Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by wade blazingam » Wed, 30 May 2001 15:52:11



Instead of a friendly, easy to use, self-archiving, self-threading news
reader interface, most OSS projects use mailing lists to connect their
community.

Signing up for mailing lists is a hassle.  Getting off some of them can be
a freakin nightmare.  Your in-box is stuffed with every message whether
you're interested in the subject or not.  Threading is almost never
supported as well in mail clients as it is in news readers.  If the
mailing lists are archived at all, they're archived using terrible HTML
interfaces that are illogically presented, painful to use and inflexible.

This really discourages participation and strengthens the misperception
that OSS packages are difficult and unapproachable.

Why must it be this way?  Can someone explain this to me?

 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by kosh » Wed, 30 May 2001 16:38:41



> Instead of a friendly, easy to use, self-archiving, self-threading news
> reader interface, most OSS projects use mailing lists to connect their
> community.

> Signing up for mailing lists is a hassle.  Getting off some of them can be
> a freakin nightmare.  Your in-box is stuffed with every message whether
> you're interested in the subject or not.  Threading is almost never
> supported as well in mail clients as it is in news readers.  If the
> mailing lists are archived at all, they're archived using terrible HTML
> interfaces that are illogically presented, painful to use and inflexible.

> This really discourages participation and strengthens the misperception
> that OSS packages are difficult and unapproachable.

> Why must it be this way?  Can someone explain this to me?

It is actually fairly simple. Many people use something like procmail to
sort mail to appropriate locations and deal with it. I can have my machine
grab mail from many public accounts and store it locally on my machine and
sort it approripriately. News servers don't work for that quite as well.
Also  on the whole email clients are a good bit more advanced then news
clients are.

I typically use mutt or pine with procmail which works great and doesn't
put lots of junk in my inbox.

 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by Donn Mille » Wed, 30 May 2001 16:44:18



> Instead of a friendly, easy to use, self-archiving, self-threading news
> reader interface, most OSS projects use mailing lists to connect their
> community.

Actually, there are various reasons.  First, the tightly-knit developers
want up-to-the minute updates on development, and they like them
delivered to their inbox.  Second, news servers sometimes drop important
articles.  Also, mailing lists typically have a much much higher
signal-to-noise ratio than usenet newsgroups.  And usually there aren't
any trolls on mailing lists, at least not like there are on usenet.
Also, usenet NG's are notorious for attracting SPAM.

But, most mailing lists are exported to certain newsgroups.  For
example, the freebsd-stable mailing list is exported to
mailing.freebsd.stable, list.freebsd.stable, etc., so it's not like you
can't follow the mailing list via the exported emails on the usenet
NG's.

-----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =-----
http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World!
-----==  Over 80,000 Newsgroups - 16 Different Servers! =-----

 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by Peter T. Breue » Wed, 30 May 2001 17:35:46



Quote:> Instead of a friendly, easy to use, self-archiving, self-threading news
> reader interface, most OSS projects use mailing lists to connect their
> community.

NO they don't. Sure you can be on the mailing list, or you can read the
list from a news server, or from an html gateway, or whatever.
Personally I prefer news. I gateway all my mailing lists through news
servers just so I don't have to put up with the onslaught. But other
people prefer to receive mail. or digests.

Quote:> Why must it be this way?  Can someone explain this to me?

One would suspect the problem is with the person asking the question!
Gateway your incoming list mail through a local news server, if you
like your stuff served that way :-). "Berolist" springs to mind
as a convenient vehicle.

Peter

 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by pip » Wed, 30 May 2001 20:38:47



> Signing up for mailing lists is a hassle.  Getting off some of them can be
> a freakin nightmare.  Your in-box is stuffed with every message whether
> you're interested in the subject or not.  Threading is almost never
> supported as well in mail clients as it is in news readers.  If the
> mailing lists are archived at all, they're archived using terrible HTML
> interfaces that are illogically presented, painful to use and inflexible.

> This really discourages participation and strengthens the misperception
> that OSS packages are difficult and unapproachable.

> Why must it be this way?  Can someone explain this to me?

Well a number of points:

1) I fully agree that most HTML maillist archives are crap. That is
because no one has bothered to come up with something better. But they
ARE usable and you can get the info you are looking for.
2) Yes, I think that threading issue is a pain. Maybe Netscape can't
handle threads properly but following conversations in for example the
Kernel mailing list is a pain (especially as some key developers use
VERY tight cutting, which makes threading essential - yet the threading
does not work!)

Anyway, I think this is a minor point. If you can't subscribe to a
mailing list and follow it (even if the threading is a bit out) then
should you really be there  ? This is an eye candy issue.

If there is a better way however, the community is all ears to good
ideas!

