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Simon R. Hughes

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Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
I have partially translated, partially nailed together a web page that
deals with the style of quoting postings in replies that the majority
of people here appear to prefer.

I would appreciate some feedback: disagreements, suggestions for
improvements, spelling flames, sheep puns, etc..

I will take it down if the general "feeling" is that I shouldn't have
uploaded it in the first place.

URL right down there at the bottom.
--
Simon R. Hughes -- http://sult.8m.com/

Quoting Usenet Articles in Follow-ups
http://sult.8m.com/quote.html


Perchprism

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Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
Simon wrote:
>From: shu...@tromso.online.no (Simon R. Hughes)
>Date: Wed, 27 October 1999 06:27 PM EDT
>Message-id: <MPG.12819a0bd...@news.online.no>

Suggested corrections in square brackets:

Quoting is placing text from the news article you are replying [to] in your own
article. Lines of quoted text should be marked at the beginning with a special
character to indicated that they are quoted, rather than original[,] text. The
symbol most often used for marking in this manner is the ["]greater than["]
symbol (>), followed by a single or double space.

Quoting too much of the previous text.
Only leave the text from the previous message that is necessary to give your
article its intended meaning. A useful[] though not always practical aim is
that not more than half of your total message should be quoted text.

*******************

Very nice. Short and sweet. FAQ it.

Perchprism
(southern New Jersey, near Philadelphia)

Peter Moylan

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Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
Simon R. Hughes <shu...@tromso.online.no> wrote:
>I have partially translated, partially nailed together a web page that
>deals with the style of quoting postings in replies that the majority
>of people here appear to prefer.

That is one vicious web page. I don't reboot my office computer more
than once every few months, but this was one of those occasions.
Somehow you've managed to find the trick for killing Netscape in a way
that locks up the entire operating system.

Since I'm unable to read the page, I can't tell what you've already
covered, but I'll throw in a suggestion anyway: the standard delimiter
for a signature is "-- ", where the space character is important.
(Some newsreaders trim out signatures when you're composing a response
(this can be useful when dealing with the signature abusers such as
that Hines fellow), but nonstandard delimiters interfere with the system.)

You have it right, indeed most of us have it right, but I've noticed
that the Outlook Express users almost invariably get it wrong, so it's
worth a mention.

--
Peter Moylan pe...@ee.newcastle.edu.au

Mike Barnes

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Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
In alt.usage.english, Simon R. Hughes <shu...@tromso.online.no> wrote

>I have partially translated, partially nailed together a web page that
>deals with the style of quoting postings in replies that the majority
>of people here appear to prefer.
>
>I would appreciate some feedback: disagreements, suggestions for
>improvements, spelling flames, sheep puns, etc..

"The symbol most often used for marking in this manner is the
greater than symbol (>), followed by a single or double space."

In my experience this "single or double space" is normally (and
thankfully) absent. Do you perhaps mean the blank line separating
quoted text from original? But I see that you mention the blank lines
lower down.

It's perhaps also worth saying is that ">" is strongly preferred because
many newsreaders look for it in order to distinguish quoted from
original material, e.g. by using different colours. If anyone uses a
different character they will cause their readers some inconvenience.

"Most newsreaders automatically quote in your reply the article
you are following-up (answering). Otherwise, it's ctrl+c from
the message you are replying to, and ctrl+v into your reply."

This "otherwise..." seems overly Windows/Mac oriented, and leaves out a
lot of important detail (selecting the text to be quoted, positioning
the cursor, getting the ">"s in there, etc).

I liked the overall structure a *lot*.

FWIW this topic has been debated in uk.telecom, and I gather it spilled
over into the microsoft.* groups. One of the uk.telecom regulars e-
mailed Microsoft and got them to change their FAQ [gasp!]. The extract
below shows the result, which explores some not-so-common potential
errors:

8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----
When including text from a previous message in the thread, trim it down
to include only text pertinent to your response. Your response should
appear below the quoted information.
In follow-ups, whether News or Mail, CUT headers & signatures, PRUNE
quotations, and preserve order. That is to say, quote above each part
of your reply as much of the earlier stuff as is needed to put the new
material in context, but no more; most readers will be able to refer to
the earlier article itself, if need be. Never write on the same line as
a quotation, except in lists and notes; generally leave a wholly blank
line between. Do not quote the header or the signature, unless it is
relevant to do so.
8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----8<----

Another thing that perhaps needs to be said is that you must *not*
change any quoted text.

And then there's the "-- " minefield to cover.

And cross-posting.

And off-topic/on-topic.

And I wish you luck!

--
Mike Barnes
Please note new e-mail address from 29th September 1999

Dave A. Homeowner

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Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
Mimi Kahn wrote:

>
> On Thu, 28 Oct 1999 00:27:23 +0200, shu...@tromso.online.no (Simon R.
> Hughes) wrote:
>
> >I have partially translated, partially nailed together a web page that
> >deals with the style of quoting postings in replies that the majority
> >of people here appear to prefer.
> >
> >I would appreciate some feedback: disagreements, suggestions for
> >improvements, spelling flames, sheep puns, etc..
>
> In my quick reading of it I didn't spot any typos, misspellings, or
> sheep puns. I have just a quick query -- do the CTRL+C and CTRL+V
> commands work with a Mac, or is there some other way to copy and
> paste? I seem to recall that Macs have some key other than the CTRL
> key. And there are some Mac types out there.

According to:

http://www.sfu.ca/~carmean/macshortcuts.html

***** Begin Included Text *****

Copy Selection: Command- C

Cut Selection: Command- X

Paste Selection: Command- V

The command key is the same as the apple or the 'splat' key next to the
space bar.

