Re-proposal: web forums

Molle Bestefich molle.bestefich at
Mon Apr 24 14:33:35 CDT 2006

Joseph Garvin wrote:
> 1. They can bookmark forum posts.
> 2. Webmail interfaces are very popular but often suck at threading
> mailing lists.

Good points.

> 3. phpbb has become so widespread that signing up for a forum is
> something that they know how to do and are familiar with.
> 4. phpbb is so widespread that it's a familiar interface.

Bull, if you ask me.

Nobody will care whether it's phpBB or something that provides the
exact same features and solutions.  If anything, I think it's easy to
point out a better direction than what phpBB does.  You could start by
stripping away the ugly theme, going minimalistic with icons and
colors.  And make it less clique-ish-prone.

> 5. Subscribing to a mailing lists requires setting up filters so that
> you're main inbox isn't flooded with posts.
> 6. A forum has a throttleable amount of involvement. I don't want to
> have to subscribe to a mailing list to just ask one question and then
> probably never participate again, and then have to go through the whole
> sign up process again on the off chance that I do have another question.
> 7. Nobody whines when you attach large images or files.

Good points.

I like #7, haven't heard that one before :-).

> 8. It is easily searchable, and unlike the giant "wine-users" or
> "wine-devel" lists, you can narrow your search to specific subforums.
> 9. Posts that aren't active get filtered down to the bottom. Browsing
> the web interface to the mailing list just gives me a giant topic dump
> for the last month.
> 10. Sticky posts can alert users to the presence of the FAQ and answers
> to popular problems (like, click here for the WoW patch).

Fine points..

> I wouldn't worry about communication between the lists and the
> forums at all.

I'm personally not convinced.

I don't like sending people to more different places than we already
are for no apparent good reason...

> Doing all the work to improve the mailing list web interface seems like
> a bad idea when you can just spare yourself all the work and use
> something like phpbb. Why reinvent the wheel?

phpBB is a wheel..
What I proposed is more of an anti-gravity device :-).

I agree that it might be overkill to make our own software if Google
Groups can provide most of what people are looking for.  (I'm not sure
that it can, though.)

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