Solved Posting style in the Forums

vigole

Daemon

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With the exception of off-topic sections (Music, Fun, Screenshot, etc) I think these behaviours are not good writing style, and can be annoying.
  • Top-posting style.
  • Embedding videos, images and screenshots.
  • Excessive use of attachment (error, output, etc).
It's a short list. More items? What do you think about that? Thanks.
 

memreflect

Well-Known Member

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Messages: 257

This is top-posting style.
The reply occurs before the original message.
What is "top-posting style"?

would appear at the top.)
bottom and the newest message
message would be at the
as well, meaning the oldest
to scroll from bottom to top
Naturally we would need

from bottom to top.
in this direction,
if we read and wrote messages
(Top-posting would not be so bad
 

SirDice

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator

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More items?
Not using proper formatting.


Embedding videos, images and screenshots.
I don't like screenshots when simply copy/pasting the text is more clear. I'm fine with screenshots if there's no other way to get the information across (corrupted image/font/screen for example).
 

Cthulhux

Well-Known Member

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Top-posting is convenient in some e-mail and NNTP clients. There is no excuse to do that anywhere else, not even in off-topic.
 

olli@

Daemon
Developer

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Using proper formatting and appropriate BBcodes is good, I just wish the admins would finally fix the problem with CMD bbcode tags when using the „FreeBSD dark“ theme. That problem makes the dark theme rather unusable, unfortunately.
🌪
:(
 

scottro

Daemon

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Unfortunately, top posting has become such a norm that if one uses proper posting in email, some people say, oh, you sent me a blank email. People like to blame MS for that, but it's just general laziness. Most email clients start with the cursor at the top of the letter. Top posting seems to be a lost battle, though. as one of my bosses said, unless I'm writing to a technical person, I top post these days or they may not see it.
 

sidetone

Daemon

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If a response can stand on its own (without the quote), or the reponse is up to 3 lines where it doesn't have to be scrolled down, top posting style is ok. In this case, top-posting looks neater, where the other person wants to get to reading the response, and when the original quote doesn't need to be referenced for the response to make sense.

The code tag is better than posting of a screenshot of console messages. That [using the picture rather than the code tag] should be avoided, unless the poster is new or really has difficulty getting that output to the forum. For instance, if their desktop isn't working, and they had to use a phone to take a picture and post it. Some effort needs to be made to crop that image, lower the resolution not too much so that it's still clearly readable, black and white it, and post it so it's not a thumbnail.


One thing about the code tag. Sometimes, I'll copy and paste code to my post, before getting the tag. The code tag overwrites what I have highlighted. It's a habit, where other tags can be placed over what is highlighted, while keeping that message. As long as I'm still able to re-copy the code for what goes into the code tag, which is usually.

Maybe I can see why the code tag behaves differently than other tags, when there's types of code to select from.

C:
C-like:
Code:
Ruby:
 

richardtoohey2

Aspiring Daemon

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A post that says FreeBSD should have X because Y OS does and the post doesn't include any code, cash bounty, or evidence of any thought or work done by the poster. Not exactly "writing style" I know!
 

scottro

Daemon

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scottro

Daemon

Reaction score: 909
Messages: 2,061

On Fedora forums, which has a lot more inexperienced people, I usually try to tell them nicely. Oh, and more on what SirDice wrote, for whatever reason, possibly when I started using forums I didn't know what all the icons were, I actually find it easier to just manually type the code tags around whatever I want to show as code. (Note though, that some mods have criticized me--always nice enough to do it in private messages--for not using some of the tags I should use.) And drhowarddrfine, I don't blame you for your search and destroy missions :) on stack overflow, but I do find that most people do react positively to being told to not give images, but use text when it is feasible. (As has been said in this thread, sometimes a screen shot might be necessary such as showing what went wrong with a boot on console)
 

Jose

Daemon

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Unfortunately, top posting has become such a norm that if one uses proper posting in email, some people say, oh, you sent me a blank email. People like to blame MS for that, but it's just general laziness. Most email clients start with the cursor at the top of the letter. Top posting seems to be a lost battle, though. as one of my bosses said, unless I'm writing to a technical person, I top post these days or they may not see it.
So true. Most people don't read past the first two or three sentences of any email, in my experience.
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

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on stack overflow, but I do find that most people do react positively to being told to not give images, but use text when it is feasible.
Nope. I have a file with eight standard responses. One of them is about this very topic. I used to always quote the rules about not posting images, along with a link to the rules. I once added it up. One-fourth of the people I warned didn't respond. Another fourth did nothing. The other half either responded rudely and a few took it upon themselves to go through my activity history and downvote everything I ever posted. (This doesn't work cause SO has built in "serial downvote" detection software that corrects that within 24 hours.) Only a handful ever thank me for the help but even some of them still don't fix the issue (and get their question or answer closed).
 

olli@

Daemon
Developer

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There are several problems with screen shots:
  • You cannot copy&paste from them. This makes reproducing problem reports harder, reducing the chances that someone is actually helping the poster.
  • They are not covered by the forum’s search function. This means that others who suffer from the same (or similar) problems might not be able to find existing solutions.
  • Depending on where the images are hosted, some members may not see them at all. For example, my company’s proxy blocks imgur and some similar sites.
  • And don’t get me started about text-mode web browsers …
However, there may be situations where it is unfeasible for someone to copy over a screenful of text. For example, if the machine doesn’t have a working network connection, and no working USB or anything else so you can’t copy the text to another machine where you have the forum in a web browser. Typing in a screenful of text (dmesg, log file, whatever) by hand is tedious and error-prone. So, in this particular case I think a screenshot might be acceptable. But this is clearly an exception that proves the rule.

(EDIT) PS: Another exception would be to demonstrate a graphical issue, for example a problem with a font in a window. In this case a screenshot would be useful, of course.
 
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