***** End Included Text *****

Murray Arnow

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Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
In article <paUXOO6LqiIoSm...@4ax.com>, nj...@spamfree.cornell.edu wrote:
>On Thu, 28 Oct 1999 00:27:23 +0200, shu...@tromso.online.no (Simon R.
>Hughes) wrote:
>
>>I have partially translated, partially nailed together a web page that
>>deals with the style of quoting postings in replies that the majority
>>of people here appear to prefer.
>>
>>I would appreciate some feedback: disagreements, suggestions for
>>improvements, spelling flames, sheep puns, etc..
>
>In my quick reading of it I didn't spot any typos, misspellings, or
>sheep puns. I have just a quick query -- do the CTRL+C and CTRL+V
>commands work with a Mac, or is there some other way to copy and
>paste? I seem to recall that Macs have some key other than the CTRL
>key. And there are some Mac types out there.

I think that's the command key.[1] Which does bring into question whether the
cut and paste procedure should be written as specific keystrokes; it may be
best to simply say "cut and paste" without instructions.

[1] UNIX uses still different commands for cut and paste.

nancy g.

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Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
Peter Moylan wrote:

> That is one vicious web page. I don't reboot my office computer more
> than once every few months, but this was one of those occasions.
> Somehow you've managed to find the trick for killing Netscape in a way
> that locks up the entire operating system.

Interesting. I just browsed over to the page in question. It loaded
rather quickly, I read it, closed it, and came back to this window to
type my reply to you ... all via Netscape, and all without the slightest
hesitation in the performance of my PC.

I suggest you may have misplaced the blame for your system's problems.

I do note that the page uses the CSS document type, which I understand
has caused some browsers some problems, including various versions of
Netscape; are you by any chance using Netscape 4.7? That may be the one
that has problems with CSS but, since I'm not so afflicted, I reallly
don't remember for sure.

In any event, this is just to let Simon know that not all versions of
Netscape find his page a problem.

nancy g.

Michael West

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Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to

Peter Moylan <pe...@seagoon.newcastle.edu.au> wrote in message
news:slrn81fpk...@eepjm.newcastle.edu.au...


>
>the standard delimiter
> for a signature is "-- ", where the space character is important.
> (Some newsreaders trim out signatures when you're composing a response
> (this can be useful when dealing with the signature abusers such as
> that Hines fellow), but nonstandard delimiters interfere with the system.)
>
> You have it right, indeed most of us have it right, but I've noticed
> that the Outlook Express users almost invariably get it wrong, so it's
> worth a mention.


Yikes -- that'd be me. Is that "hyphen hyphen space?"

Like this:

--
Michael West
Melbourne ??

Michael Cargal

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Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
"Michael West" <n...@home.com> wrote:

Yes, and my newsreader dropped your sig, though I see from Mimi's
reply that hers did not. We both use the same newsreader (agent 1.6),
so I wonder what the difference is. I couldn't find a setting for
including or not including a sig.
--
Michael Cargal car...@cts.com

Mike Barnes

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Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
In alt.usage.english, Michael West <n...@home.com> wrote

>
>Peter Moylan <pe...@seagoon.newcastle.edu.au> wrote in message
>news:slrn81fpk...@eepjm.newcastle.edu.au...
>
>
>>
>>the standard delimiter
>> for a signature is "-- ", where the space character is important.
>> (Some newsreaders trim out signatures when you're composing a response
>> (this can be useful when dealing with the signature abusers such as
>> that Hines fellow), but nonstandard delimiters interfere with the system.)
>>
>> You have it right, indeed most of us have it right, but I've noticed
>> that the Outlook Express users almost invariably get it wrong, so it's
>> worth a mention.
>
>
>Yikes -- that'd be me. Is that "hyphen hyphen space?"
>
>Like this:
>
>--
>Michael West
>Melbourne ??

Exactly! There is no space after the "--" in your article. You put one
in and OE kindly removed it before posting. AFAIK the only solution is
to not use OE.

Jerry Friedman

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Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
In article <MPG.12819a0bd...@news.online.no>,

shu...@tromso.online.no (Simon R. Hughes) wrote:
> I have partially translated, partially nailed together a web page that
> deals with the style of quoting postings in replies that the majority
> of people here appear to prefer.
>
> I would appreciate some feedback: disagreements, suggestions for
> improvements, spelling flames, sheep puns, etc..
...

I think it's excellent. However, can I interest you in putting a hyphen
in "the greater-than sign"? Or writing it with quotation marks as
Perchprism suggested?

I agree with Mike Barnes that the structure is good, except that I think
changing all the "common mistakes" to "suggestions" would be more
pleasant. You've already worded them as suggestions; you'd just need to
change the titles. Alternatively, you could make them answers to
questions and call it a FAQ.

I didn't see any discussion of ellipses (which I may be the only person
to use) or "[snip]". If I were writing this advice, I'd strongly
suggest using some such sign wherever anything is edited out.

If you address Mike Barnes's point about not changing the quoted text,
you might also want to address ways of emphasizing parts of quoted
material. I can't suggest what to ******say*****, though, because I
have no opinion.
^^

Finally, you might want to mention that clever software that calls
people "lovely and talented" or the like will push somebody's button
occasionally. Though most people probably skip right over those
attributions.

--
Jerry Friedman
jfrE...@nnm.cc.nm.us
i before e
and all the disclaimers


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Simon R. Hughes

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Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
Thus spake Peter Moylan, pe...@seagoon.newcastle.edu.au:

> Simon R. Hughes <shu...@tromso.online.no> wrote:
> >I have partially translated, partially nailed together a web page that
> >deals with the style of quoting postings in replies that the majority
> >of people here appear to prefer.
>

> That is one vicious web page. I don't reboot my office computer more
> than once every few months, but this was one of those occasions.
> Somehow you've managed to find the trick for killing Netscape in a way
> that locks up the entire operating system.

I added stats, which serve no purpose other than my curtiosity. I will
remove them, which will remove as many problems with javascript,
microsoft specific "HTML", etc. as I can. (The host for my website
adds a ton of scripting at the beginning of any page I upload.)

Sorry for the inconvenience.

