I agree that regarding the other poster as an 'opponent' is bad. This is
meant to be a consensus based organization, not a debating society where
form is more important than substance and the objective is to score points.
That is kinda what I was trying to get at.
Line by line comments certainly have their use, but maybe someone
occasionally needs to call a time out on that approach when people are using
it to talk past each other.
On Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 6:07 PM, Dave Cridland <dave(_at_)cridland(_dot_)net>
On Mon Sep 20 19:20:03 2010, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
Traditionally, top-posting (or bottom posting) has been discouraged in
of responding line by line. I think it is time to reverse that preference.
The primary argument in favour of inline responses is that they allow
context to be retained. I certainly agree that if the responder doesn't
actually take that context into account when responding then this advantage
is quite obviously lost, but throwing away that advantage does not strike me
as a particularly useful tactic.
In particular I find that arguments are often less combative and somewhat
shorter in mediums where people are forced to restate the issue they are
objecting to in their own words.
One thing I noted in your post was the use of the term "opponent". Now,
this is itself a combative term, but I suspect you meant it in the sense of
a debating opponent, and you're implying by that usage, and quite clearly
expressing in the above, a call to rhetoric. In other words, you're not
actually criticising the *content*, or technical merit, of the arguments but
the way they're expressed. Given the large porportion of IETF participants
who somehow failed to join debating clubs at exclusive universities, this
disquiets me somewhat.
Now, I'm all in favour of people avoiding being combative. But I would far
rather be shot down in flames than have my crazier ideas accepted politely
for fear of offense.
Secondly, an argument to ignore the benefits of a medium that the
participants here created seems entirely odd - surely we should simply
strive to use it *better*, rather than abandoning it?
Dave Cridland - mailto:dave(_at_)cridland(_dot_)net -
Infotrope Polymer - ACAP, IMAP, ESMTP, and Lemonade
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