 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by Floyd L. Davidso » Wed, 30 May 2001 20:57:28




> > Signing up for mailing lists is a hassle.  Getting off some of them can
be
> > a freakin nightmare.  Your in-box is stuffed with every message whether
> > you're interested in the subject or not.  Threading is almost never
> > supported as well in mail clients as it is in news readers.  If the
> > mailing lists are archived at all, they're archived using terrible HTML
> > interfaces that are illogically presented, painful to use and
inflexible.

> > This really discourages participation and strengthens the misperception
> > that OSS packages are difficult and unapproachable.

> > Why must it be this way?  Can someone explain this to me?

  [snippage]

Quote:> If there is a better way however, the community is all ears to good
> ideas!

Ahem,  this isn't exactly front page news these days...  ;-)

Today I am borrowing someone else's computer, and I'm reading
news  using Outlook Express running under Win98.  If I had to use
software like this on a regular  basis, I would wonder about how or
why anyone would read Usenet at all, much less want to subscribe
to mailing lists!  I set it up to read all of six newsgroups, and even
that seems to put it into overload mode.

The point?  It's your choice of software that makes email, mailing
lists, and/or Usenet more or less difficult.

I prefer XEmacs and read news and mail with GNUS.  The problems
being described for mailing lists simply do not exist.  There simply is
no difference between the way I read email and the way I read Usenet.

OK?

--
Floyd L. Davidson

 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by pip » Wed, 30 May 2001 21:58:07



> I prefer XEmacs and read news and mail with GNUS.  The problems
> being described for mailing lists simply do not exist.  There simply is
> no difference between the way I read email and the way I read Usenet.

> OK?

Is the threading problem ( esp on klm ) caused by Netscape ? I would not
be surprised - It does however not have a problem with NG's.
 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by Jan Schauma » Wed, 30 May 2001 22:17:36



>  Threading is almost never
>  supported as well in mail clients as it is in news readers.

Then you're using the wrong MUA.

Mutt (http://www.mutt.org) and Gnus (was it http://www.gnus.org?) both
thread very nicely.

-Jan

--
Jan Schaumann
http://www.netmeister.org

 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by Villy Kru » Wed, 30 May 2001 22:46:07


On Tue, 29 May 2001 13:17:36 -0000,


>>  Threading is almost never
>>  supported as well in mail clients as it is in news readers.

>Then you're using the wrong MUA.

>Mutt (http://www.mutt.org) and Gnus (was it http://www.gnus.org?) both
>thread very nicely.

How does it do this without In-Reply-To: headers or something similar?

Even if mutt or gnus generates those headers, that doesn't make every
other mail program do the same.

Villy

 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by Matthias Wark » Wed, 30 May 2001 23:34:41


It was the 29 May 2001 13:46:07 GMT...


> >>  Threading is almost never
> >>  supported as well in mail clients as it is in news readers.

> >Then you're using the wrong MUA.

> >Mutt (http://www.mutt.org) and Gnus (was it http://www.gnus.org?) both
> >thread very nicely.

>  How does it do this without In-Reply-To: headers or something similar?

Heuristics. Message-ID, Date, Subject, the works. Mutt usually guesses
right.

mawa
--
At least in the US, the rate of increase for consumer indebtedness is
far higher than the rate of increase for gov't debt.  The same people
who criticize the `gummint' for mismanaging funds are themselves
incompetent in the same matter.                         -- Michael Powe

 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by Floyd L. Davidso » Thu, 31 May 2001 01:01:03




> > I prefer XEmacs and read news and mail with GNUS.  The problems
> > being described for mailing lists simply do not exist.  There simply is
> > no difference between the way I read email and the way I read Usenet.

> > OK?

> Is the threading problem ( esp on klm ) caused by Netscape ? I would not
> be surprised - It does however not have a problem with NG's.

I just cannot imagine actually using Netscape to either read news or
email.

With GNUS all of my email is sorted and archived individual spool files
much as they would be on a news server.  News is fetched from the
server and email is fetched from the spool files.  The user interface is
identical, with the exception that it is possible to actually delete an
email
from a spool file, which can't be done of course with a news article on
a remote server.  It happens that I sort my email by priorities, and some
groups are not visible unless I go looking for them while others (e.g.,
email from family members) is flagged with text in red when unread mail
exists.

Digests, whether on Usenet or email,  can also be viewed as if each were
an individual article.

--
Floyd L. Davidson

 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by Otto Wy » Thu, 31 May 2001 03:28:44



> Instead of a friendly, easy to use, self-archiving, self-threading news
> reader interface, most OSS projects use mailing lists to connect their
> community.

I guess the most important reason is SPAM. Usually mailing lists have a
much higher signal-to-noise ratio. There exists gateways between
mailinglists <-> news but they are very seldom activated, because of
this.