> Since I'm unable to read the page, I can't tell what you've already

> covered, but I'll throw in a suggestion anyway: the standard delimiter


> for a signature is "-- ", where the space character is important.
> (Some newsreaders trim out signatures when you're composing a response
> (this can be useful when dealing with the signature abusers such as
> that Hines fellow), but nonstandard delimiters interfere with the system.)

That comes under "general posting style" more than the topic of my
page, but I see no reason why I shouldn't expand the scope of the
page, in time.

Simon R. Hughes

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Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
Thus spake Mimi Kahn, nj...@spamfree.cornell.edu:

> On Thu, 28 Oct 1999 00:27:23 +0200, shu...@tromso.online.no (Simon R.

> Hughes) wrote:
>
> >I have partially translated, partially nailed together a web page that
> >deals with the style of quoting postings in replies that the majority
> >of people here appear to prefer.
> >

> >I would appreciate some feedback: disagreements, suggestions for
> >improvements, spelling flames, sheep puns, etc..
>

> In my quick reading of it I didn't spot any typos, misspellings, or
> sheep puns. I have just a quick query -- do the CTRL+C and CTRL+V
> commands work with a Mac, or is there some other way to copy and
> paste? I seem to recall that Macs have some key other than the CTRL
> key. And there are some Mac types out there.

There are mistakes on the page. Others have mentioned them.

I am pleasantly surprised by the graciousness of the Mac users out
there. No flames, just gentle reminders that WinTel is not the only
platform in the universe.

I will remove all references to the specific command keys connected to
the actions. Instead I will name the commands (copy, paste, etc.).

> Otherwise, it's neat.

Thank you.

> But how are you going to get people to read it, much less to adhere to
> it?

That comes later.

Simon R. Hughes

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Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
Thus spake Stan Brown, bra...@mindspring.com:

> pe...@seagoon.newcastle.edu.au (Peter Moylan) wrote in alt.usage.english:


> >That is one vicious web page. I don't reboot my office computer more
> >than once every few months, but this was one of those occasions.
> >Somehow you've managed to find the trick for killing Netscape in a way
> >that locks up the entire operating system.
>

> FWIW, I'm running Netscape 4.5, and didn't have the kind of problem you
> described. However, while the page is loading there's a rectangular area
> of distortion at the top left of my Netscape window, which clears when
> the page has loaded.
>
> I run with images turned off (for speed) and Javascript turned off (for
> safety), but I didn't see anything obvious in the source code of the page
> that would account for your experience, unless it's that
> <noscript><ilayer> stuff, which could well be removed.

I wish it could. The host adds all of that stuff to any web page I
upload. Advertising to allow me to have the subdomain for nothing.

> I've already sent Simon my comments on the text of the page, so I won't
> repeat them here.

Simon R. Hughes

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Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
Thus spake Mike Barnes, mi...@senrab.com:

> In alt.usage.english, Simon R. Hughes <shu...@tromso.online.no> wrote

[snip]

> >I would appreciate some feedback: disagreements, suggestions for
> >improvements, spelling flames, sheep puns, etc..
>
>

> "The symbol most often used for marking in this manner is the
> greater than symbol (>), followed by a single or double space."
>
> In my experience this "single or double space" is normally (and
> thankfully) absent. Do you perhaps mean the blank line separating
> quoted text from original? But I see that you mention the blank lines
> lower down.

My newsreader does not recognise the text as being quoted *without*
the presence of the space after the ">". I need more voices on this
matter before I can decide whether I should change it or not.



> It's perhaps also worth saying is that ">" is strongly preferred because
> many newsreaders look for it in order to distinguish quoted from
> original material, e.g. by using different colours. If anyone uses a
> different character they will cause their readers some inconvenience.

Good idea.

> "Most newsreaders automatically quote in your reply the article
> you are following-up (answering). Otherwise, it's ctrl+c from
> the message you are replying to, and ctrl+v into your reply."
>
> This "otherwise..." seems overly Windows/Mac oriented, and leaves out a
> lot of important detail (selecting the text to be quoted, positioning
> the cursor, getting the ">"s in there, etc).

I have addressed the problem of my platform fixation. The document
is, I hope, no longer WinTel-centric.

I have assumed that most posters to Usenet know the rudiments of using
a computer. Those who don't have the necessary expertise need help
that I have no intention of giving in a document that is for our
benefit rather than theirs (it is full of "rules" whereby they might
fit in here).

> I liked the overall structure a *lot*.

:-) (I don't care -- I LIKE the occasional smiley!)

> FWIW this topic has been debated in uk.telecom, and I gather it spilled
> over into the microsoft.* groups. One of the uk.telecom regulars e-
> mailed Microsoft and got them to change their FAQ [gasp!]. The extract
> below shows the result, which explores some not-so-common potential
> errors:

[snip useful pointers]

> Another thing that perhaps needs to be said is that you must *not*
> change any quoted text.

This borders on the ethics of posting rather than the style. Perhaps
it can wait until Garry publishes the _Totally Official AUE Style
Guide in English Usage_. When is that due, Garry?

> And then there's the "-- " minefield to cover.
>
> And cross-posting.
>
> And off-topic/on-topic.

Again, these have not much to do with the style of posting.

> And I wish you luck!

Where is Mark Israel?

Philip 'Yes, that's my address' Newton

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Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
On Fri, 29 Oct 1999 00:32:28 +0200, shu...@tromso.online.no (Simon R.
Hughes) wrote:

>Thus spake Mike Barnes, mi...@senrab.com:
>

>> In my experience this "single or double space" is normally (and
>> thankfully) absent. Do you perhaps mean the blank line separating
>> quoted text from original? But I see that you mention the blank lines
>> lower down.
>
>My newsreader does not recognise the text as being quoted *without*
>the presence of the space after the ">". I need more voices on this
>matter before I can decide whether I should change it or not.

