I love newsgroups; I read the Mozilla discussion forums in that form, as it keeps everything together, it’s threaded, and so on. But newsgroups are dropping out of use in favour of web-based forums. I wrote a while back expressing incredulity about this, and suggesting it was a case of “worse is better”. But recently, I did come across this, which succinctly sums up some of the undeniable problems:
I and many others never were entirely happy with the newsgroup support for Logos software. It meant having to open up and set up Outlook Express (or some other news reader) and then plowing through the multitude of posts. The size of the newsgroup postings kept getting bigger, and if you deleted any thread, it would still come back to life in the ongoing responses to it. And if you deleted a thread and then wanted to find something in a deleted thread, it meant unsubscribing and resubscribing and then having the whole mess back on your computer. Another major problem for me was that I am regularly using two different computers, and that meant having to plow through the same stuff twice.
So, I am happy to report that Logos has now started the Logos Bible Software Forums, a web-based, online discussion and support forum. The newsgroups will be allowed to continue, but they will eventually become irrelevant. (Material from the newsgroups will not be moved into the new forums.)
This is very good news, and in just a few days of being online, there is a ton of activity. …
What changes could we make to Thunderbird’s news support to mitigate some of these problems? Some suggestions:
- When you join a new group, it does not give you “the last 500 messages” to read, but e.g. all the messages in the most recent N threads
- Make the UI and capability for watching/ignoring threads more obvious (I only discovered it today, and I’ve been using Thunderbird for 9 years!)
- Weave support for cross-computer syncing of which messages have been read