W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2012

Re: Forums

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Thu, 05 Jan 2012 13:51:57 -0500
Message-ID: <4F05F14D.6090906@mit.edu>
To: www-style@w3.org
On 1/5/12 1:36 PM, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
> The 'friendly on phone' thing is a false argument. Get a forum theme
> that's light-weight. Done. I also don't think that one specific and
> rare use case is much of an argument to hold back what would be a
> massive improvement for the majority of use cases.

If we're going to have this discussion...

Every single piece of forum software I have ever had the "pleasure" of 
using is a huge pain in the ass compared to mailing lists.  Offline use 
is not supported.  Decent search is hard to come by.  Being able to 
easily loop in other demographics who are not subscribers (whether 
individuals or working groups; this needs to happen pretty often) is 
impossible, while with e-mail it's just a matter of adding them to the 
Cc field.  Finding out when a new entry has been added to a discussion 
involves either polling the forum or reading an RSS feed (at which 
point, it's pretty much like a mail client, except without threading).

The suggestion that forums can be configured to also send mail has some 
merit _if_ the forums also accept replies to that mail and automatically 
post it in the correct forum thread.  The ones that I've dealt with have 
not had that capability.  And even if they do, it doesn't address any of 
the issues in the previous paragraph.

Note that all this is from my point of view as someone who has been 
following the list for a while, plans to keep doing so for a while, and 
is interested in the vast majority of the discussion on it.  For someone 
only interested in a small set of threads and not interested in future 
threads  that might start, a good forum with per-thread RSS feeds might 
work out fine, as long as no one who's not already a forum member gets 
involved.  Which of those cases is more important is an interesting 
discussion on its own.

-Boris
Received on Thursday, 5 January 2012 18:58:12 GMT

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