I use Free Agent, which does not add a space after the '>'; however, I
think text looks better *with* a space after the greater-than sign --
it doesn't run into the text so much. But obviously I don't care
enough to make the change when I quote text with FA. Just my opinion,
then.

Cheers,
Philip
--
Philip Newton <nospam...@gmx.li>

Reinhold (Rey) Aman

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Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
MeMe "The Moron" Kahn wrote:

> I was reading for sense, not for error.

What??? That's news. Ms. Grammar-Nazi took a rest.

> Um -- I raised this point, and I am not now nor have I ever been a
> Mac user. Dog forbid! Little smiley faces when I boot up...never!

What a moron -- nay! -- what an asshole! The stylized sort-of smiling
face of system 7 and up is there for a reason: we Mac users can smile
(even sneer) at ignorant morons like MeMe Kahn, because our Macs very
rarely crash and have many other advantages Bill Gates hasn't been able
to steal for his buggy & crash-prone operating systems.

Besides, we can customize our startup screen any way we want to. What
an ignorant cunt! (And she's ugly, too. Not to mention fat.)

--
Reinhold (Rey) Aman, Editor
MALEDICTA: The International Journal of Verbal Aggression
Santa Rosa, CA 95402, USA
http://www.sonic.net/maledicta/meme-moron.html <--- SEE the moron.

Mike Barnes

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Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
In alt.usage.english, Simon R. Hughes <shu...@tromso.online.no> wrote

>Thus spake Mike Barnes, mi...@senrab.com:
>> Another thing that perhaps needs to be said is that you must *not*
>> change any quoted text.
>
>This borders on the ethics of posting rather than the style. Perhaps
>it can wait until Garry publishes the _Totally Official AUE Style
>Guide in English Usage_. When is that due, Garry?
>
>> And then there's the "-- " minefield to cover.
>>
>> And cross-posting.
>>
>> And off-topic/on-topic.
>
>Again, these have not much to do with the style of posting.

Fair enough, so it might be a good idea to make it clear that there are
other issues that your document doesn't address.

If I get time I'll try to compose a couple of examples of well-formed
Usenet replies, as these might liven things up a bit and help get the
point across. To keep things simple, I'll e-mail them to you rather
than posting them here.

Unna

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Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to

Mimi Kahn wrote:


>
> On Fri, 29 Oct 1999 00:31:59 +0200, shu...@tromso.online.no (Simon R.
> Hughes) wrote:
>
> >There are mistakes on the page. Others have mentioned them.
>

> I was reading for sense, not for error.
>

> >I am pleasantly surprised by the graciousness of the Mac users out
> >there. No flames, just gentle reminders that WinTel is not the only
> >platform in the universe.
>

> Um -- I raised this point, and I am not now nor have I ever been a Mac
> user. Dog forbid! Little smiley faces when I boot up...never!

Mimi, please... is this another cry in the dark from the unenlightened majority?

I manage a WinNT network with 30 nodes... I'd scrap it in a heartbeat
for a Mac network... Unfortunately I have to work with the unenlightened
majority. I'm doing my best to turn that around.

BTW, the simple "LSF" on the screen (before the MacOS logo) means you
had a successful system boot. (A frowney face means you haven't - never
happens unless you trashed your hard drive, and then you reboot off the
CD-ROM and fix the hard drive.)

WinNt parades through multiple DOS type text screens to give you the
same information (unless, of course, you get the dreaded Blue Screen of
Death, which happens all too frequently in WinNT.)
Ok... nuff said.. get an iMac... you'll never go back to Windoze
(except under duress.)

U

Ted H.

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Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to

On Thu, 28 Oct 1999 09:19:44 +0100, Mike Barnes <mi...@senrab.com> wrote:
> In alt.usage.english, Simon R. Hughes <shu...@tromso.online.no> wrote
> >
> >I would appreciate some feedback: disagreements, suggestions for
> >improvements, spelling flames, sheep puns, etc..
>
> "The symbol most often used for marking in this manner is the
> greater than symbol (>), followed by a single or double space."
>
> In my experience this "single or double space" is normally (and
> thankfully) absent.

Some Unix newsreaders default to "> " as the quote indicator.
Pine will actually reformat quoted material so that the line
lengths are under a specified number of characters, but only
if the space is present.

Personally, I find text more readable with the space, but the
point about increasing line length is well taken.


> Another thing that perhaps needs to be said is that you must *not*
> change any quoted text.

I will reformat quoted text to keep line lengths under 72.

Ted

--
Theodore Heise <the...@netins.net> West Lafayette, IN, USA


Marion Gevers

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Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
Simon R. Hughes <shu...@tromso.online.no> a écrit:

>Where is Mark Israel?

Mark hasn't been spotted in aue for quite a long time now. Either he's lost
usenet access, or he's lost interest in aue. For all practical purposes,
Donna is now the keeper of the FAQ.

We've kept his big FAQ intact mostly because nobody's had the courage to
rewrite it. A lot of work went into it, and it would be a pity to lose that.
Nevertheless, there's nothing wrong in principle with revising it as we see fit.
The only real barrier is that FAQ editors invariably lose enthusiasm after a
while, as they discover the size of the job they've taken on.

I'm inclined to favour the idea of a much smaller FAQ, with pointers to related
documents. In a sense, that's what's already happening with the summaries that
Donna posts from time to time, and the related stuff that Bob C seems to be
maintaining. That lets the work be spread about a bit more.

--
Peter Moylan

Marion Gevers

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Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
nancy g. <nan...@tiac.net> a écrit:

>Peter Moylan wrote:
>
>> That is one vicious web page. I don't reboot my office computer more
>> than once every few months, but this was one of those occasions.
>> Somehow you've managed to find the trick for killing Netscape in a way
>> that locks up the entire operating system.
>
>Interesting. I just browsed over to the page in question. It loaded
>rather quickly, I read it, closed it, and came back to this window to
>type my reply to you ... all via Netscape, and all without the slightest
>hesitation in the performance of my PC.
>
>I suggest you may have misplaced the blame for your system's problems.

