[kwlug-disc] trimming posts

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Tue Apr 22 04:41:25 EDT 2014


We could go on on this forever, and it would never end. Flamewar.

People do what they do regardless of original intent and design. 
Especially if that original intent and design is not the current medium 
and environment. Over the years of this list the use percentage of 
bottom posting vs top posting has steadily declined. Especially as the 
mediums and devices upon which the content is consumed evolves. It is 
what it is. Yes, people are lazy. Or more likely, don't care / it's not 
important to them. You can decry this, but you're just wasting your own 
energy. People's (mass) behaviour is what it is, and very difficult to 
collectively change. You can and will have some amount of success, as 
this thread will, but you will not achieve 100% compliance. At least not 
in this list, per its history. People do what they do because it works 
for them, whether or not it is what they are supposed to do or how it 
was supposed to be used. It is what it is. Particularly in this small, 
geographic specific, e-mail list.

I do get Paul's point - I merely said the argument given is specious.

Agreed, the reminder to trim was welcome. Not using signatures is part 
of that. I, for one, skip reading them - I'm not interested, 
particularly in the redundant repeat - the header shows me who it's 
from, and all I read. I doubt I'm alone in that.

Principles are all well and good, but to assume all participants know, 
will follow, or care, isn't. We do not require such adherence for 
membership. People use it as is convenient to them, regardless of 
original intent or desire. It is what it is.


On 14-04-21 11:56 PM, Steve Izma wrote:
> Allow me to re-arrange this conversation so that (chronologically
> speaking, at least) it is a little more coherent:
>
> On Sun, Apr 20, 2014 at 12:42:17PM -0400, unsolicited wrote:
>> Subject: Re: [kwlug-disc] trimming posts
>
>>> On 14-04-20 12:27 PM, Adam Glauser wrote:
>>> In case people skipped over this bit in Steve's signature, I
>>> thought I'd highlight it.
>>> ... [see signature line below]
>
>> On 14-04-20 12:35 PM, rbclemen at gmail.com wrote:
>>> Top posting makes the perfectly reasonable assumption that
>>> most people in the discussion aren't new to it, and don't need
>>> to scroll through a dozen pages of now poorly formatted text
>>> they have already read to find the start of the purpose of the
>>> email.
>>
>> Agreed. The quoted text is from a time long since passed, and
>> the world of e-mail lists instead of newsgroups has moved on.
>> Especially in a small local geographic list such as this is.
>
> That assumption is not reasonable. How can you argue that everyone
> has kept in mind the same details of the discussion that you
> have? At the very least, it's a courtesy to those with whom
> you're corresponding to show a continuity in the discussion
> points. It's also not a good idea to assume that people aren't
> busy doing other things between posts.
>
> As for "a dozen pages of now poorly formatted text", why do you
> recycle it with each message? Why not just delete it if you don't
> expect people to go through it?
>
> In regards to "moving on", since when has progress in time
> inherently resulted in improvements? I'll quote Arthur Dent:
> "I've gone off the idea of progess. It's overrated." The point of
> this discussion (and the "quoted text", i.e., the wikipedia
> article) is to argue that the "moving on" has been in the
> direction of decreased coherency, sort of like "moving on" in the
> fast food industry over the past few decades has resulted in a
> massive increase in garbage.
>
>> Granted, digesting makes the problem worse, which is why I have
>> long since abandoned it on most any list I participate in.
>
> The digest format magnifies the problem, especially when people
> include all of the digest in their replies. That's sheer
> laziness. But it's also laziness to include parts of the message
> you have no intention of referring to.
>
>> Paul's 40k limit for the purposes of keeping posts small is specious
>> - I can't recall the last time I saw a post get anywhere near it. It
>> does, however, keep most attachments away, for which I am very
>> grateful.
>
> The point of his post was not the 40k but the criticism that
> people are not trimming their posts.
>
> One of the first Unix principles I was taught: Silence is golden.
> A program should not return messages (to stderr, i.e., the
> console) if it has accomplished what you expected. Command syntax
> is terse, as is typical Unix markup. There were physical reasons
> for this, of course, which no longer hold. But the elegance of it
> is the reduction of noise on the system, fewer bytes to store and
> clean up, concise input (despite the fact that the programmers
> I knew were exceptionnally good typists). Large, cheap storage
> systems and extremely fast CPUs don't change the signal to noise
> ratio.




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