I also don't like to subscribe and would like to read them as news but
since this isn't possible now I usually read through the mailinglists
archive. As long as I don't post answers this is fine. The lists I
follow (debian...) usually cope very well with my answers if I post them
as new mails. Of course it would be nice if archives supports direct
posting of answers.

There is a solution which might satisfy everyone. Gateway from lists to
news can be configured one way (debian-devel was once, I have to check
it again). So all the "SPAM" stays in the news while anyone can read the
lists through the news. Of course if you want to answer to the lists as
well you have to send an ordinary mail to the list instead just replying
to the news. This certainly won't impair the signal-to-noise ratio.

O. Wyss

 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by Ayende Rahie » Thu, 31 May 2001 04:04:43



Quote:> Threading is almost never
> supported as well in mail clients as it is in news readers.

That shouldn't be a problem to implement via the message-id, References &
In-Replay-To fields.
I know that OE support it.

From RFC 2822

3.6.4. Identification fields

   Though optional, every message SHOULD have a "Message-ID:" field.
   Furthermore, reply messages SHOULD have "In-Reply-To:" and
   "References:" fields as appropriate, as described below.

 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by Matt O'Tool » Thu, 31 May 2001 03:40:41



Quote:> Instead of a friendly, easy to use, self-archiving, self-threading news
> reader interface, most OSS projects use mailing lists to connect their
> community.

> Signing up for mailing lists is a hassle.  Getting off some of them can be
> a freakin nightmare.  Your in-box is stuffed with every message whether
> you're interested in the subject or not.  Threading is almost never
> supported as well in mail clients as it is in news readers.  If the
> mailing lists are archived at all, they're archived using terrible HTML
> interfaces that are illogically presented, painful to use and inflexible.
> This really discourages participation and strengthens the misperception
> that OSS packages are difficult and unapproachable.

> Why must it be this way?  Can someone explain this to me?

If you can't deal with these "problems," maybe you should think about
another career.  Seriously.

Matt O.

 
 
 

Why does Linux / OSS community love mailing lists and hate news servers?

Post by Colin Wats » Thu, 31 May 2001 03:53:47



>On Tue, 29 May 2001 13:17:36 -0000,

>>Mutt (http://www.mutt.org) and Gnus (was it http://www.gnus.org?) both
>>thread very nicely.

>How does it do this without In-Reply-To: headers or something similar?

>Even if mutt or gnus generates those headers, that doesn't make every
>other mail program do the same.

In practice, the majority of messages on the mailing lists I'm on
(Debian plus a few others) do have at least In-Reply-To: set where
appropriate. The few that don't aren't enough of a problem to worry
about.

--

"A recommended acceptance test might be to experiment with subjects
 whose skulls are only at partial vacuum, such as Vice-Presidents of
 Marketing." - RFC 1437

 
 
 

1. Why I hate Linux: List of 9 (trolling please ignore)

[Follow-up set correctly]


Yes, it's sometimes annoying, recently installed RH advanced
server, guess what, it decided to install X, and was unhappy about
not finding a keyboard/mouse/monitor, asked myself, what has this
to do with a server?

[..]

Linux attracts more and more clueless M$ user, that was expected if
you remember Linus "total world domination", which he IMHO in
reality only said, to stop asking reporter, the same stupid
question again and again.

Sure, your problem might be, you don't even like yourself.;)

Nope, it's a pice of crap, anyone who has tried using it for
serious computing, knows that. You didn't, else you wouldn't post
this.

[..]

[..]
Sure, you can buy lots of distros/books, to get you going, on the
other hand, you can download most distros for free and install it
on thousands of systems, for free. If you think you are one of
those "real gurus", you give a shit about docs and hack your way
through the system;)

Have done this more than once, in reality your are just a looser,
without source.

[See my answer to 3)]

I like Linus, read his book. Never met him, only wrote him a mail
once, he answered short time later and I could solve my problem;)

Out of historic reasons and for people with the same problem, saved
the mails.

http://www.heiming.de/htmldocs/mail-linus.txt

Happy trolling

Michael Heiming
--
Remove the +SIGNS case you expect an answer.

2. Linux and NT share swap space?

3. REPOST: Why I hate Linux: List of 9 (trolling please ignore)

4. Nasty console messages

5. why do most sites use mailing lists instead of news?

6. Help on SNMP encoding

7. Why I hate Linux: List of 9 (trolling please ignore)

8. Apache, getting directories, index.html, permissions

9. Help: Linux mailing list hates me!

10. Linux haters (wintrolls hate Linux and love FreeBSD)

11. What is the community's favorite news reader (and why)?

12. UUCP-NEWS-MAIL-FAQ: Linux UUCP/News/Mail Frequently Asked Questions