Posted by R. Berg on November 19, 2002
In Reply to: Moreover posted by TheFallen on November 18, 2002
: : : I found it very bothersome to have to scan thru a post that is repeated 10 times to get to the current statement.
: : : Why start at the end?
: : in a thread with ten posts you'd need to reload the page ten times to accomplish what you could with a single click - and more if you wanted to review a previous post. Call me lazy and slothful but I would far rather scroll down a bit than have to labouriously load and reload each post. I find it infuriating and I have DSL. I can't imagine what people with dial-up connections endure.
: : It's not just a technical issue either. It is a far more efficient way to do things. Posters have ready access to previous posts so they tend to be more accurate in their replies. What happened in this thread is an excellent example of why preserving the replies is useful. Besides that it's just shows more consideration to fellow contributors.
: The point is that you absolutely *don't* have to scan through any repeated post - you just view the latest post in the list. This instantly gives you access to *all* the posts on the current topic and in historical order - provided nobody's deleted anything. Far more efficient, as Ms. Camel points out.
Here's another reason. Posts aren't only for current use: they get archived. Anyone searching the archives for a particular word or words--and that often means me, when I want to find a previous discussion for somebody who asked without checking the archives--will benefit if a question and its answer are on the same page. Providing two links, one to the archived question and one to the archived answer, requires posting twice and generally makes more work . Remember, I'm doing a stranger a favor at such times, and I'd like to do it as easily as I can.
Often someone posts one of the standard proposed origins of "the Whole nine yards" here, for example, as if it had been proved. Then one or more of the regulars posts a follow-up saying "But that isn't known." Some innocent might come along, find that first post in the archive and not read the follow-up, and assume that the person who posted was right. Following up without deleting the question creates an archived entry marked by more stars, which is more likely to be read. Following up AND deleting the question creates an archived entry with fewer stars--and one that doesn't make sense, as it consists of an answer without a question.
Long threads created by several discussants who offer conflicting opinions should be kept intact, for the same reason, only more so.