Google and Microsoft have really ruined how people use email. Every other person use top posting. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

@joeligj12 @hund Dumping the entire thread below your reply, instead of quoting only specific parts

@yyp @joeligj12 @hund

Haha.. is there a shortage of space beneath the reply that is important to conserve!

Lol.. I was a bottom posting militant but I changed ! So can you!

Xx 😉

@yyp @hund would you mind a visual or video example? I would like to learn proper email manners xD
I am quite bad at understanding these kinda stuff through text

@joeligj12 @yyp @hund
>would you mine a visual or video example?

I think that quoting specific parts is just doing this.

@hund Thanks, I dearly feel the same. Could bottom posting become the future, please? Or top posting be considered as spam? Fully agreeing with you!!!

@hund what is the advantage of bottom posting over top posting?

@tengo That you lose less time looking for the context of what other people are responding to: You just read the relevant quote and the response is right below it.

Top posting means responding to an email on top of it, which is the opposite of how we read and understand things. With top posting, you read the response and then make out the context by having to read maybe a whole thread.


@josemanuel @hund I don't agree with your comment about how we understand things. Isn't that a rather big assumption?

@tengo So, you don’t read top to bottom? And don’t you agree that it is faster to understand something when it is NOT out of order? Do you really know anyone who can understand things without their context?

Bottom posting even makes for shorter emails, because you only quote the relevant parts and leave out all the clutter. Are those such big assumptions to make? To me they’re obvious.


@josemanuel @hund

I do read from top to bottom.

I didn't mention anything about understanding things when they are out of order.

Just because something is obvious to you it doesn't mean it is to everyone.

The original post mentioned every other person using top posting. Doesn't that indicate one option is not obvious and what is considered common sense differs?

@tengo @josemanuel Google and Microsoft thinks that people are stupid and use stupid defaults. Most people don't care and use whatever stupid defaults they're given.

Microsoft didn't get basically 99.99% of the market share with their crappy operating system because it is a good operating system, they made it because they found a way to make it the default option on pretty much every OEM computer that's sold.

That's unfortunately how the world works.


The original post mentioned every other person using top posting.

No. It mentioned that certain companies that have a quasi-monopoly on email have adopted a way of doing things that harms usability and contradicts common sense, and have forced a lot of users to adopt it de facto because they (the users) don’t know any better.

Doesn’t that indicate one option is not obvious and what is considered common sense differs?

No. It just indicates that most people will adapt to whatever they’re given as default, even if it goes against common sense, user friendliness and/or accessibility. It’s simply a matter of ignorance. Top posting being a bad habit is an objective truth no matter how many people do it.



If everyone bottom posts (and configures the removal/stripping of signatures in their clients), the history of the email is much easier to read.


@Jase @hund I've not come across too many people who bottom post and of those only a few use quotes, so it does make the thread a mess.

I doing think people should need to configure email formatting. Sure, if it's a requirement for specific group then make the change, but for general use that shouldn't be necessary.

@tengo @Jase Bottom posting means that you continue the conversation below the quoted text, in the natural order we read text; from top to bottom. Bottom posting doesn't have to mean that you quote parts of the text or anything.

@hund @tengo

Yup, each email within a thread from start to finish should be read like a chapter in a linear story, not like a 'choose your own adventure'
@tengo @jase @hund yes, nobody uses bottom posting because it's not the default in the client and they don't have the understanding/will to change the setting. That's the point of the original post. That Microsoft, in their typical condescending fashion, made top posting the default in outlook, even though it's *the wrong way to do it*, and all the other email clients copied them, because they didn't have the spine to rock the boat. The people who make things a mess by bottom posting are the few who have the guts to do it right, even though most people won't understand what they are doing, nor change their ways, even when it's explained to them.

@tengo Here's a classic example:

-Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
-Why is top-posting such a bad thing?

@hund I'm assume when you say "messes up" you're referring to when there's a mix of top and bottom posts?

Regarding top posting, I assumed that to be the standard now and bottom posting with quotes (or not) to be kept alive on mailing list.

@tengo By messes up, I mean that they diverge from the standard. I don't know why they do it.

We have always read from left to right and from top to bottom, with the exception of a few languages that read from right to left. In *every* other scenario from BBS, forums, SMS, any instant messaging client/service, any social media, you name it, and we use bottom posting. We use bottom posting here as we speak.

Top posting is plain stupid and there's *never* a single reason to do it.

Email ruined email tho. It's an unthreaded protocol leaving this to solve in clients

@hund I use top and bottom posting in the same email.

@hund At work, I’m forced to use top posting. The reason being that, if someone new enters the conversation, they can have the whole thread to read.

Ironically, then we have things like: “My response to your email is embedded in yours below but in a different colour.”

@josemanuel @hund Aaaaarfh this one, so painful. Sometimes people also forget the "please see answers inline" and you're left wondering why they sent a blank message until you discover what they did.

I do it like @jordan31 and quote-comment while also leaving conversation record below.

Bottom posting, should be the sane default but...

The insanity of top posting has seemingly supplanted this.

As a result I've switched to top posting by default or simply not including the history to prevent the unintelligible mess that emails become.

I apparently also annoy some by only using 'ugly' text only emails


@hund I have gotten replies, that I have forgotten to write anything, when my response was actually at the bottom, or even inline...

@rzg That happened me recently as well when talking to a company.. It was really frustrating keeping a good face.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.