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From Ross Gardler <rgard...@opendirective.com>
Subject Re: Top posting is bad
Date Fri, 30 Sep 2011 16:17:05 GMT
On 30 September 2011 16:48, Dennis E. Hamilton <dennis.hamilton@acm.org> wrote:
> Who says what the average size is?  Who has measured it.  Where are the numbers?

Common practice is what I refer to. I don;t have numbers but take a
random dip into as many lists as you like on markmail which (at the
time of writing) has 8,393 lists and 60,045,432 messages for you to
sample. Just click http://markmail.org/search/?q=RE and you will get
the most recent mails that are replies on all of those lists. A quick
sampling of the first ten will answer the first of your two questions
above. If you have the time you could also answer the third (but I
doubt any of us have the time for that).

I just did this and got 7 inline response style, two top post and one
combination post (top and inline) - your results will be for a
separate random sample of course.

I realise that my subject line is unnecessarily confrontational, sorry
for that. I could certainly have chosen a different one. Maybe you
would not have felt this was some kind of personal attack on you. It
is not.

I have no more to say on the matter. People will continue to post in
the way that they prefer (or must as a result of their chosen
clients). Those who are undecided and unrestricted will hopefully make
a more informed decision now (for clarity I say "more informed" which
does not mean they will necessarily choose what I say is the right
way).

Ross

>
> 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
>
>



-- 
Ross Gardler (@rgardler)
Programme Leader (Open Development)
OpenDirective http://opendirective.com

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