On Sat, Sep 02, 2006 at 07:46:04PM +0900, Floyd L. Davidson wrote:
> "Austin Ziegler" <halostatue / gmail.com> wrote:
> >On 9/1/06, Floyd L. Davidson <floyd / apaflo.com> wrote:
> >> This is not a "forum", it is Usenet.  There are *many* different
> >> reading environments, some of which are entirely different than
> >> that presented in a "forum".
> >
> >No, in fact, it isn't. What you're actually reading is the result of a
> >gateway. The primary source for this forum (ruby-forum.com/ruby) or
> >this newsgroup (comp.lang.ruby) is a mailing list:
> >ruby-tak / ruby-lang.org.
> >
> >Please don't pretend that either the forum or Usenet is prime here.
> 
> Once you gateway it to Usenet, that *is* prime.  There are
> instantly *millions* of potential readers, plus it is archived
> and will be read by people decades from today.  Usenet eclipses
> anything a mailing list or a web forum is contributing,
> regardless of how it all began.

I . . . don't agree.  The mailing list, too, is archived -- and there
are a great many people subscribed through the mailing list.  It's
possible usenet may bring more readers to this venue, but it also may
not.  Yes, millions of potential readers, just like the mailing list and
web forum provide millions of potential readers.  The way things are
going in terms of Internet usage, usenet numbers are likely to decrease
relative to mailing list numbers (and what web forum numbers will do is
probably something of a mystery for this venue, though considering the
reduced necessary personal investment in discussion as compared with the
mailing list it seems like a second-class citizen by definition).

Usenet may experience a resurgence of popularity at some point, but if
we're to make assumptions based on current and recent trends, I'd say
that planning for the future would probably require planning more for
the mailing list than anything else.  At the very least, I'd say that
considering the newsgroup interface primary to the detriment of any
other interface just because it's usenet is probably a suboptimal
approach at best.


> 
> >They're alternative views on the mailing list, but both are gatewayed
> >to and from the mailing list.
> >
> >Forum users: yes, mailing list people and Usenet people get pissed off
> >with top posters (r) contextless posters because we may *not* have the
> >originating message immediately in front of us, even with a threading
> >newsreader or mail reader.
> 
> In fact, in a forum where the context supposedly is available, it is
> *not* effectively available.  Usually it is impossible to determine
> even which article is being responded to, much less which part of the
> article the comment applies to.
> 
> That simply is not effective communications.

. . . and that's a very good point that hadn't occurred to me.

-- 
CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
"Real ugliness is not harsh-looking syntax, but having to
build programs out of the wrong concepts." - Paul Graham