Interfaces to high-volume discussion forums (was: Science list)

Dotan Cohen dotancohen at
Fri Nov 30 09:21:45 CET 2007

On 30/11/2007, Ben Finney <bignose+hates-spam at> wrote:
> "Dotan Cohen" <dotancohen at> writes:
> > On 29/11/2007, Dennis Lee Bieber <wlfraed at> wrote:
> > >         Regardless of what Google/Yahoo/M$/AOL want you to think,
> > > using a web-based mail client is typically the worst way to follow
> > > mailing lists and/or news-groups; much better to use a decent
> > > client program that can download posts in the background, then
> > > sort/thread/filter them as desired.
> >
> > With the exception of Gmail. I really could not follow 20+ high
> > volume lists (such as Python, PHP, Fedora, MySQL, OOo, and some
> > other very high traffic lists) without Gmail.
> I'm not interested in learning some centralised web-application
> interface, and far prefer the discussion forum to be available by a
> standard *protocol*, that I can use my choice of *local client*
> application with.
> Most of the high-volume discussion lists I participate in are made
> available as NNTP forums via I find that immeasurably
> superior to any email interface, not least because I can use *any*
> NNTP client to manage my interaction with those forums.
> The metaphor of discussion-forum-as-NNTP-newsgroup is, for my
> purposes, far superior to discussion-forum-as-mailing-list. For those
> forums only available as mailing lists, I find them much more awkward
> to manage.
> The proliferation of "web forums", where the *only* way to participate
> is to use an excreable web application that works differently to
> everything else and has no connection to anything else I do on my
> computer, is of course utterly antithesis to my needs.
> I would, of course, welcome an increase in the number of discussion
> forums made available as NNTP groups, whether via Gmane or any other
> service — including the same people who host the mailing list (or,
> gods forbid, "web forum").

Ben, I agree with you! VBforum, PHPBB, Inforum, and countless other
interfaces to learn drive me nuts. Add to that every web based email
client's "Betas" and random changes, and the situation is a mess.

That said, I _still_ prefer Gmail to any other option. I can tag and
star messages and threads for later retrieval. The search function is
great. I could go on and on.

Yes, there are bugs in Gmail but every app I've tried has bugs. I
didn't care much for any of gmane's webbased interfaces, and although
I prefer work email locally (Kmail||Tbird) I now prefer a web-based
mailing list || forum interface. Gmail is perfect for that.

Dotan Cohen

A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?

More information about the Python-list mailing list