[SATLUG] message etiquette

Geoff geofff at w5omr.shacknet.nu
Sun Jan 10 05:49:41 CST 2010

(Only because someone specifically asked)

> I can see where the trimming part comes from... Something I find very cumbersome on a Blackberry when I chime in during the day...but what is the history of the bottom post? Old timers? Every email system I have EVER used auto-top-posts...
> Is that an old DARPA/ARPANET mailing list thing?
> BBS system etiquitte from the 80's/90's...
> ...and yes, I remember the old bottom-post/top-post flame war from last year... (or was it the year before that...?) that never did seem to get resolved...
> Someone other than Bruce? I know how he feels...

Inline replying is the predominant style that developed in the Usenet
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usenet> discussion lists, years before the
existence of the WWW <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWW> and the spread
of e-mail <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mail> and the Internet
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet> outside the academic community.^

Inline replying was also originally used in all e-mail (because such
users had come from Usenet),
but a lot of people don't use in-line posting because they were too lazy
to learn the correct way, with most message people coming into the
computing scene  -after- the internet boom,and don't have a clue as to
'why' there are different styles.

that's not to say that some of the software programs aren't saddled with
some responsibility as they were 'lacking' in support for the "reply
function" of that web-based mail readers, or they re-formatted the
text... never a 'standard' was kept, after the internet boom.

the earliest forms of electronic communication utilized in-line, or
'interleaved' communication.  this was new!  you could quote the
original post and reply to that specific phrase or question with a
specific answer.  To the reasonable thinking and logical person, it
simply made sense.

Personally, I got behind a keyboard in October of 1983, and was banging
out lines upon lines of code on a TI-99/4A.  In 1985, there was a modem
emulator program, in the summer of 1986, I got a PC, and then in early
1987 a 300-baud acoustic modem.  In the Summer of 1987, I was up to the
blazing speed of 1200 baud and in the fall of 1988 I started "The
Electronic Avenue BBS" (a year before Montgomery Wards "Electric Avenue")

Doug White remembers! ;-)

It was somewhere in the mid-90's when I met Ed Coates (then in San
Antonio and still in the Air Force) and a few years later when he
introduced me to Linux.  I already had experience with NOS (Network
Operating System) utilized for running TCP/IP over packet radio (a facet
of Amateur Radio) which was at least Unix based.

(Lifted straight from a Wiki page)

"...most forums, wiki discussion pages, and blogs
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog> (such as Slashdot
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slashdot>) essentially impose the
bottom-post format, by displaying all recent messages in chronological

A previous active SATLUG poster (who's name escapes me now) had a
wonderful signature line, that addressed the issue succinctly;

Top posting is frowned upon because it reverses the logical flow of

There was another thread, back in 2003, that claimed that "top posters"
are the modern day graffiti writers, trying to be 'King of the Hill' by
spraying/writing their post on top of the previous missive.

Quote what's relavant to the conversation (keep 'em trimmed, and remove
headers/footers) and intersperse your comments between what someone else
has said/asked and mail would flow a lot smoother and look -much-
cleaner in the archives!

You asked ;-)


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