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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <dennis.hamil...@acm.org>
Subject RE: Top posting is bad
Date Fri, 30 Sep 2011 15:48:48 GMT
Who says what the average size is?  Who has measured it.  Where are the numbers?

I'm really tired of this and I am sorely disappointed that it arose here.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ross Gardler [mailto:rgardler@opendirective.com] 
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2011 05:40
To: ooo-dev@incubator.apache.org; dennis.hamilton@acm.org
Subject: Re: Top posting is bad

On 30 September 2011 13:18, Dennis E. Hamilton <dennis.hamilton@acm.org> wrote:
> "bad" may be "unpleasant for you" but how about looking at the
> interoperability challenges and not encouraging belief that there
> is a silver-bullet, one-size fits all fiat when the only thing
> that works is civility.

There is no one-size fits all, this is true. But there is an "average
size which suits more" (I have no idea why you bring civility into
this, this was a perfectly reasonable request to improve the quality
of our online communications based on a great deal of personal and
collective experience of what works for ASF projects - and non-ASF
projects alike).

For open source projects the generally accepted "average size" is to
use inline posting, e.g.

"When quoting someone else's mail, insert your responses where they're
most appropriate, at several different places if necessary, and trim
off the parts of their mail you didn't use." from the "bible of open
source project management" (my opinion) Producing Open Source [1]

or if you want a wider discussion then

"This style makes it easier for readers to identify the points of the
original message that are being replied to; in particular, whether the
reply misunderstood or ignored some point of the original text."
(wikipedia [2])

or perhaps something a little more "official"

"If you are sending a reply to a message or a posting be sure you
 summarize the original at the top of the message, or include just
 enough text of the original to give a context.  This will make
 sure readers understand when they start to read your response.
 Since NetNews, especially, is proliferated by distributing the
 postings from one host to another, it is possible to see a
 response to a message before seeing the original.  Giving context
 helps everyone.  But do not include the entire original!" from
Netiquette Guidelines (RFC 1855) [3]

and back to an observation in Wikipedia:

"Interleaved reply combined with top-posting combines the advantages
of both styles. " [2]

Ross

[1] http://producingoss.com/
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posting_style#Choosing_the_proper_posting_style
[3] http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1855


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