[erlang-questions] Announcing Erlang.org Code of Conduct

Vincent de Phily <>
Fri Mar 20 13:16:51 CET 2015


On Thursday 19 March 2015 07:58:22 Bengt Kleberg wrote:
> When advocating top posts as better than inline quotes, one reason
> mentioned is that it is possible to use inline quotes to manipulate the
> discussion whereas a top post will keep all quotes un-edited below.
> Sounds logical.

It isn't logical. Quotes can be edited and manipulated just as easily wether 
they're partial or in full, inline or at the bottom.

The only reason people are less afraid of manipulative editing in the toppost 
case is that readers will likely not read the quoted text at all, and 
therefore miss out on any manipulation.

If you're afraid of manipulation, read the original, not the quote. That said, 
if somebody intentionally misquotes to change the quoted text's meaning, it 
calls for moderator action.


> The retort to this argument is that to prevent improper quotations no
> quotes should be allowed.
> I can not make the leap from, if keeping all text is better than editing
> it, then the really large edit of removing all text is even better.

The whole purpose of quoting (inline, top, partial, full, whatever) is to 
provide context. I think we can all agree on that ?

As it happens, on a mailing list (especially one with public archives), the 
context of who you're replying to and the full original message is already 
there. So including the whole original message in your reply doesn't add any 
usefull context. Worse : it distracts the reader's attention and is therefore 
worse than not quoting anything.

On the other hand, inline quoting (part of) the original message adds useful 
context. It pinpoints specific parts of the message that you're reacting to. 
It makes email exchanges feel more like a natural discussion (where people 
interrupt each other all the time) than if sending long essays back and forth.

The community will collecively take more time reading your email than it took 
you to write it. So Just like when writing maintainable code, it's worth 
spending time to make your message as readable as possible. Inline quoting 
helps, top posting doesn't.


-- 
Vincent de Phily



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