You're probably right. I'm using Netscape version 4.61 for OS/2, and that's
the version that's convinced a great many OS/2 users to go back to
Netscape 2.02. (It's not that Netscape version 2 is particularly good,
you understand; it's just that it's a whole lot smaller, faster, and
less inclined to crash than version 4.) Unfortunately the non-Netscape
browsers haven't kept up with the shifting sands of changing HTML rules,
so at least for now we're stuck with it. (Well, there's always StarOffice,
but it's even more of a pig than Netscape is.) The software people at
IBM are well aware that Netscape is a crock of shit, but the men in the
dark grey suits have decreed that they must not criticise a Business
Partner - and, worse, that they must stop all development on anything
that might turn out to be superior to said partner's offerings.

In addition, I've become sloppy about the filtering I apply to incoming
html code. All web browsers are better behaved (and a hell of a lot
faster) if you suppress the advertising, but that does require that you
keep the advertisement detectors up to date.

--
Peter Moylan

Matt Curtin

unread,
Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
>>>>> On Thu, 28 Oct 1999 12:21:08 -0400,
bra...@mindspring.com (Stan Brown) said:

Stan> It appears in a draft RFC dated 1995, if I recall correctly, but
Stan> that draft RFC never went through the formal procedures to
Stan> become authoritative.

You refer to the document now known as "son-of-1036", the draft that
was created as a replacement for the aged RFC 1036.

An unfortunate result of not having a current standard for some time
is that idiotic software has been allowed to be created without an
authoritative document to which we can refer in order to decry such
nonsense. Too much has been left up to implementors for too long.

The USEFOR working group is currently working on the "grandson-of-
1036". I'm happy to report that at long last, progress is being made
and we're likely to see a suitable replacement for RFC 1036 within our
lifetime.

--
Matt Curtin cmcu...@interhack.net http://www.interhack.net/people/cmcurtin/

Matt Curtin

unread,
Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
>>>>> On Fri, 29 Oct 1999 00:32:28 +0200,
shu...@tromso.online.no (Simon R. Hughes) said:

Simon> My newsreader does not recognise the text as being quoted
Simon> *without* the presence of the space after the ">". I need more
Simon> voices on this matter before I can decide whether I should
Simon> change it or not.

The leading ">" is generally considered a quote, with or without a
whitespace character afterward.

(I believe that the original was to use ">", but because mail transfer
agents would insert a ">" in front of lines that began "From " to
prevent that line from being interpreted as the beginning of a new
message in a Berkeley Unix-style mailbox, the habit of using "> "
developed. Neither is clearly dominant now, so either should probably
be interpreted as a quote.)

I just recognized the irony of my commentary on standard quoting
styles given my supercite-sytle quotes. :-)



>> And then there's the "-- " minefield to cover.

Just to be completely clear you should probably say that the signature
seperator is "-- \n", where "\n" is "newline". I envision someone
trying to do something like

-- my name my@addr where-i-work

for a signature.

Some parts of this are going to be redundant with the USEFOR work, so
I'd recommend occasionally checking our page at
http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/usefor-charter.html to see the
status of our draft. We're currently hashing out issues in section
6. So there's a bit more work to do, but then a new draft should be
released after section 7 is finished, with some possible work on the
smaller sections 8-10.

Andreas Prilop

unread,
Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
In article <MPG.12819a0bd...@news.online.no>,

shu...@tromso.online.no (Simon R. Hughes) wrote:

> Quoting Usenet Articles in Follow-ups
> http://sult.8m.com/quote.html

Very good!
What I hate most in Follow-ups is the sick behavior of
localized versions of MS Outlook Express. They don't use "Re: "
but "Aw: ", "Sv: ", "Odp: ", and similar crap. This is not
helpful for news- (and mail-) readers that sort by Subject.

--
Dass der Mensch einen freien Willen hat, sieht man am Sortiment einer Bar.

Donna Richoux

unread,
Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
Marion Gevers <mar...@eepjm.newcastle.edu.au> wrote:

> Simon R. Hughes <shu...@tromso.online.no> a écrit:
>
> >Where is Mark Israel?
>
> Mark hasn't been spotted in aue for quite a long time now. Either he's lost
> usenet access, or he's lost interest in aue. For all practical purposes,
> Donna is now the keeper of the FAQ.

All I ever volunteered to do was the "Intro documents" or "Mini-FAQs."
Bob Cunningham has done far more than I in updating and supplementing
the FAQ, keeping track of different versions, etc. All his work is at
"go.to/aue".


>
> We've kept his big FAQ intact mostly because nobody's had the courage to
> rewrite it.

Ummmmm, I've been told by several people that we don't change it because
Mark wanted us to leave it the way it was. He was willing to do updates,
but as far as I know no one has asked him to, in two years.

>A lot of work went into it, and it would be a pity to lose that.
>Nevertheless, there's nothing wrong in principle with revising it as we
>see fit.

Only with Mark's permission, which we specifically do not have. As far
as I know he is still reachable at his old address.

> The only real barrier is that FAQ editors invariably lose enthusiasm after
> a while, as they discover the size of the job they've taken on.
>
> I'm inclined to favour the idea of a much smaller FAQ, with pointers to
> related documents. In a sense, that's what's already happening with the
> summaries that Donna posts from time to time, and the related stuff that
> Bob C seems to be maintaining. That lets the work be spread about a bit
> more.

I think it's good that Bob C. recently reminded the group that he is
open to contributions to his AUE FAQ Supplement. If anyone wants to help
by summarizing some dicussion, or otherwise contributing to the
documents at go.to/aue, I'm sure he would welcome it. (Bob's been away
on a trip lately.)

--
Best -- Donna Richoux


Garry J. Vass

unread,
Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
In article <MPG.1282eca42...@news.online.no>, Simon R. Hughes
<shu...@tromso.online.no> writes

>> Another thing that perhaps needs to be said is that you must *not*
>> change any quoted text.
>

Correction:

1. As a general rule, one should not perform an operation on quoted
text that involves the insertion or deletion of individual characters or
words.

