doc • netiquette

Gambas Mailing List Netiquette

Top-posting is the practice of replying to a message by typing your response above that to which you are responding. This is both confusing and annoying because your readers will have to scroll down and extract the essential of the existing thread in order to grasp the context of your reply, and then scroll back up again to read your reply.

Posting a "me too" comment at the bottom of a 100+ line message is no better because people have to scroll all the way down through 100+ lines they've already read in order to see your one-liner. One word comes to mind for that: frustrating. Your message is far more likely to be deleted without being read if you have too much quoted material before your reply.

The generally accepted "right way" of doing things is called "inline posting", whereby you insert your comments straight after that on which you are commenting, having stripped unnecessary text from the original quoted text. The end result is something which makes much more sense because it reads like a conversation.

Here are some simple guidelines to follow:

  • When following up a post, please think before you quote. Since everybody else on the list also got the original post, don't quote it entirely. Quote only the parts that are relevant to your response. Make sure the quoted part is recognizable as such, by ensuring each quoted line starts with a > (or more >>, in case of multi-level quoting). Don't quote signatures or entire posts. Don't quote the standard signature.

  • Please do not use tabs or multiple spaces to quote text. Use the "> " sequence instead. Using whitespace to quote text makes it difficult to differentiate between what's quoted and the reply. And don't try to be cute or "different" and use some other character like "}" or whatever. Again, it's confusing. It wastes people's time.

  • Please try to have halfway reasonable spelling and grammar. When reading text with really bad spelling or grammar, people will have difficulty trying to understand your post.

  • Please do not have long, inflammatory, controversial or offensive signatures. The rule of thumb is no more than 4 lines of 80 characters each.

For more "Netiquette" guidelines, see RFC 1855.