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digitalmars.D - The D programming language newsgroup should lift its game

reply Justin Johansson <no spam.com> writes:
Lest this forum decays as has Google Groups,

( see "Google Groups is Dead" by John Resig
http://ejohn.org/blog/google-groups-is-dead/ )

my suggestion is that this newsgroup should make steps to lift its game.

Its becoming harder to sign off on a post with "regards" anymore,

egards
Justin Johansson
Apr 01 2010
next sibling parent "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Justin Johansson" <no spam.com> wrote in message 
news:hp2952$2qh7$1 digitalmars.com...
 Lest this forum decays as has Google Groups,

 ( see "Google Groups is Dead" by John Resig
 http://ejohn.org/blog/google-groups-is-dead/ )

Hmm, yea, ever since I first tried spam filtering software (and I've tried a number of different ones), I've been convinced that the only worthwhile spam filtering system is one that doesn't even bother to try to filter on messages that have already been sent (and certainly not one of those heuristics systems, those are horrible), but rather makes sure the sender is legit before it even lets them send. CAPTCHAs, a real login system, only giving out real email addresses to individuals, not sites or organizations, etc. I've been following that, without any client-side or server-side software spam filter, for years and I get far fewer spam getting through than even gmail users do, and *zero* legit messages blocked.
Apr 01 2010
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Justin Johansson wrote:
 Lest this forum decays as has Google Groups,
 
 ( see "Google Groups is Dead" by John Resig
 http://ejohn.org/blog/google-groups-is-dead/ )
 
 my suggestion is that this newsgroup should make steps to lift its game.

But we don't have a spam problem here (crosses fingers).
 Its becoming harder to sign off on a post with "regards" anymore,
 
 egards
 Justin Johansson

??
Apr 01 2010
next sibling parent reply Justin Johansson <no spam.com> writes:
Walter Bright Wrote:

 Justin Johansson wrote:
 Lest this forum decays as has Google Groups,
 
 ( see "Google Groups is Dead" by John Resig
 http://ejohn.org/blog/google-groups-is-dead/ )
 
 my suggestion is that this newsgroup should make steps to lift its game.

But we don't have a spam problem here (crosses fingers).

Sorry for the poor message delivery on my part. My comment was intended to refer to the amount of troll feeding in recent times and the disproportionate amount of discussion on seemingly (to me) trivial discussion (e.g. tabs and spaces). But then again what might seem trivial or idle to me may be a treasure trove of interesting discussion to others. So maybe I'm wrong to criticise and the quality of discussion on this group is bubbling along just fine in the opinion of others. What do others (including those usually silent) think? As this newsgroup is an important face for D, could or should it strive for better? Cheers Justin Johansson ps. Re xxx and $$$ type spam, yes, the NG has been mostly spared -- crossing your fingers seems to work for that Walter.
Apr 01 2010
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Justin Johansson" <no spam.com> wrote in message 
news:hp3l95$2ann$1 digitalmars.com...
 Walter Bright Wrote:

 Justin Johansson wrote:
 Lest this forum decays as has Google Groups,

 ( see "Google Groups is Dead" by John Resig
 http://ejohn.org/blog/google-groups-is-dead/ )

 my suggestion is that this newsgroup should make steps to lift its 
 game.

But we don't have a spam problem here (crosses fingers).

Sorry for the poor message delivery on my part. My comment was intended to refer to the amount of troll feeding in recent times and the disproportionate amount of discussion on seemingly (to me) trivial discussion (e.g. tabs and spaces).

Disproportionate amount of tab/space discussion in comparison to troll feeding? So, not enough tab/space discussion then? Ok, "Viva la tabs!!" :) Or not enough troll feeding? (I know what you really meant. I just couldn't resist ;) )
 But then again what might seem trivial or idle to me may be a treasure 
 trove of
 interesting discussion to others.  So maybe I'm wrong to criticise and the 
 quality
 of discussion on this group is bubbling along just fine in the opinion of 
 others.

