Top posting in a meandeing thread was: Re: Fedora - time to blink

Marko Vojinovic vvmarko at
Sun Nov 27 20:03:45 UTC 2011

On Sunday 27 November 2011 20:00:20 Reindl Harald wrote:
> Am 27.11.2011 19:32, schrieb Maurizio Marini:
> > A. Because people read from top to bottom.
> > Q. Why should I not top post?
> > A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
> > Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
> > A: Top-posting.
> > Q: What is the most annoying thing in e-mail?
> but only in mailing-lists and there only because not all are doing this
> yes i and peopole are reading from top to bottom
> and if i follow a conversation i normally know the postings before
> so i need only to read the answers

I envy you for your memory, if you are really able to remember every line of  
conversation in all threads you are following. I typically follow 10-20 
threads on various mailing lists simultaneously, and it is quite impossible 
for me to remember everything everyone said. So it is often useful to skim 
through the previous material, to refresh the topic in my mind and then read 
the latest post.

If you are following only two or three threads simultaneously, I agree this 
might not be important.
> with top-posting i would not have to scroll or ONLY if i have
> not read the messages before and even if i do not know the whole
> thread i must only ONE TIME scroll down and read from bottom to
> top, but only once

And in these cases, it is more natural to read from top to bottom than vice 
> so the only real problem is that so many people do not top-posting
> and that they which do not realize if the thread was with answers
> below the question and suddenly start mixing what is really bad
> because you have a question and some answers below and some in top of

Yes, this is the worst case scenario...
> in business-communication top posting and TOFU is normally
> because with TOFU you need only the last mail of a conversation
> and with the top-posting you need not to scroll and see the whole
> answer in the preview after select a message

Business communications are typically private, and not archived for public 
visibility and reference on the web, as mailing lists are. When I do an 
archive search for some previous topic, it is very annoying to read the thread 
upside-down. In addition, business communications are mainly done between two 
parties, unlike mailing list threads which typically have multiple 
participants and subthreads, where top-posting quotation of content is worse 
than useless.

Some time ago I proposed to create a mail filter, top2bottom, which would 
reshuffle message text into top/bottom-posting style, as desired by the user. I 
even wrote some proof-of-concept C code which does that. Unfortunately, it 
didn't get much traction, and also I didn't have enough time to work on it 
more seriously.

Maybe one day I'll sit down and do it properly, and hopefully it will help 
eliminate these kind of discussions from mailing lists altogether. ;-)

Best, :-)

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