2. The normal case will involve the deletion of whole lines in order to
bring focus to the portion of quoted text one is responding to. Any
operation other than the deletion of a whole line should be explained.

3. The use of the 'snip operator', i.e., "<...snip...>" is gratuitous,
serving no legitimate function, because it is understood that the astute
poster has already snipped.

4. The use of the 'snip operator' to inject an editorial viewpoint,
i.e., "<...snip a pompous load of old balls...> is classed as a 'cheap
shot'. These serve no purpose, and generally fail to impress.

5. The alteration of quoted text to discredit the author, or to advance
a particular point of view, is too horrible to even think about.

6. Quoted text from personal email without the explicit permission of
the author is a profound breach of etiquette and good taste.

7. Quoted text from another newsgroup should not disclose the identity
of the original poster. This is not only breach of etiquette, but also
demonstrates poor judgement.

8. As a general rule of thumb, the amount of quoted text should
constitute no more than 25 - 30% of the new article. Adding a single
word or phrase to a lengthy posting is not big and not clever.

>This borders on the ethics of posting rather than the style. Perhaps
>it can wait until Garry publishes the _Totally Official AUE Style
>Guide in English Usage_. When is that due, Garry?
>

GJV <- (stunned)

What an absolutely wonderful idea! This would complete the bipolarity
between substance (FAQ) and process (style). All these things can be
addressed if a delicate balance between the prescriptive and the
descriptive is carefully observed by the author(s).

Would anyone like to collaborate on this exciting project?

Garry J. Vass

Jerry Friedman

unread,
Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
In article <9ykJKIA6...@gvass.demon.co.uk>,
"Garry J. Vass" <Ga...@gvass.demon.co.uk> wrote:

...


> 3. The use of the 'snip operator', i.e., "<...snip...>" is
gratuitous,
> serving no legitimate function, because it is understood that the
astute
> poster has already snipped.

I disagree. I think good manners requires you to point out ANY change
you've made in something someone else wrote. Not indicating what you've
snipped can make the quoted material look incoherent. And the astute
reader may understand that the astute poster has snipped, but there are
other kinds of readers too.

> 4. The use of the 'snip operator' to inject an editorial viewpoint,
> i.e., "<...snip a pompous load of old balls...> is classed as a 'cheap
> shot'. These serve no purpose, and generally fail to impress.

I agree, of course, but advice against cheap shots should be accompanied
with a prayer to St. Jude.

...

Becky Easy

unread,
Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
On Fri, 29 Oct 1999 11:31:12 -0700, nj...@spamfree.cornell.edu (Mimi
Kahn) wrote:

>On Fri, 29 Oct 1999 08:13:13 -0400, Unna <ucer...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>WinNt parades through multiple DOS type text screens to give you the
>>same information (unless, of course, you get the dreaded Blue Screen of
>>Death, which happens all too frequently in WinNT.)
>>Ok... nuff said.. get an iMac... you'll never go back to Windoze
>>(except under duress.)
>

>An *iMac*? Good God! Why not an Etch-a-Sketch?
>
>An iMac looks like you should jam a stick up its bottom and lick it.

I've done that and have had that done to me.

Becky Easy


Becky Easy

unread,
Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
On Sat, 30 Oct 1999 08:03:52 +1000, "Michael West" <n...@home.com>
wrote:

>
>Mimi Kahn <nj...@spamfree.cornell.edu> wrote in message
>news:HOcZOB4kSHKCkPuMkh03Pi=i3...@4ax.com...


>>
>> An *iMac*? Good God! Why not an Etch-a-Sketch?
>>
>> An iMac looks like you should jam a stick up its bottom and lick it.
>>
>

>I don't think this is the right newsgroup for that sort of thing.

Just why aint it?


Becky


John Doherty

unread,
Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to
In article <9ykJKIA6...@gvass.demon.co.uk>, "Garry J. Vass"
<Ga...@gvass.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> 2. The normal case will involve the deletion of whole lines in order to
> bring focus to the portion of quoted text one is responding to. Any
> operation other than the deletion of a whole line should be explained.

I would say "sentence," not "line."

For example, if the original post is this:

This sentence spans more than one line of text and I do not wish to
respond to it for some reason, presumably in good faith. This is the
sentence to which I'm responding.

I would quote that like this:

> This is the sentence to which I'm responding.

I don't see anything wrong with that, although it requires deleting
material in units other than whole lines.

--

Michael West

unread,
Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99
to

Mimi Kahn <nj...@spamfree.cornell.edu> wrote in message
news:HOcZOB4kSHKCkPuMkh03Pi=i3...@4ax.com...
>
> An *iMac*? Good God! Why not an Etch-a-Sketch?
>
> An iMac looks like you should jam a stick up its bottom and lick it.
>

I don't think this is the right newsgroup for that sort of thing.

--
--
Michael West
Melbourne, Australia

« Luxe, calme et volupté »

Simon R. Hughes

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Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99
to
Thus spake Jerry Friedman, jfried...@my-deja.com:

> In article <MPG.12819a0bd...@news.online.no>,
> shu...@tromso.online.no (Simon R. Hughes) wrote:

> > I have partially translated, partially nailed together a web page that
> > deals with the style of quoting postings in replies that the majority
> > of people here appear to prefer.
> >

> > I would appreciate some feedback: disagreements, suggestions for
> > improvements, spelling flames, sheep puns, etc..

> ...
>
> I think it's excellent. However, can I interest you in putting a hyphen
> in "the greater-than sign"? Or writing it with quotation marks as
> Perchprism suggested?

Done.

> I agree with Mike Barnes that the structure is good, except that I think
> changing all the "common mistakes" to "suggestions" would be more
> pleasant. You've already worded them as suggestions; you'd just need to
> change the titles. Alternatively, you could make them answers to
> questions and call it a FAQ.

