[Haskell-cafe] Re: Haskell Forum

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Tue Jul 27 14:59:40 EDT 2010

Darrin Chandler wrote:
> IOW, if people use the proper and well known features of NNTP it would
> be a better world than the one we have were people do not use proper and
> well known features of SMTP.

SMTP is designed for delivering messages point-to-point. If your email 
provider incorrectly marks half the list traffic as spam, you can't read 
it. If your PC dies and you lose all your email, you cannot get it back 
again. If you hit reply, it only replies to the one person who wrote the 
message, not to the list. And every person has to download every single 
message ever sent. Because, let's face it, all a list server does is 
receive emails and then re-send them to everybody. If your mail system 
isn't operational at the moment when the email is sent, you'll never 
receive it and cannot ever get it afterwards.

NNTP is designed to deliver list traffic. You can tell your news reader 
to download messages posted before you joined the group (which is 
impossible with a mailing list). If your PC dies, you can just 
re-download all the messages again. Threading actually works properly. 
You only need download the message bodies that you're actually 
interested in. And so on.

> As it stands, even with SMTP you get people who post new message topics
> as replies to existing threads, as well as people who *somehow* "reply"
> to a thread but do not include In-Reply-To or References headers so
> threading is broken. I have no reason to think people would not do the
> same broken things with NNTP, foiling my plans for following some
> threads and ignoring others.

I constantly have trouble with this mailing list. Even gmane can't seem 
to thread it properly. But I've never had any trouble with threading in 
any NNTP group, ever.

[Well, apart from that stupid Thunderbird bug they still haven't fixed 
yet. But that's a client bug. Use a different client and it goes away.]

> * If the mailing lists go away I will probably not switch to whatever
>   replaces it.

...aaaand this is why no matter how superior it is, this list will never 
get updated.

> * A list <-> forum gateway is fine, as long as the message IQ doesn't
>   drop through the floor as a result. This fear comes from personal,
>   anecdotal evidence. YMMV.

Uh, why would that happen?

I guess if it went to a web forum there'd by a greater danger of that 
maybe. But heck, we don't have much trouble on IRC, and that's notorious 
for the kind of trolls it tends to attract...

> * No opinion either way on List <-> NNTP gateway.

As I say, there already is one. But because 98% of everybody uses this 
list as an email list, you can't go using it like it's a news group. 
You'll just get yelled at.

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