 What do others (including those usually silent) think? As this newsgroup 
 is an important
 face for D, could or should it strive for better?

I find the trivial and offtopic stuff to be among the most interesting. And if I come across one I find particularly pointless, it's trivial enough to ignore it. Troll feeding can be problematic, we don't want to encourage the trolls, but I'm not about to crusade against troll feeding or anything like that :) About the only topic that ever does bug me is meta-debates about what types of discussions should or shouldn't be allowed or tolerated. That kind of thing has a tenancy to really damage a group (I've seen it happen) far more than any bikeshed ever will.
Apr 01 2010
parent reply Justin Johansson <no spam.com> writes:
Nick Sabalausky Wrote:

 My comment was intended to refer to the amount of troll feeding in recent 
 times and
 the disproportionate amount of discussion on seemingly (to me) trivial 
 discussion
 (e.g. tabs and spaces).

Disproportionate amount of tab/space discussion in comparison to troll feeding? So, not enough tab/space discussion then? Ok, "Viva la tabs!!" :) Or not enough troll feeding? (I know what you really meant. I just couldn't resist ;) )

Ha, ha, that's okay I can take a ribbing :-)
 I find the trivial and offtopic stuff to be among the most interesting. And 
 if I come across one I find particularly pointless, it's trivial enough to 
 ignore it. Troll feeding can be problematic, we don't want to encourage the 
 trolls, but I'm not about to crusade against troll feeding or anything like 
 that :)
 
 About the only topic that ever does bug me is meta-debates about what types 
 of discussions should or shouldn't be allowed or tolerated. That kind of 
 thing has a tenancy to really damage a group (I've seen it happen) far more 
 than any bikeshed ever will.

Fair enough; really just wanted to know what people thought. Thanks for your comment.
Apr 01 2010
next sibling parent reply Kyle Mallory <kyle.mallory utah.edu> writes:
On 4/1/10 10:51 PM, Justin Johansson wrote:
 Nick Sabalausky Wrote:

 About the only topic that ever does bug me is meta-debates about what types
 of discussions should or shouldn't be allowed or tolerated. That kind of
 thing has a tenancy to really damage a group (I've seen it happen) far more
 than any bikeshed ever will.

Fair enough; really just wanted to know what people thought. Thanks for your comment.

As a long-time, very occasional lurker-- I don't see how the article and specifically the "Demise" of Google Groups related here. It seemed the primary point of discussion in the article was managing spam and the hassle in administering the group. As Walter pointed out, this isn't an issue here, thankfully. Regarding troll-havens, I think there is little you can do about them, an especially when many of the troll candidates (at least here on D) are still relevant to someone, and often times to many others. Specifically, while space/tabs may be a hot, religious topic, it's still something that people are passionate about. In some cases, the results of those discussions may raise legitimate concerns (hypothetically speaking). However, I do have two problems with using the newsgroups. 1) Finding a decent reader (though recently, I've slowly migrated to Thunderbird), and the steps necessary to configure it, etc. In the past, I've posted very very rarely, if ever, in part because it seemed troublesome. While I'm sure this is in part responsible for the lack of spam, and maybe directly related to the quality of the posts and topics of the group, it is nonetheless a deterrent for newcomers to the language. Asking someone to adopt a new piece of (quite possibly, unfamiliar) software to someone who is learning a new, possibly first, software language is encouraging them to go play with another language instead. 2) The accessibility of information is restricted to the search tools within the reader (web or otherwise). One of my biggest complains with the D movement has been finding relevant information using the tools that the rest of the planet is using (ie, Google). Google searches often return results that are months, if not years out of date. If I google "D Language" the first, top-most link returned is "Intro - D Programming Language - Digital Mars", clicking this link and scanning for dates to find the currency of the information, I see '2007' as the second item on the page, and the first as the release of the Tango book (which was also published in 2007). Following a dozen other links turns up similar dates for information 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and maybe the occasional 2009 link. At first glance, D appears dead. But I'm determined, to find out more; "if D is dead, what happened to it?" The "last update" timestamp on the pages is current, and I see on the downloads pages there are various links to various version (though none of them are dated), covering a variety of OS and architectures, good sign. The more I dig, the more I find that suggests D is alive and strong... but I have to dig. Finally, I find under the "Archives" (where I expect to find the oldest information), links to thousands of messages from hundreds of individuals, all actively talking about 'D'. Finally, something that is ALIVE, and more importantly, is kicking, screaming, walking, and doing its best to start running. There is a life and an energy, a passion, that is found in these forums! BUT!!! You have to be persistent to find it! If the D community is content to forever be in the back corner behind the other kids during the Winter Solstice Festival at school, that's fine. But the chances of getting the recognition that it deserves is severely diminished. Kyle
Apr 02 2010
parent reply Jordi <jordi rovira.cat> writes:
Kyle Mallory wrote:
 On 4/1/10 10:51 PM, Justin Johansson wrote:
 Nick Sabalausky Wrote:


