[SATLUG] message etiquette

Todd W. Bucy toddwbucy at grandecom.net
Sun Jan 10 10:05:22 CST 2010

Geoff wrote:
> (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.^
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posting_style#cite_note-interleave_standard-1>
> 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
> order."
> A previous active SATLUG poster (who's name escapes me now) had a
> wonderful signature line, that addressed the issue succinctly;
> (summarized)
> Top posting is frowned upon because it reverses the logical flow of
> conversation.
> 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 ;-)
> -Geoff
thanks for the history lesson.  I myself am ambivalent about this 
issue.  I try to instead follow the procedure done my the first 
respondent to a post and not get so worked up about the little 
things...like moving my mouse a little and using the scroll button.  As 
a researcher though it is quite annoying when a particular thread has 
more then one form followed...say an inline followed by a bottom then a 
top.  can we come to an agreement that the first respondent to a thread 
dictates top or bottom and that inline quotes are not used after say the 
second or third response?


More information about the SATLUG mailing list