Subject: Re: NetBSD Forum
To: Jonathan Cline <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 05/03/2003 20:55:09

The slow updates of the "official" web archives are a source of annoyance.
On the other hand, note that that other forum set is MODERATED.  This term
wasn't explained that I could see, so I assume that this means the Usenet
sense (and, I think, the same sense as netbsd-announce): Posts are held 
until approved by a moderator.

It may well be that time-to-post is a low lower on the NetBSD lists, on
average (even for prospective viewers reading via the web archives) than
for the moderated forums "over there".

I don't understand how users not subscribing is a problem.

If they want to research topics, they can do this from the web without
subscribing.  If they want to post a question, they don't need to join,
either.  (Just send the message---though hopefully aftter making some
effort to read the list.  Most replies will include the sender in the
To: or Cc: line, so the user will get the message at about the BEST
possible speed, unless they ignore their inbound email.

These seem to take care of the potential problems.  (That's not to say
*perceived* problems...)

Re. write access from the web: A first-step cheesey way to deal with this
is to add a mailto: link.  (Personally, I loathe the editor and mail
system in the browsers that I've seen.  But, to each their own.)
Certainly there's nothing inherant in the lists to make this not work.

I'm skeptical that there are that many users who are geeky enough to
want their own UNIX (and don't just grab GNU/LINUX because "everyone"
is talking about it), yet who are so ungeeky that they don't know
how to use email.

Linking: You still have the problem of inobviousness for the email
subscriber.  Assuming that *most* (though presumably not all) NetBSD
users are a bit geeky, how many are using a web-browser to read mail?
Some, maybe.  Others may be using mutt, etc.  And I know that mutt, for
one, does not handle HTML.

(Note, I said "mail", not "the mailing list".  The point is that if
they browse the list via the "official" web-archives, they can follow
links to properly written URL's; though it would help if people
considered that URL's may be linked and helped the archives get it

I think that "curing" this by encouraging HTML spammage in posts
would be a vast detriment.

People that can't figure out how to set up an email account
probably won't be able to write an HTML link, and those who
browse the "official" archives will get auto-linked URL's, so
I don't think that there's any real loss on this count.

Threading: I think that it's a mixed call there.  I find most threading
in forums/discussions on web-messages to be cumbersome, and occasionally
incorrect when a thread breaks.  Maybe there's a web-board out there
*somewhere* that implements message threading in a way that doesn't suck.
But, as long as you can turn it off and get the linear method, that's
okay.  (I think that the linear method could be improved upon if it went
by DATE-RECEIVED or DATE-SENT-TO-SUBSCRIBERS, rather than according to
the date on which the sender claimed it was sent.)

Just my 2.718281828459045 cents (appropriately adjusted for inflation) worth.
I wouldn't mind seeing some improvements made to the web-interface
(instantaneous updates, ordering by chronology, etc.).

  "I probably don't know what I'm talking about."