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

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at
Fri Nov 30 01:38:22 CET 2007

"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").

 \       "Don't worry about what anybody else is going to do. The best |
  `\          way to predict the future is to invent it."  -- Alan Kay |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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