The keepers of netiquette, have long fought over the correct way to reply to email, mailing list,forum, usenet, etc.. messages. Even though I almost always top or inline post, bottom posting is frequently expounded by digerati as the most appropriate and logical way to reply. Well this week I think I’ve come across what might be the definitive reason(at least for me) that top posting is in fact the one true way.

On a mailing list for a project I run, a list subscriber requested that replies sent to the list be top posted instead of bottom/inline. The subscriber happened to be vision impaired and it said that it was extremely difficult to follow a thread when his screen reader had to dig through all the extra/old text to find the new content in the reply.

So at least for me, until someone comes up with a screen reader that can deal with large amount of quoted text easily or somehow “skip to the content” in mail messages, I will stick with top posting and the rare occurrence that I need to inline post to clarify something.