NNTP and thunderbird-related lists

Dan Mosedale dmose at mozilla.org
Thu Jul 29 17:56:38 UTC 2010

  On 7/29/10 5:17 AM, Ben Bucksch wrote:
> Newsgroups are also pull, not push. 

I don't really understand how the above sentence relates to the rest of 
this paragraph:

> I can peek into a group at any time, without having to be subscribed, 
> and can see the whole history, and read things in the comfort of 
> Thunderbird (I do not feel web archives to be reader friendly, for 
> more than a few posts). I also can reply easily there. I often don't 
> know whether I am interested in a group, or I want to participate only 
> in one thread or only at certain occasions and then ignore the group 
> again.
Now, it's clear to me from the other things that you've said that 
filtering-into-folders has some presentation problems that would need to 
be fixed to support your working style well, but let's suppose for a 
second that we fixed those.

I see also from the above that there's a barrier-to-entry problem at 
work here.

My non-understanding of how pull vs. push is relevant to the above 
paragraph is because I subscribe to a bunch of mailing lists which I 
filter into folders, and some of them I read in very much the style you 
describe: I go look at them once a week or once a year.  Would that not 
work for you?

>> Would it be fair to summarize this reframing by saying:
>> * newsgroups have lower barriers to entry and exit than mailing 
>> lists, which is helpful since one often doesn't know how valuable a 
>> subscription will be before subscribing?
> No, not really. That's just one part of what I said above.
> It's also when I know the group may be valuable, but only marginally 
> and sometimes. With a mailing list, it's all or nothing, always or 
> never. With a newsgroup, I fetch the messages and participate when I 
> want (which may be only when I feel like it, or once a month/week only 
> skimming over it, or only when I hear from third party sources that 
> there's an interesting discussion going on right now). With this pull 
> method, I am more in control.

I _think_ I've covered this in the above paragraph, but let me know if 
you disagree.

>> * (something about web archives)
>> The reason I've put "something about web archives" here is because 
>> I'm unclear how the more general statement you've made applies to the 
>> specific cases we're talking about here.  Our primary archives for 
>> tb-planning and tb-enterprise are Google Groups.  Is it your feeling 
>> that they are insufficiently reader-friendly?
> I find messages on the web reader-unfriendly in general. Websites are 
> too slow (1-3s per click), and I don't like that they force their UI 
> on me, the UI is usually cumbersome in comparison to TB. I don't like 
> web forums, facebook or mailing list archives. I want the stuff in 
> Thunderbird, with the Thunderbird 3pane UI (and the faster speed that 
> dedicated protocols have). I use Thunderbird instead of a web mailer 
> out of conviction, for speed, privacy, comfort, control.
I totally hear you: there are a whole bunch of things that Thunderbird 
provides that things like Google Groups does not.


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