On Sat, Sep 02, 2006 at 06:51:41PM +0900, William Crawford wrote:
> 
> 'Speaking for others' means you are stating how they feel, not what they
> have done.  Instead, I was noting the tendency for people in this thread
> to assume everyone else was like them.  Usenet posters assumed they were
> the largest group, List posters and Web posters did the same thing.
> Only 1 of those groups can be right, and I haven't seen statistics to
> back any of them up.  Everyone also assumes that their posting
> preference is best for everyone, or at least 'least harmful' for
> everyone.

Actually, at least three people haven't just assumed everyone else was
like them: Jamal, me, and someone who favors top-posting (I don't recall
exactly who that was).  Jamal's obvious: he spoke for himself as a blind
list user.  I specifically identified different groups who use this
venue via differing interfaces and, in fact, mistakenly spoke of the
usenet users as though comp.lang.ruby was here "first", being a mailing
list user myself, and talked about the effects of top-, bottom-, and
inline-posting as regards the sort of technical discussion that happens
here.  Whoever it is that I'm recalling from amongst the top-posting
advocates pretty much just said "I don't give a damn what anyone else
likes, this is what I prefer, and if the list didn't have specific rules
about top-posting you could all just screw yourselves."  That, of
course, is an exaggerated paraphrase, but that's the message that was
conveyed.

Others may also have not just assumed everyone else was like them.  I
haven't been keeping score.  These are three examples that leap
immediately to mind, however.

In any case, if I didn't think top-posting interfered with clear
communication for the type of email activities of which I'm a part
(technical discussions, et cetera), I wouldn't have any problem with it.
I don't know for sure, but the way you phrased your statement about what
is "least harmful", it sounds like you're saying we all just pick a
preference and defend it as "least harmful", whereas I learned to prefer
bottom/inline posting specifically because, from my experience and some
thought about the matter, it seems "least harmful".


> 
> Back on the polite issue, I will agree that posting contrary to the
> groups wishes is impolite.  But when the group's wishes (the world's
> wishes) are unknown, it is not impolite to post in a manner that does
> not bother you.  I will continue to only bottom-post here and top and
> bottom post as I see the need  to everyone else.
> 
> My argument stands:  Top-posting is not inherently impolite or
> incorrect.  It deepnds on where you are doing it.

. . . and my point, in a nutshell, is that when circumstances,
preferences, and so on are unknown, bottom/inline posting seems most
courteous and most conducive to clear communication.

. . . and I seem to like words starting with C when I say that, which is
not an impression I contradict in my signature block.  How odd.

-- 
CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
"The ability to quote is a serviceable
substitute for wit." - W. Somerset Maugham