Jack Gates wrote:
> Rob, My comments were not directed to you.
> My comment was directed at Jenda because Jenda's comments came
> across as flat not giving a da?? about people with phyiscal
> challenges and that is what I was attacking.
Your comments were directed to everyone on the perl.beginners list, and beyond
that I am not sure of your point. Did you accidentally include the list in what
was meant to be a private message, or did you hope that list members would see
that you expected a response only from Jenda?
> And for the record I believe bottom posting makes more sense
> especially for anyone trying to read a post late in the process
> because it follows the natural way people read and write. If
> everyone involved in the thread is reading it from the start and no
> one will be trying to read it later then top posting is fine. Top
> posting does not flow in a natural order with mailing lists because
> they are archived.
Threads on perl.beginners are unusual in that the context of any post is often a
comprehensive and precise one. In particular, threads that that require direct
comment on a program or code fragment quickly become very awkward to read if
other submissions must be read to also see that code. It is common as well to
have to refer not only to the original Perl, but also to amendments that have
been suggested since the original post.
Because of these things, it is often critical to maintain a view of many other
relevant posts (so we should usually quote previous messages) while reducing
noise as far as possible (most obviously extended company signatures, but also
salutations and irrelevant content). Thankfully, reducing information in that
fashion is a programming skill, so most of us will be able to do it well, and
also coax others to do likewise.
Top-posting is not a ridiculous choice, and follows a pattern that is familiar
in the real world. It is the stack, and so also most physical filing systems.
When I look in my ring file of letters from Industry Ltd I see their last letter
to us. It refers to my last letter to them which, if I have forgotten what I
wrote, is right there behind it.
Commenting on software, suggesting changes, and referring to documentation is a
very different discipline. The paper and folder model falls at the first hurdle
because no one would want to receive more than a few lines of software in a
letter on a piece of paper. We all also know the contrivances that we resort to
to see all relevant text at once while hiding the irrelevant. I imagine most of
us have had piles of lineprinter paper on our desks, torn it into manageable
piles, and marked with yellow sticky tabs. We have invented text editors that
will fold irrelevant blocks into one line, and IDEs that will find the line in
the file that defines the subroutine that is being called from elsewhere.
Programming is difficult. Its nature is that we will make it as difficult as it
can possibly be so that we can milk all we can from what a computer will do.
People who think in those terms have little time for lazy editing of posts to
forums like this one. Even so, each and all of us are human and fallible and,
especially because of the intended audience of this list, liable to
misunderstand and be inefficient.
I am personally involved in research into how IT can benefit partially and
totally deaf people; much of what we are doing is quite exciting and relevant to
hearing people as well. I am also disabled myself, but as Jenda said, "I ain't
gonna speak about mine".
> Rob you are so predictable and I don't even know you but I knew you could not
> leave my post alone.
Your language is passive here Jack, but you don't seem to want to encourage me.
It reads to me as if unpredictability and "leaving people's posts alone" is your
ideal. What I try to do when I post to this list is primarily to teach others
and extend their knowledge, and secondarily to challenge myself and learn more
Indeed, there is a viewpoint that says that, if I struggle to behave as you
think I should, I am therefore disabled and deserving of the extended leeway
that Brian and people like him can expect.