 
 Kyle
 

I second all this. I understand D is not a "corporative" project backed up by a huge marketing team or anything like that, but better managing of its image and communication channels (in usability and appearance) would help it a lot. Speaking clearly: - The D website at Digital Mars is ugly, and it contains a lot of obsolete information (the same for Wiki4D). - The forums access thorough web is also awful and has some bugs that lead to posting in the wrong lists sometimes. - The information is scattered (several webs, newsgroups, stack overflow, ...), and because of the relatively novelty of the project and the amount of people coming in and going out, most of the information you find is old and unmaintained. This applies to many projects in dsource. - and... the D logo is awful :) Having a more professional look, and better information structure would really help D a lot. Even if this means "removing" information or placing it in a clearly marked "ancient/obsolete/unmaintained" category. Aggregating the content will make it easier for its references to scale up in the search engines result list. Finally about the real subject of this thread (the newsgroups): When all this internet thing started one of the best things was freedom and anonymity. But now i think it is one of the worst things, and for really focused discussion groups, having real people with real names and a brief but real personal and professional profile can help improve the quality of the discussion. Also, free "immediate" registration to participate in this site is not necessary a good thing. Moderated approval of people with "believable" profiles ("verified" would be ideal, but not realistic) could help. One of the best sources of discussion on game development, for example, is "www.thechaosengine.com" site. You cannot participate in the private part of the site unless you prove you are a game developer. The quality of those forums are far ahead of anything else i have seen. Also keeping an internal "prestige system" like Stack Overflow, or Canonical's Launchpad seems a good thing. I re-read my mail and i am surprised to be writing in favor of a relatively closed approach and against free access and anonymity. I must have changed a lot during the last years... j. ...i mean... Jordi Rovira i Bonet Lead Graphics Programmer Blueside Inc www.kingdomunderfire.com
Apr 02 2010
parent reply Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Jordi wrote:
 Kyle Mallory wrote:
 On 4/1/10 10:51 PM, Justin Johansson wrote:
 Nick Sabalausky Wrote:


 Kyle

I second all this. I understand D is not a "corporative" project backed up by a huge marketing team or anything like that, but better managing of its image and communication channels (in usability and appearance) would help it a lot.

