though they are for heavy GUI environments.

>I can't call them dinosaurs coz the dinosaurs are extinct and they're
>still here :-), but I do stir them a lot <g>
> 
There's no advantage in change for change's sake; mailing lists like
this don't need HTML, binary attachments or any other fluff so there's
no point spending the resources on them. It's also worth listening to
the old hands - things are done the way they are mostly for good reason,
and even when there's no reason beyond tradition left communities don't
respond well to people arriving and telling them that they're doing
things wrong. 

The Ubuntu lists are extraordinarily tolerant, but even here people,
particularly the more experienced ones, are more inclined to be helpful
to people that make an effort to follow the rules of etiquette.

Ewan
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