Sunday, November 12, 2006

Gmail and Top Posting

I know many have bitched about this in the past, so I won't go off on a rant now. I am curious though if Google has addressed this anywhere that I haven't seen. As in, have they so much as acknowledged the complaints at all? Even if there were some FAQ entry somewhere that said something lame like "We at Google have decided that top posting is best practise and have no plans to support bottom posters." that would provide a feeling of closure. Instead, each time the New Features indicator appears I jump all over it hoping that today is the day. It never is.

Admittedly, I do feel like a bit of a knob even complaining or mentioning this at all. It's not that big of a deal to delete the space at the top, trim the replied text, and add my reply to the bottom. Also, I understand that Windows users are the majority and that Google probably doesn't wish to confuse them. But at least acknowledge good form and provide a non-default setting so that the geeks of the world who do give a shit feel loved too.

Am I alone here?


  1. I'm feel the same way. Give us geeks some lovin', google!

  2. "Am I alone here?"

    No, and I've already told them so, at

  3. I just ran across your blog entry while doing some searching because I'm upset about the same damn thing.

    Internet tradition dictates that you first quote the relevent parts of the message you're replying to and then include your response below.

    Unfortunately the unwashed masses don't know anything about our traditions and aren't interested in learning them. There seems to have been a great decrease in both respect between netizens and the signal-to-noise ratio since about the late 90's when the public-at-large became aware of the 'net.

    I know that back in the day (as in the early 90's) there was a document regarding email etiquette that specifically addressed top versus bottom-quoting. I've been unable to locate it again, but I seem to recall it either being listed in an email related RFC, or was a document on Eric S. Raymond's site.

    Does anyone else remember such a document?

    And yes, I'll admit it, I'm a grumpy old-school user that remembers gopher and Mosaic with fondness along with the green screens, cassette tape drives, paper-punched floppies and acoustic couplers of yesteryear.

    1. I think you're talking about Gene Spafford's (et al) articles like A Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community and Emily Postnews. I'm replying to this a bit late (2013), but have always been annoyed by the wastefulness (and laziness) of top-posting, and the lack (still!) of an Internet-Style quoting option. Alas, I've noticed that just about everyone, geek or otherwise, is top-posting freely these days. :-(

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. RFC1855

    - If you are sending a reply to a message or a posting be sure you summarize the original at the top of the message, or include just enough text of the original to give a context. This will make sure readers understand when they start to read your response. Since NetNews, especially, is proliferated by distributing the postings from one host to another, it is possible to see a response to a message before seeing the original. Giving context helps everyone. But do not include the entire original!


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