Gentoo Archives: gentoo-amd64

From: Duncan <1i5t5.duncan@×××.net>
To: gentoo-amd64@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-amd64] Re: Re: initio seen, mt -f doesn't work
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 13:04:36
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-amd64] Re: initio seen, mt -f doesn't work by Gavin Seddon
Gavin Seddon posted <1134389659.10966.6.camel@linuxstation>, excerpted
below,  on Mon, 12 Dec 2005 12:14:19 +0000:

> I thought comments should be posted at the top of the rply so users > don't have to scroll thru' endless postings to reach the necessary > 'bit'.
That's the point about trimming the quote to only that to which you are replying, not the whole "endless postings" thing, several levels of quotes deep. =8^) While there are exceptions, a general rule of thumb is that if you are quoting more than a page of previous content before your first bit of reply, you are quoting too much. While folks use different sized displays and pages on those displays, the idea is that your first bit of reply will be on the first page of a reasonably sized page display. If you find you are much beyond that, then you are either trying to reply to too many points at once (instead of each within context, so point-1-quote, reply, point-2-quote, reply, etc). Alternatively, if it's /still/ way to much quote, sometimes it's best to summarize in your own words (fewer than in the original quote) what you would have quoted. This is traditionally still marked with the > quote mark, but with the summary then in brackets, like so:
> Direct quoted part [and a bit of summary] of a longer quote.
Do it right, and with exceptions such as error message quotes or the like that you can't properly edit or summarize without losing context, you will normally have roughly a paragraph or two of quote, followed by your reply, possibly followed with more quote and reply, but seldom more than a page of quote at a time, so very seldom is the reader out of sight of reply content you've written yourself. (Again, screen and window size differ. Obviously, it'll often be several pages if someone's trying to read it on the typical mobile phone display! =8^) Here's one reference (which lists others at the bottom). As he makes clear, it's considered quite rude to fully quote a 5-page article, with a single line reply, /either/ top or bottom. If netiquette is properly followed, that five-page quote would be reduced to a 1-2 paragraph quote, or summary if a direct quote can't properly transmit context, with the single line (or two or three) reply at the bottom, but still on the same page, because the quote has been properly trimmed. Of course, if you are forwarding the quote with a comment of your own to someone not likely to read the orignal article, /then/ the rules are a bit different. /Then/, it's best to either include the quote as an attachment, or after your introductory comment. However, on a mailing list or newsgroup, most will have read the previous comments, so need only the context necessary to place your reply properly. Putting the quote afterward doesn't give them context. Putting it before but quoting the whole thing (if long like this is) doesn't give them context. Failing to include a quote at all doesn't give them context. Only proper trimming to the necessary context, summarizing if necessary, then placing it /before/ your reply, yields the desired context in which to properly interpret the reply. -- Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs. "Every nonfree program has a lord, a master -- and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman in -- gentoo-amd64@g.o mailing list