A big start would be ditching the newsgroups for proper forum software. I know a lot of people here prefer the newsgroups, but like it or not this is 2010. Newsgroups are from yesteryear. People who weren't online in their heyday don't expect to have to use them (for that matter, there are those who *were* around and don't expect to have to use them). When someone checks out a project for the first time, it's quite common these days that one of the first stops is the project's forums. No forums? Ah well, too bad. Next project. These days, you can't expect people to have a newsreader installed by default. Nor can they be expected to know how to use one. And as for the web interface, compared to the quality of forum software out there it is horribly substandard. Furthermore, a forum can yield some useful activity statistics that you just can't get from a newsgroup. That help in gauging the interest in D itself as well as specific areas/features, moreso than TIOBE/# of DMD downloads/# of nesgroup posts. Walter has iterated his gripes with forum software more than once. But in my mind, the downsides of web forums are far fewer than those of newsgroups, especially when viewed from the eyes of many of today's twenty- & thirty-somethings.
Apr 03 2010
next sibling parent reply Don <nospam nospam.com> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 Jordi wrote:
 Kyle Mallory wrote:
 On 4/1/10 10:51 PM, Justin Johansson wrote:
 Nick Sabalausky Wrote:


 Kyle

I second all this. I understand D is not a "corporative" project backed up by a huge marketing team or anything like that, but better managing of its image and communication channels (in usability and appearance) would help it a lot.

A big start would be ditching the newsgroups for proper forum software. I know a lot of people here prefer the newsgroups, but like it or not this is 2010. Newsgroups are from yesteryear.

I have to say, most forums seem incredibly amateurish to me. I'm amazed that absolute garbage like phpBB is actually still in use. Is there any *good* forum software out there? It doesn't seem like it would be hard to beat a newsgroup. But...
Apr 03 2010
next sibling parent reply Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Don wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 A big start would be ditching the newsgroups for proper forum 
 software. I know a lot of people here prefer the newsgroups, but like 
 it or not this is 2010. Newsgroups are from yesteryear.

I have to say, most forums seem incredibly amateurish to me. I'm amazed that absolute garbage like phpBB is actually still in use. Is there any *good* forum software out there? It doesn't seem like it would be hard to beat a newsgroup. But...

My favorite is SMF [1], which you can see in action at [2] and [3]. I ran it on a DAOC guild website I used to manage and loved how simple it was to administer. They are now working toward a 2.0 release, but I haven't played with any of the RCs yet. Another I like is vBulletin [4], which I use regularly at [5] and elsewhere. Unlike SFML, it's a commercial offering and I've never seen the admin side. Personally, though, SMF is my favorite, both as a user and an admin. [1] http://www.simplemachines.org/ [2] http://lwjgl.org/forum/ [3] http://www.javagaming.org/ [4] http://www.vbulletin.com/ [5] http://forums.indiegamer.com/
Apr 03 2010
next sibling parent Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:

 
 Another I like is vBulletin [4], which I use regularly at [5] and 
 elsewhere. Unlike SFML, it's a commercial offering and I've never seen

That should read: Unlike SMF...
 the admin side. Personally, though, SMF is my favorite, both as a user 
 and an admin.
 
 [1] http://www.simplemachines.org/
 [2] http://lwjgl.org/forum/
 [3] http://www.javagaming.org/
 [4] http://www.vbulletin.com/
 [5] http://forums.indiegamer.com/

Apr 03 2010
prev sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 My favorite is SMF [1], which you can see in action at [2] and [3].

Here's a link: http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=374244.0 It is typical of web forum software and has the usual problems: 1. no threaded display, it's difficult to see who is replying to what. 2. Lots of irrelevant and annoying pictures, multiple fonts, borders, ads, etc. The focus is on glitz rather than content. 3. It seems that less than half of the browser window is actually taken up by the meat, and in a painfully small font, too. If you've got a small screen, like on say a portable, it's hopeless. Yes, I suppose it's all customizable, but nearly all forum software follows this style, and blows for the same reasons. I know the php web interface to the D newsgroups sucks. I make no apologies for it. The only web forum software I actually like is reddit.com and the similar one at ycombinator.com. Unfortunately, it has no interface to newsgroups. Digg and slashdot suck with their awful interfaces.
Apr 03 2010
next sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Walter Bright" <newshound1 digitalmars.com> wrote in message 
news:hp81er$nk4$1 digitalmars.com...
 http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=374244.0

 and in a painfully small font, too. If you've got a small screen, like on 
 say a portable, it's hopeless.