I would argue here about calling a spade a spade, but it is easier to
change the text. Done.

> I didn't see any discussion of ellipses (which I may be the only person
> to use) or "[snip]". If I were writing this advice, I'd strongly
> suggest using some such sign wherever anything is edited out.

Yes. This is within the scope of the topic of the document. Done.

> If you address Mike Barnes's point about not changing the quoted text,
> you might also want to address ways of emphasizing parts of quoted
> material. I can't suggest what to ******say*****, though, because I
> have no opinion.
> ^^

Changing the "Commonest Mistakes" part to "Suggestions..." has
actually enabled me to address Mike's point. Doing so has opened the
way for addressing the emphasis of excerpts of quoted text. I need
suggestions on what to suggest.

> Finally, you might want to mention that clever software that calls
> people "lovely and talented" or the like will push somebody's button
> occasionally. Though most people probably skip right over those
> attributions.

I think that I should be the last person to prescribe norms on that
matter. :-)


--
Simon R. Hughes -- http://sult.8m.com/

Quoting Usenet Articles in Follow-ups
http://sult.8m.com/quote.html


Simon R. Hughes

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Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99
to
Thus spake Stan Brown, bra...@mindspring.com:

> shu...@tromso.online.no (Simon R. Hughes) wrote in alt.usage.english:
> >My newsreader does not recognise the text as being quoted *without*
> >the presence of the space after the ">". I need more voices on this
> >matter before I can decide whether I should change it or not.
>
> According to the headers, you post using Gravity 2.10. As you can see
> from my headers, so do I.
>
> My copy of Gravity has no problem at all with the ">" (no space) quoting
> style. Quoted text does get muted when I have that option in effect, and
> obviously it can quote material without a space.
>
> I'm not sure how what change of your settings would recognize ">" with no
> space, but you could ask on alt.usenet.offline-reader and get useful
> responses.

My mistake, at least partially.

The problem is one of the message editor in Gravity. In the reader,
the lines appear quoted even without the space. In the editor, the
space is required.

> From what I've observed, ">" with no spaces is the most common style. I
> personally prefer it, as with "> " lines get too long for the screen more
> quickly.

I have taken out the "followed by one or two spaces" part of the text.
I will leave it up to the readers' discretion.

Mike Barnes

unread,
Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99
to
In alt.usage.english, Garry J. Vass <Ga...@gvass.demon.co.uk> wrote

>In article <MPG.1282eca42...@news.online.no>, Simon R. Hughes
><shu...@tromso.online.no> writes
>>> Another thing that perhaps needs to be said is that you must *not*
>>> change any quoted text.

0. When snipping, make sure you don't mess up the attributions.

>Correction:
>
>1. As a general rule, one should not perform an operation on quoted
>text that involves the insertion or deletion of individual characters or
>words.

Taken literally that restricts us to rearranging the existing text.
With a more generous interpretation, it says nothing at all, to me,
anyway.

>2. The normal case will involve the deletion of whole lines in order to
>bring focus to the portion of quoted text one is responding to. Any
>operation other than the deletion of a whole line should be explained.

Whole *sentences* I'll agree to. Whole lines, I don't see it.

>3. The use of the 'snip operator', i.e., "<...snip...>" is gratuitous,
>serving no legitimate function, because it is understood that the astute
>poster has already snipped.

I agree that it's not always necessary, but I don't think it's always
gratuitous. It's not necessary at the start, or at the end, or between
unrelated topics. But when there is material between two quoted
passages that is relevant to the point made by the original quoted, but
not relevant to the response, it can usefully be snipped and indicated
as such.

>4. The use of the 'snip operator' to inject an editorial viewpoint,
>i.e., "<...snip a pompous load of old balls...> is classed as a 'cheap
>shot'. These serve no purpose, and generally fail to impress.

A cheap shot is a cheap shot wherever you find it. Explaining the
nature of a snip need not be cheap shot, and can be useful.

>5. The alteration of quoted text to discredit the author, or to advance
>a particular point of view, is too horrible to even think about.

Agreed, but it happens, in a.u.e and elsewhere.

>6. Quoted text from personal email without the explicit permission of
>the author is a profound breach of etiquette and good taste.

Agreed.

>7. Quoted text from another newsgroup should not disclose the identity
>of the original poster. This is not only breach of etiquette, but also
>demonstrates poor judgement.

But OK with explicit permission, of course.

>8. As a general rule of thumb, the amount of quoted text should
>constitute no more than 25 - 30% of the new article. Adding a single
>word or phrase to a lengthy posting is not big and not clever.

Disagree. If one adheres to the advice on snipping material that is
irrelevant to the response, I don't think that a long reply has any
great advantage over a short reply. In fact, I think I prefer a short
reply.


Having said all that, I think we're in danger of straying from the
point. The point, as I understood it, was to advise people not to post
upside-down, and to wrap this advice up with other good advice so that
the upside-down posters don't think they're being picked on.

Jack Gavin

unread,
Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99
to
Donna Richoux wrote in message <1e0g3pl.5c6w0m1i001w1N%tr...@euronet.nl>...

>Marion Gevers <mar...@eepjm.newcastle.edu.au> wrote:
>
>> Simon R. Hughes <shu...@tromso.online.no> a écrit:
>>
>> >Where is Mark Israel?
>>
>> Mark hasn't been spotted in aue for quite a long time now. Either he's
lost
>> usenet access, or he's lost interest in aue.
<snip>

>As far as I know he is still reachable at his old address.
>
I tried to reach Mark Israel via email some months ago, to point out that a
link to a site of collectvies (exultation of larks, and such) now leads to
a porn site.

I received no response.

--
Jack Gavin

a1a5...@sprint.ca

unread,
Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99
to

>Jack Gavin
>
He was a sensitive sort of chap.

