Top Posting vs. Bottom Posting

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by scaredkitty, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. scaredkitty

    scaredkitty Guest

    vs. posting/replying after each paragraph

    What is the proper and acceptable way to reply to NG, and when & how to
    you refer to the post that you're replying to--ie, choose 1 line of previous
    post that you're replying to; or just include complete message that you're
    replying to, or replying between lines or paragraphs. I'm a newbie, and am
    getting contradictory information about this issue. Thanks! k
    scaredkitty, Apr 5, 2005
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  2. There's no definitive answer, although many people who disagree with
    each other fervently believe there is. The consensus seems to be that
    bottom posting is more widely accepted. Inter-posting makes sense when
    responding to several points in a post. Snipping down to the relevant
    info is good practice I believe.
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?R=F4g=EAr?=, Apr 5, 2005
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  3. scaredkitty

    trout Guest

    Maybe some people *should* use AOL.
    trout, Apr 5, 2005
  4. scaredkitty

    trout Guest

    Whoops. No offense to kitty. This was meant to go in the "HELP
    CANCEL...." thread.
    trout, Apr 5, 2005
  5. scaredkitty

    Parko Guest

    Microsoft seems to think top posting is the go. Everyone else thinks
    otherwise. Make your choice.
    or just include complete message that you're
    Microsoft seems to think top posting is the go. Everyone else thinks
    otherwise. Make your choice.
    Parko, Apr 5, 2005
  6. scaredkitty

    scaredkitty Guest

    That's ok--no problem

    scaredkitty, Apr 5, 2005
  7. scaredkitty

    scaredkitty Guest

    Top posting seems easier (especially to a newbie), but I don't want to
    piss any one off
    scaredkitty, Apr 5, 2005
  8. Don't worry, you will. No matter what you do. That's not necessarily a
    bad thing.
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?R=F4g=EAr?=, Apr 5, 2005
  9. scaredkitty

    Old Gringo Guest

    Look at it like Instant Messaging, your answer follows the other guys
    question. Easy to keep track of. OE can be set to bottom post.
    Old Gringo, Apr 5, 2005
  10. scaredkitty

    Plato Guest

    True. MS started the top posting thing when folks with OE started to use
    USEnet. They figured MS knows best, which is incorrect.
    Plato, Apr 5, 2005
  11. scaredkitty

    Old Gringo Guest

    They have got to be nuts. Wonder why their IM doesn't top post? :)
    Old Gringo, Apr 5, 2005
  12. scaredkitty

    Old Gringo Guest

    I do reply to emails by top posting but that is a different ball game.
    Old Gringo, Apr 5, 2005
  13. I'm not accustomed to inter- or bottom-posting pissing anyone off.
    Blinky the Shark, Apr 5, 2005
  14. scaredkitty

    trout Guest

    'This' newsgroup has traditionally been tolerant of either form (or
    something in between). However, around Usenet, top-posting will get you
    royally flamed in many (if not most) newsgroups.
    If you *would* like to get used to bottom-posting, a handy tool to
    have is OE-Quotefix. It makes it easier to do a lot of things with OE,
    just one of which is the choice to start your cursor at the top or
    trout, Apr 5, 2005
  15. scaredkitty

    Plato Guest

    Grin. I do if the sender didn't snip squat and got lines of headers/sigs
    in the email.
    Plato, Apr 5, 2005
  16. scaredkitty

    Sunny Guest

    Top posting, pre Usenet, was termed "filing", where new notes were
    stapled/affixed to the top of the file.
    Important or high profile suggestions, were usually noted in the margin of
    the applicable document.
    There is an unconfirmed rumour that "top filing" is even pre-Microsoft.
    To summaries (IMHO) ;
    Post replies wherever you think they should go, however, including the
    original text over and over again can get a tad tiresome and wears out mouse
    wheels faster. :)
    Sunny, Apr 5, 2005
  17. scaredkitty

    Mike Easter Guest

    Trim and contextualize

    - From the news.newusers.questions faq site Quoting Style in
    Newsgroup Postings

    - From the frequently posted [TIP]

    Newsgroups: news.newusers.questions
    Subject: [TIP] How to format responses to postings
    Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2005 21:09:25 +0000 (UTC)
    Message-ID: <>
    Mike Easter, Apr 5, 2005
  18. scaredkitty

    Mike Easter Guest

    In a great many ng/s, it is totally unacceptable, incompatible,
    disruptive, and self-centered.

