[Ilugc] issues with top and bottom posting

kenneth gonsalves lawgon at thenilgiris.com
Wed Jul 4 13:02:44 IST 2012

On Tue, 2012-07-03 at 21:47 +0530, Shrinivasan T wrote:

> If a person wishes to answer a question, he chooses the easiest way or
> his own way to reply.
> When we ask him to change the way he replies, he gets the same
> thoughts on mind as
> "I get little free time, I wish to make it useful for the community.
> I check email and reply, if I know the answers for any queries.
> If there are restrictions a.k.a guidelines on how I have to reply to a
> email,
> I will skip replying, instead of formatting the email for better
> readability.

to be frank, we do not need such people on this list. This attitude is
typical of the casual, sloppy, unprofessional attitude towards work that
many people have. If you do something, take pride in doing it to the
best of your ability in an orderly and correct manner, respecting the
rules and conventions followed in the field in which you are operating.
If you cannot, do everyone a favour by going and doing something else.
Formulating a reply on a mailing list - or contributing code to a
project, or filing a bug report or anything else worth doing is worth
doing well. An example:

one fine day I had the bright idea of contributing a small feature to
the django project. I studied all the guidelines I could find, looked at
the code in similar modules, wrote up the patch, tried it out and then
posted a ticket and sat back waiting for acceptance and praise to flow
in. Some one accepted the ticket and said 'where are your tests?'. I
said 'doctests are there'. He said 'we need unit tests'. I went back,
wrote unit tests, ran them and resubmitted. Then he said - 'tests are
failing for python 2.5'. Went back, set up a virtualenv, installed 2.5
and found the problem was upstream. The guy was good enough to check the
upstream problem, and let me know when it was fixed. Tests passed - I
resubmitted. Then he asks - 'you have not added docs for the new
feature'. Went back and added docs. Resubmitted. Then he wants all the
changes in one patch. Figured out how to do that and finally, after 6
months, my 10 lines of code was accepted.

At last inpycon, I was relating my experience to a friend who is a top
class programmer and an expert in django. He said he had the same
experience and was like 'who do these guys think they are? They should
be grateful for any contribution - not nitpick on the formatting'. He
refuses to contribute. That to me sounds like the attitude of top
posters in this list. 
> I am not getting this regulations, in office

office mail is totally different - most offices have the policy of
compulsory top posting and full quoting of the mail in order to keep
>  and in most of the other lists.

which lists are these?
> If there are regular inspection on how I am replying, I will be just a
> reader than contributor" 

so be it - as far as I am concerned the only greater pleasure than
reading well crafted, precisely formatted replies to queries on mailing
lists is managing to write such replies. 
Kenneth Gonsalves

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