It's the exact same size I use in my NG reader and it's perfectly readable to me. Maybe your resolution is too high. If it's changed, other people may find it too big, so it's hard to say that it's the page's fault. As far as portables, I can't imagine any portable that would use a high enough screen resolution for that font size to look too small. Plus, any half-way decent browser these days should have an easy zoom function. For me, in FF2 all I need to do is Ctrl-ScrollWheel. About the lack of tree view, that's really a VIM vs Emacs, tabs vs spaces kind of an issue. And as far as the other points, like you said, it's all customizable anyway. I've used many forums that have all the junk turned off. Plus I use AdBlock Plus ( http://adblockplus.org/en/ ) and NoScript, so I don't see any ads on that page (If I didn't use those, I would find the vast majority of the web literally unusable).
Apr 03 2010
parent reply Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 It's the exact same size I use in my NG reader and it's perfectly readable 
 to me. Maybe your resolution is too high. If it's changed, other people may 
 find it too big, so it's hard to say that it's the page's fault. As far as 
 portables, I can't imagine any portable that would use a high enough screen 
 resolution for that font size to look too small. Plus, any half-way decent 
 browser these days should have an easy zoom function. For me, in FF2 all I 
 need to do is Ctrl-ScrollWheel.
 
 About the lack of tree view, that's really a VIM vs Emacs, tabs vs spaces 
 kind of an issue.

What about this thread? Without the newsreader, given the 50 or so messages here, how would I know that the one on the end specifically replies to that one of mine?
 And as far as the other points, like you said, it's all 
 customizable anyway. I've used many forums that have all the junk turned 
 off. Plus I use AdBlock Plus ( http://adblockplus.org/en/ ) and NoScript, so 
 I don't see any ads on that page (If I didn't use those, I would find the 
 vast majority of the web literally unusable).

Yet I don't have to mess with any of that stuff with a newsreader! I don't have to configure it, zoom it, install ad blockers, etc. It just works, and since little data is transferred, it's fast, too. I also like how it's archived as a bunch of text files.
Apr 03 2010
next sibling parent "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Walter Bright" <newshound1 digitalmars.com> wrote in message 
news:hp89e7$146c$1 digitalmars.com...
 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 It's the exact same size I use in my NG reader and it's perfectly 
 readable to me. Maybe your resolution is too high. If it's changed, other 
 people may find it too big, so it's hard to say that it's the page's 
 fault. As far as portables, I can't imagine any portable that would use a 
 high enough screen resolution for that font size to look too small. Plus, 
 any half-way decent browser these days should have an easy zoom function. 
 For me, in FF2 all I need to do is Ctrl-ScrollWheel.

 About the lack of tree view, that's really a VIM vs Emacs, tabs vs spaces 
 kind of an issue.

What about this thread? Without the newsreader, given the 50 or so messages here, how would I know that the one on the end specifically replies to that one of mine?

Like Adam said, quotes. Ie, those things that are already useful on NGs so a person don't have to flip back and forth between the message they're reading and some separate message that provides appropriate context (unless the message being read was posted by a certain Mr. Bright ;) ) Besides, on non-tree systems, sub-discussions are more likely to just get moved to a new thread. Non-tree also makes it a hell of a lot easier to reply to multiple messages with one single message. Which also tends to result in fewer total posts, far less redundant information, and a far more chronologically-coherent discussion (for example, you're far less likely to post a reply to one message and then see that it was already addressed in a different branch of the thread, which tends to happen a fair amount in tree-views and increases confusion.) I'm not saying I like non-tree better, I'm just saying they both have their pros/cons.
 And as far as the other points, like you said, it's all customizable 
 anyway. I've used many forums that have all the junk turned off. Plus I 
 use AdBlock Plus ( http://adblockplus.org/en/ ) and NoScript, so I don't 
 see any ads on that page (If I didn't use those, I would find the vast 
 majority of the web literally unusable).