    Also, it interferes with the /quality/ or precision of your reply.

    By trimming and contextualizing, it focuses your reply directly at the
    specific words to which you should be responding; and those words are
    directly in front of you just above where you are typing.

    When you toppost, it means that you are reading something and then a
    thought or a feeling enters your head, bursting to get out, and then you
    hit 'reply' and start typing from memory and feelings what you were
    thinking about when you hit reply; instead of exactly what the words
    were to which you are actually replying.

    And, it isn't clear *exactly* which words you are replying to. And,
    what's worse, very often it is clear that the topposter didn't quite
    grasp the /exact/ content to which s/he is responding.

    There are corporate mail systems which require TOFU^1 [text over full
    quote under] mail exchanges and there are a very few newsgroups in which
    topposting is preferred. But if you trim adequately and contextualize,
    you can still harmonize with those groups. Untrimmed bottom posting is
    a different kind of problem than untrimmed topposting.

    ^1 Top-posting
    Mike Easter, Apr 5, 2005
  19. scaredkitty

    w_tom Guest

    RFC1885 permits top posting as long as one requirement is
    met. It says:
    Somehow others have perverted this into only bottom posting
    is acceptable.

    Furthermore RFC 1885 requests not quoting the entire message
    - which is what bottom posters so often do. A message begins
    by providing context of the previous message.­55.html

    The bottom line concept is this: post anyway you want as
    long as it's clear what you are replying to. Others are so
    intolerant as to revise this into "only bottom posting is
    acceptable". Don't worry about pissing them off. Intolerant
    people will get pissed eventually.

    Post to make a reply most readable. Difficult replies would
    have you wading through reams of 'already read' material to
    find a new idea.
    w_tom, Apr 5, 2005
  20. scaredkitty

    Guest Guest

    Really depends on the target audience or community. In the
    microsoft.public.* newsgroups, or in any newsgroup devoted to a
    Windows-only application, most of the visitors will be using Microsoft
    e-mail and NNTP client(s). That means they will mostly default to
    top-posting because that is what their Microsoft client program was
    hardcoded to use as the default. In non-Microsoft newsgroups, OE users
    are not likely to be the predominate constituent of the audience for
    that newsgroup. That means other NNTP clients will dominate that
    newsgroup and all of them use an install-time default configuration to
    bottom-post. Few NNTP clients allow a user to specify which posting
    method to use by default depending on the newsgroup visited (I don't
    know of any), so users are usually stuck using the same posting style
    for all newsgroups that they visit.

    Outlook Express can now be made to bottom-post using a registry edit
    described in the Windows XP Service Pack 2 release description.
    However, few OE users will read the SP-2 description to know of the
    registry edit and many won't bother even if they know of it. Until it
    becomes an option configurable through the program's UI, most OE users
    will remain ignorant or too lazy to make the change.

    Notice that I still use OE. I used to use OE-Quotefix to correct some
    non-standard behaviors in OE. However, and since I demand OE display
    all messages in plain-text format, Service Pack 2 kills OE-QuoteFix (see
    However, the registry edit that became available in WinXP SP-2 to make
    OE bottom-post alleviated much of my need for OE-Quotefix. FidoLook
    looks interesting but has no documentation so many of its features are
    useless. You can't even figure out how to change their goofy default
    greeting for a reply.
    And which is what top posters so often do. Being lazy has nothing to do
    with whether or not the client program defaults to putting the default
    insert point at the top or bottom of the body. Lazy is lazy, and the
    lazy will not bother snipping no matter where is the default insert
    For the OP, top- or bottom-post is irrelevant. It's the first post.
    For the first reply, that respondent decides whatever style they want to
    use. However, thereafter the same style should be used by all
    subsequent respondents in that [sub]thread. We've all seen the jumbled
    mess that results when some respondents top-post while others
    bottom-post (whereupon severe snipping is actually recommended to regain
    some resemblance of order). Unfortunately, NNTP clients cannot specify
    a preferred posting style by the prior poster to which they reply nor
    detect which was used previously so as to retain that style in a reply.
    Relying on users to retain the posting style ... well, you know how that
    goes: most users are lazy.
    Guest, Apr 5, 2005
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