>>> An advantage that the web forum adds is that it sorts threads by date 
>>> of most recent posting, rather than first post. (I wish Thunderbird 
>>> had that option.) 
>>
>> is'nt that what you get by clicking on "date"?
>
> In unthreaded mode, all the posts are intermingled. Right now, I'm 
> looking at Re: Rmagic 1.9, Re: Heirarchy T.., Re: [ANN] Ferret, Re: 
> rubycocoa, Re: Forum, etc. in the message index pane. I prefer, 
> actually, to sort by Order Received because senders' mail clients often 
> lie (or are confused) about the current datetime.

Or the machines they run on. As I recall from the days I used elm to read my
mail and most ppl replied from PCs using a puny form of DOS or win31 that
hadn't even heard of NTP. But an occasional high rate of writing emails.

Or clients that ignore the IDs that are put in various headers to make
threading easier (that's where google mail gets bonus points).

> In threaded mode, posts are grouped together and put in pretty threads. 
> However, a thread that was created at the dawn of time stays at the very 
> bottom my list, even if it was just replied to a minute ago. Since I 
> only read about 30% of ruby-talk, that means I'd never notice it, 'cause 
> it's just another old unread message. Rather, if threads were sorted by 
> *most* recent posting, I'd see it as I scroll by the new posts, and get 
> to decide what I want to do with it. (You can argue about the utility of 
> this feature with yourself, but it is [AFAIK] different from what 
> Thunderbird provides.)

That's what you would use scoring for, or delete a thread that is not
interesting, or other ways of archiving. mutt provides me with TAB to go to
New mails (or old&unread if there's no New mail).

I read ruby-lang on usenet, because I prefer pulling for such a (reasonably)
high volume list. gmail is out because it represents threads as lists, not
as trees.

IMHO, it's in the tools, not in another archive that holds the same content.

Bye,
Kero.