Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mailing Lists and Newsreaders ....

So for awhile, I've been questioning on why very few FOSS programs use newsgroups (or USENET on moderated groups) as their primary means of communication between developers. I personally find email to be a clunky way dealing with mass-mailings, and while switching to alpine and mutt have helped, I feel newsgroups would work better in place of mailing lists.

In this spirit, I'm going to try to replace reading most of my public facing mailing lists with Gmane and see if my opinion actually holds true; if newsgroups are superior to bog-standard mailing lists, and post back in some time. I'm currently looking at various GUI and console based newsreaders to see which works best to meet my needs.

I also need to blow the dust off the memories and remember how to setup leafnode so I can mimic OfflineIMAP. Any suggestions are welcome.

32 comments:

RichiH said...

My guess: Everyone has email, whereas setting up access to a newsgroup is extra work. While the same holds true for IRC, email & newsgroups are too similar in user interaction to make a switch worthwhile.
Also, there are more MUA than newsgroup readers.

. said...

I always enjoyed the combination of slrn and slrnpull to be convenient for that task, especial with some nice scores in its killfile. :)

Daeng Bo said...

I have heard that the IETF requires all serious discussion to happen on mailing lists. I can't find proof of that, though.

nobrowser said...

A few years ago I'd have agreed and mourned the universal move to mailing lists. However, I changed my mind and the main reason is: Usenet is read-only as far as reading articles other people post. You can't edit them to compensate for lack of netiquette, such as:

* lines way longer than common terminal widths

* missing or wrong encoding information

and my personal favorite:
* broken threads due to abuse of Reply All or Followup reader feature.

Of course IMAP has the same problem, but at least nobody forces me to use IMAP to read my mail. :-)

In any case this battle seems to be a thing of the past and nowadays you should be fighting the similarly universal move to various web based abominable communication platforms, such as this blog ;)

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