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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Wednesday July 11, 2007
04:24 AM

Shut Up About My Email Formatting

[ #33776 ]

So sometimes I get flamed for top posting a response to email. Yesterday, I was getting grief for bottom posting on an email response. Some people give me grief if they think I've trimmed too much context. Others give me grief if I include too much of the previous emails. I've had people tell me they prefer if I top post responses, but bottom posting is OK if I at least use HTML email so that colors differentiate things (they were from marketing).

It doesn't matter how I send email, someone's going to be upset for not using the One True Email Response Etiquette.

Me? I tend to bottom post and I tend to trim my email. Usually. Sometimes I'll change that if it seems to improve comprehension, or if I'm lazy, or if my Magic 8-Ball tells me otherwise. Hell, sometimes I just guess wrong. If you don't like it, that's OK because I'm quite used to various people having differences of opinion about how they want to receive email. I don't mind this one bit.

What I do mind is you giving me f***ing grief because I don't use your preferred format! So shut the F up already, will you? If a particular mailing list has a preferred format, I try and stick with that because I can see it, but otherwise, I don't give a rat's ass about trying to balance 10 contradictory viewpoints.

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  • It doesn't matter how I send email,                   | I side-posted an email once,
    someone's going to be upset for not                   | though I admit it was in response
    using the One True Email Response Etiquette.          | to someone top-posting. :)
  • … is that you send mail with stuff that doesn’t put it in the proper threading headers.[1] So while everyone else’s replies show up sorted into the respective threads in the right places, nice and easy to follow, your stuff ends up somewhere at the bottom of the mailbox, 40 mails away from the thread to which it belongs, and I have to manually go in and add the headers to stitch the whole mess back together, so I can read it. The alternative would be to delete the mails unread in order to

    • Ah, crap. That's a very legitimate complaint. You know, I should really consider going back to their old, clumsy interface. It's much less user-friendly, but at least it sent email correctly. So far, I have the following issues:

      • Can't bottom post unless I manually format
      • Often screws up the formatting, inserting extra newlines
      • And now, it gets the threading wrong :(
      • Yeah, their new version is a significant disimprovement in terms of mail format handling. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that old Yahoo mail inserts threading headers; makes it that much more disappointing that their new app is as superficial about mail standards as most other webmailers.