Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(February 2001)
 

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Subject: Re: how to make mail lists scale well
From: Russ Allbery <rra @ stanford . edu>
Organization: The Eyrie
Date: 09 Feb 2001 21:36:11 -0800
To: List-Managers <list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM>
In-reply-to: Chuq Von Rospach's message of "Fri, 09 Feb 2001 18:01:07 -0800"
References: <B6A9E0E3 . 3F56%chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
User-agent: Gnus/5.0807 (Gnus v5.8.7) XEmacs/21.1 (Channel Islands)

Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @
 plaidworks .
 com> writes:

> You're right that NNTP is a good technology for this stuff, to a
> point. That point is where you hit the interface -- since you're in a
> more or less dedicated tool which users may or may not be familiar with,
> I think it lends itself to more technically sophisticated audiences
> (even moderately so) -- my mom can use email, and use web, but it would
> take some doing to get her up and running on a newsclient.

That surprises me.  What is she using to read e-mail?

Netscape's news interface, whatever its flaws, should be pretty familiar
to any user of the browser and very familiar to anyone who uses the same
program to read e-mail.  The same should be generally true of Microsoft
stuff, I assume, although I've never used it.

> Since it's a separate app, there's a learning curve, and you have
> limited ability to customize the interface -- with web forums, you have
> complete (or pretty much complete) control of the user experience, and I
> feel that's key for a community.

I think that people who argue a difference between web boards and NNTP are
missing something really significant.  Why pick one or the other?  A
Usenet news server makes a really nice backend database behind a web
board, NNTP is a dead-simple protocol to put into a PHP script or the
like, and then the people who really like news can just bypass the web
front end and read directly from the underlying server.

> So, NNTP is good, but he wrappings around it are deficient for what I
> want to do, unless it's somehow interfaced with other forms that I do
> have more control over. And I tried that about 18 months ago, and found
> that if the same data was available two or three different ways, NNTP
> came in third and basically nobody used it (I actually ran systems that
> were bi-directional web<=>email and web<=>nntp for a good while, and
> finally shut off the NNTP because it was more work than worth for the
> usage, which was tiny)

Were you gatewaying, or were you front-ending a Usenet news server with
web software?

-- 
Russ Allbery (rra @
 stanford .
 edu)             <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>



Follow-Ups:
References:
Indexed By Date Previous: Re: how to make mail lists scale well
From: John R Levine <johnl @ iecc . com>
Next: Re: how to make mail lists scale well
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
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From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
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