----- Original Message -----
From: "Daniel Staal" <DStaal () usa net>
--As of April 11, 2011 3:11:15 PM -0400, Jay Ashworth is alleged to
Nope; I really said it. :-)
Standard threaded (IE: not top-posted) replies have been the standard for
technical mailing lists on the net since I first joined one.
Footnote: Maybe that was more Usenet, that early. :-)
Anyone who has a problem with it can, in short, go bugger off.
--As for the rest, it is mine.
I've found my mail has fallen into three basic categories over time:
1) Mailing list, technical or otherwise.
2) Personal discussions.
3) 'Official' work email, of one form or another.
Of the three, #1 almost always is either bottom posted, or fully
intermixed. #2 I often introduce people to the idea, but once they get
it they like it. In both of these it is more important what is replying
to what, and what the *current state* of the conversation is. Either one
I can rely on the other participants to have the history (or at least
have access to it). Top-posting in either context is non-helpful.
#3, is always top-posted, and I've grown to like that in that context.
The most current post serves as a 'this is where we are right now, and
what needs to be done', while the rest tends to preserve the *entire*
history, including any parts I was not a part of initially. (For instance: A
user sends an email to their boss, who emails the helpdesk, who emails back
for clarification, and then forwards on that reply to me. At that point
it's often nice to know what the original issue was, or to be able to reach
the user directly instead of through several layers of intermediary.)
I sorely hate to admit it, but you're right. I tried doing traditional
quoting on emails in my last position (as IT director in a call center),
and everyone else's heads came off and rolled around on the floor; my boss,
the controller, actually *asked me to stop*.
It has different strengths and weaknesses, and can be useful in it's
place. Mailing lists are not top-posting's place. ;)
We clearly agree, here. Hopefully, we've clarified the reasons why,
for anyone who was on the fence.
(As for HTML email... I've yet to meet an actual human who routinely
used HTML-only emails. They are a sure sign of a marketing department's
I have. No, not necessarily.