Robert Lieblich

unread,
Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99
to
Mimi Kahn wrote:
>
> On Sat, 30 Oct 1999 13:22:18 GMT, will...@bigfoot.com (Willondon
> Donovan) wrote:
>
> >Garry J. Vass wrote:
> >> [...]

> >> 7. Quoted text from another newsgroup should not disclose the identity
> >> of the original poster. This is not only breach of etiquette, but also
> >> demonstrates poor judgement. [...]
> >
> >Then I suppose it's even more damning to have to ask 'why'?
> >I'd never heard this point of protocol before.
>
> Think back to Bill Palmer, Famous Usenet Writer, who took posts from
> aue (and not just aue, of course) and posted them to hell and gone for
> his own self-aggrandizement.
>
> I think it's only polite to *ask* someone before posting his words to
> another forum. I think there's an underlying assumption that if the
> original poster had wanted his words read in, say, alt.bestiality, he
> or she would have placed them there.

I recall a little contretemps with Palmer about this. All I wanted was
to be told that he had taken postings of mine and put them on other
groups. Being Palmer, he acted as if I had accused him of dining on his
mother's liver.

It continues to strike me as simple good manners to let someone know
when his language is being posted outside the group in which he
participates. I realy don't care about asking permission -- fair use
allows such quotation. Common courtesy calls for notice.

Bob Lieblich

Elron Xemoo

unread,
Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99
to
Garry J. Vass wrote in message <9ykJKIA6...@gvass.demon.co.uk>...

>> 1. As a general rule, one should not perform an operation on quoted
text that involves the insertion or deletion of individual characters or
words.

I mostly agree, though I often correct grammar or punctuation in a quote
without making an explicit notation of it.


Elron Xemoo

unread,
Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99
to
Mimi Kahn wrote in message ...
>On Fri, 29 Oct 1999 19:29:14 +0100, "Garry J. Vass"
><Ga...@gvass.demon.co.uk> wrote:


[Seven paragraphs of second-level quote not requoted]

>>8. As a general rule of thumb, the amount of quoted text should
>>constitute no more than 25 - 30% of the new article. Adding a single
>>word or phrase to a lengthy posting is not big and not clever.

>I agree with everything you wrote. If that's a "me, too" post, so be
>it. (I'm entitled -- I had an AOL account for a bit.)

Yeah, right, Mimi. I agree with you, so that's why I'm doing the same.


Mark Brader

unread,
Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99
to
Garry Vass:

> > 7. Quoted text from another newsgroup should not disclose the identity
> > of the original poster. This is not only breach of etiquette, but also
> > demonstrates poor judgement. [...]

Willondon Donovan:

> Then I suppose it's even more damning to have to ask 'why'?
> I'd never heard this point of protocol before.

Indeed, this "rule" is so contrary to my understanding of netiquette that
until I saw Willondon's response, I read it with its sense reversed (i.e.
as if "disclose" had been "omit"). If this document is actually being
codified, I would urge at least the omission of the rule in its present form.

A still more important point, though, is to identify the original newsgroup.
--
Mark Brader, Toronto sed -e "s;??\\([-=(/)'<!>]\\);?\\\\?\\1;g"
msbr...@interlog.com will fix them... -- Karl Heuer

My text in this article is in the public domain.

Mark Brader

unread,
Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99
to
Garry Vass:

> 1. As a general rule, one should not perform an operation on quoted
> text that involves the insertion or deletion of individual characters or
> words.

No, there are legitimate reasons to do this. The important thing is to
not distort the original poster's sense or context.

One or two reasons have been mentioned in other branches of the thread.
One reason not yet mentioned is to reformat the quoted text into lines
of appropriate length; there is no reason to preserve the line breaks in
the original text unless they were intended to be meaningful.



> 3. The use of the 'snip operator', i.e., "<...snip...>" is gratuitous,
> serving no legitimate function, because it is understood that the astute
> poster has already snipped.

No, it's gratuitious because there is already a punctuation mark for
that purpose, namely the ellipsis. At the beginning or end of a block
of quoted text, though, it's generally gratuitous for the reason that
Garry cites.


The thing I'm surprised not to have seen mentioned about this in an
English usage newsgroup is that quoted text is basically just the same
as the block quotations you'd see in a book, and obeys most of the same
rules. Among other things, this is the ultimate reason why you don't
do it "upside-down". In a book, you'd say something like "John W.
Campbell wrote:" (perhaps identifying the context also), and follow it
with the quote:

The "I didn't think of that" type of failure occurs because
I didn't think of that, and the reason I didn't think of
it is because it never occurred to me. If we'd been able
to think of 'em, we would have.

And then you'd comment on it. See? Just like proper posting style.

Even the use of a "citation character" such as ">" comes from block
quotations. The earliest style on Usenet was to precede each line of
the quoted text with one tab character, which in those days when most
Usenet hosts used UNIX typically showed as an 8-character indentation,

This was a bit too much, and in particular it consumed too much space
when text was doubly quoted (or when text with longish lines was quoted)
and people were too lazy to reformat it. The solution of using "> "
instead (the symbol being chosen to represent the idea of indentation)
followed soon afterwards, and there we are.
--
Mark Brader | "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you
Toronto | do say can and will be misquoted and used against
msbr...@interlog.com | you in a future post." -- Tanja Cooper, misquoted

Garry J. Vass

unread,
Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99
to
In article <LPZXWCAW$rG4...@exodus.u-net.com>, Mike Barnes
<mi...@senrab.com> writes

>I agree that it's not always necessary, but I don't think it's always
>gratuitous. It's not necessary at the start, or at the end, or between

Hi Mike!

Great pix of you & Stef from the N-Wet boink! First time ever for Stef
to be caught on film, IIRC...

Anyway to the matter at hand. I agree that you can wordsmith these
things much better than I. As always, as ever, would you mind taking a
go at it?

Kind regards,

Garry J. Vass
(Quartermaster General, Royal Flashman Society of the United Kingdom)

Unna

unread,
Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99