Google Groups + this list

rurpy at rurpy at
Wed Dec 25 02:44:09 CET 2013

On 12/23/2013 04:48 AM, Ned Batchelder wrote:
> On 12/22/13 11:52 PM, rurpy at wrote:
>> Come on Chris, it is just as easy to make typo or copy-and-
>> paste errors in any other software as GG, there is no evidence
>> that it was GG's fault.
> Can we agree that it's not great to respond to a new poster with *just* 
> "please don't use GG, it's bad" and no actual attempt to help them? 
> It's really unfriendly.  In this case, it wasn't difficult to see the 
> code the OP was asking about, and to try to help them.
>> If you want to recommend the mailing list, fine, but please
>> don't make stupid, unfounded, accusatory suggestions.
> Rurpy: you're coming on really strong here.  "Stupid"?  No. 

'Stupid" might not have been the most accurate choice
of words but I have no problem with it's strength.
People come here looking for accurate info.  Posting 
unsubstantiated derogatory claims about something 
because one doesn't like that something should not 
be allowed to pass silently.  

It is also important to point it out because people 
who do that also post authoritatively about other
things and readers should be aware how readily such 
people confuse their own opinions and facts.

> People have 
> had to deal with the result of Google Groups for a long time, and it's 
> not unreasonable to think that the formatting was its fault.
I think it is unreasonable when one doesn't have any
evidence to support the claim.

>> Kevin: just for your own info, there are a few people here
>> who despise Google Groups.  I and many other people post
>> from Google Groups regularly and it works fine.
> This is disingenuous.  Google Groups clearly does not work fine.  If you 
> understand its flaws, and care enough to, you can make it work fine. 

OK, that's fair enough.

> But it's a lot of work.

No, it not a "lot" of work (IMO and I use GG for every 
post I make here).  For a poster who expects to post more 
than once or twice (and thus cares about not alienating 
the anti-GG group) but doesn't expect to be a frequent 
poster it may be perfectly reasonable amount of work 
relative to the work involved with any of the other 

The TB/Usenet promoters simply refuse to (or seem to be
incapable of) understanding that figuring out enough about 
usenet/gmane etc to configure a newreader or managing a 
high volume of emails are what is a "lot of work" to
someone who has been using Google Groups.  I for one don't
want my yahoo email account filled with a hundred or more
email messages a day, all of which I have to click a check
box and a delete button to get rid of.  I don't want those
email delivered to a local email account when I find GG 
allows me to quickly scan for messages of interest and
skip the rest without using local resources.  And I find 
GG UI, while flawed, less flawed than many alternatives.

So don't tell *me* it is a lot of work -- the alternatives 
are more so.

And it is not up to you or Chris to decide what is or 
what isn't "a lot of work" for other people.  If it is 
too much work then they won't do it and will decide 
that using usenet or something else is easier.  But what
you and Chris are missing is that that is *their* decision, 
not yours.
>> You might want to take a look at
>> for some ways to reduce the annoyance factor for the anti-GG
>> clique here.
> I appreciate the work you put into that page, but those suggestions are 
> far from simple for the average newb here.  I think it's very unlikely 
> that a new poster is going to read, understand, and follow those 
> instructions.

Perhaps.  But it is an option that GG users should be 
aware of.

> Remember that most posters are not looking to "join the group."  They 
> need help with a problem.  They aren't going to put a lot of work into 
> anything having to do with this list.  That's just the way it is.

And yet you want them to go though the subscription process
for the email list and then deal with dozens, perhaps hundreds
of messages from it every day?  And then figure out how to 
get off it when they're done?

If they're unwilling to do a simple edit on a message before
posting why would anyone think they'd be willing to do all 
the above?

(And to pre-address the obvious potential mis-interpretation:
I am talking about only a subset of posters.  Some *will* 
find email or usenet easier, and to repeat what I said in 
most every post on this subject: offering the option is 
fine, ignoring GG posts if you don't like them is fine. 
But making wrong or unsupported claims like GG corrupts 
whitespace (more than other software) or is harder to use 
than usenet or a mailing list, or makes people go blind 
is wrong.

> Google Groups is a blessing and a curse.  1) It provides a simple way 
> for people to ask questions here.  2) It causes a lot of friction with 
> many people on this list.  It won't do any good to pretend that either 
> of these things isn't true.
> But please, let's not turn this list into an "argue about Google Groups" 
> list.

Please note that all my "argue about Google Groups" responses
have been to correct some form of misinformation about GG that 
someone else posted first.

> I suggest the following:
> 1) Don't fault newcomers for using Google Groups.  Politely suggest 
> alternatives, but only if you are also helping them, or if they have 
> already gotten help.
> 2) Be careful how you rail against Google Groups.  When you call its 
> results "crap" (for example), it can sound like an insult to the poster. 
>   You mean to refer to Google Groups, but remember you are also 
> referring to the poster's words.
> 3) Don't let's get into protracted internal debates about Google Groups. 
>   It is for the moment at least, an unavoidable part of this list.

That all sounds fine but seems to apply to the anti-GG 
crowd more than me.  I would add:

4) If someone continues to post from GG with no attempt 
to fix the quoting problem (which seem to be the only 
serious problem with GG) and the problem's been pointed 
out one or twice, just stop reading their posts if it 
bothers you too much.

More information about the Python-list mailing list