Top posting solution

Peter Risdon peter at
Thu Aug 12 05:06:56 PDT 2004

Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
> On Tuesday, 10 August 2004 at 14:58:02 -0700, Kevin Stevens wrote:
>>On Tue, 10 Aug 2004, JJB wrote:
>>>The fact of life is all the Unix mail clients adhere to the Unix
>>>email format of posting the reply to the bottom of the email while
>>>indenting with a quote character.
>>Not true.  Pine doesn't, for example.  It begins a reply with the cursor
>>at the very top of the message body.
> In fact, the entire concept is flawed.  You should be able to write
> text anywhere you want in a reply.  Even most Microsoft-oriented MUAs
> allow that.

Absolutely. Wherever your cursor starts off when you reply to a mail, 
you'll have to move it about to reply in a legible way.

>>>To all you Unix hard liners, Please instead of complaining to the
>>>top posters, it would be so much nicer if you just informed the
>>>[truncated by sender]
>>It would actually be much nicer if they'd just quit trying to
>>enforce their preferences on others.

It also has nothing whatsoever to do with Unix or personal preferences. 
Nobody has any interest at all in how you format mails in any context 
other than this list.

And these issues affect mails on lists regarding all technical issues. 
You'll find correct formatting on MS tech lists as well, though 
admittedly it tends to be patchier there.

The point is that these mails are not private correspondence; they form 
a public archive. Once an OP has had several contributions added to it, 
the only way it remains a useful reference is if reasonable discipline 
is observed by contributors.

In fact, the formatting requested for FreeBSD lists is clear:

And the only people trying to enforce their personal preferences on 
others are those who ignore this guidance.


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