Re: Top posting (was: Call for Foundation-supported Project Ideas)

From: Greg 'groggy' Lehey <>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2021 23:48:16 UTC
On Wednesday, 24 November 2021 at 21:33:50 +0000, Graham Perrin wrote:
> On 24/11/2021 01:31, Mehmet Erol Sanliturk wrote:
>> Change policy about discouraging top posting and convert it to encouraging
>> top posting
> Please, don't.

Agreed entirely in this context.  But what are we talking about here?
Mehmet refers to a policy, but who has read it?

My guess is that his real issue is "bottom posting", which is arguably
even worse than "top posting".  In each case, the reply is separate
from the original, and the only difference is where you find it.  But
that's not what the policy says.  As I know it, it's at the end of and obviously
refers to that mailing list, but in principle it applies to any
mailing list or even private exchanges.  Trimming (of course!):

  Unless there is a good reason to do otherwise, reply to the sender
  and to FreeBSD-questions. Many people on the FreeBSD-questions are
  "lurkers": they learn by reading messages sent and replied to by
  others. If you take a message which is of general interest off the
  list, you are depriving these people of their information. Be
  careful with group replies; lots of people send messages with
  hundreds of CCs. If this is the case, be sure to trim the Cc: lines

  Include relevant text from the original message. Trim it to the
  minimum, but do not overdo it. It should still be possible for
  somebody who did not read the original message to understand what
  you are talking about.

  Use some technique to identify which text came from the original
  message, and which text you add. I personally find that prepending
  “>” to the original message works best. Leaving white space after
  the “> ;” and leave empty lines between your text and the original
  text both make the result more readable.

  Put your response in the correct place (after the text to which it
  replies). It is very difficult to read a thread of responses where
  each reply comes before the text to which it replies.

  If the submitter did not abide by format conventions (lines too
  long, inappropriate subject line) please fix it. In the case of an
  incorrect subject line (such as "HELP!!??"), change the subject line
  to (say) "Re: Difficulties with sync PPP (was: HELP!!??)". That way
  other people trying to follow the thread will have less difficulty
  following it.

It's over 20 years old, but I still believe that it is correct.  It
also should work for mobile phones, better than "top posting".


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