Yet I don't have to mess with any of that stuff with a newsreader! I don't have to configure it, zoom it, install ad blockers, etc. It just works, and since little data is transferred, it's fast, too. I also like how it's archived as a bunch of text files.

1. Those aren't issues with web forums, those are issues with specific web forum configurations. 2. Not liking a chosen font size used has nothing remotely to do with web forum vs NG. The people making NG readers can use whatever font size they want to, just like the people making web forums can. Liking or not liking the font size used in a NG reader is no less a matter of chance than liking or not liking the one used on a web forum. 3. Regarding having to install adblockers and such: As far as I'm concerned, that's essential for just simply using the web period, not something that's specific to web forums. I mean, what, you haven't seen non-forum websites filled with ads? Either you don't mind ads on websites or you do mind. If you don't mind, then there's no problem. If you do mind, then you'll already be installing an adblocker anyway or otherwise you'll already be forcing yourself to put up with annoying ads anyway. So again, not a web-forum-related issue.
Apr 03 2010
prev sibling parent reply Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
  
 
 Yet I don't have to mess with any of that stuff with a newsreader! I 
 don't have to configure it, zoom it, install ad blockers, etc. It just 
 works, and since little data is transferred, it's fast, too. I also like 
 how it's archived as a bunch of text files.

Conversely, I wouldn't have needed to go out and install a newsreader if you had used forum software instead of newsgroups. I stopped using them over a decade ago and didn't expect to have to ever subscribe to one again. I follow quite a few software projects and development communities. Out of them all, this is the only one that has a newsgroup. Even so, it was a long time between first finding D and actually subscribing. If I hadn't been so enthralled after playing around with the language, I wouldn't be here right now. With web forums, any posts I mark as read on my iPhone when I'm on the bus or subway, or on another computer, will still be marked as read when I get back home. But if I view the newsgroup's web interface on my iPhone, I'll sometimes wind up wasting a bit of time when I next fire up the newsreader at home, clicking through messages I've already seen. So I don't do that anymore. When I went to the States for three weeks in February, I didn't browse the D newsgroups at all, because I knew when I got home there'd be a few hundred messages I'd already seen marked as unread in my reader. I did keep up with all the forum-based communities I follow, though. Most forum software is highly configurable and offers so much more beyond just the forum threads, such as email notification for important topics you want to follow, private messages without handing out your email address, the ability to post images or youtube videos inline, plugins (on the admin side) and more. Every time I open Thunderbird to see the D groups, I feel like I'm back in 1995. Despite all of that, I won't be bothered one way or the other if things never change. I'm no stranger to newsgroups and I've settled in to using Thunderbird. But what concerns me is how many people don't come into the community because there are no web forums. We have no way to know that. But I know it does happen, because I've done it myself with other projects. And, for the record, SMF (and most other open source software) does not come with ads. Ads are set up by administrators.
Apr 05 2010
parent reply Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 With web forums, any posts I mark as read on my iPhone when I'm on the 
 bus or subway, or on another computer, will still be marked as read when 
 I get back home. But if I view the newsgroup's web interface on my 
 iPhone, I'll sometimes wind up wasting a bit of time when I next fire up 
 the newsreader at home, clicking through messages I've already seen. So 
 I don't do that anymore. When I went to the States for three weeks in 
 February, I didn't browse the D newsgroups at all, because I knew when I 
 got home there'd be a few hundred messages I'd already seen marked as 
 unread in my reader. I did keep up with all the forum-based communities 
 I follow, though.

That's interesting, because none of the web forums I've seen allowed me to mark a message as read. It's one of the things I like about news readers. I don't have an iphone, but with its tiny screen I'm surprised that the simple textual web interface wouldn't be preferred for it. (I don't have an iphone because the display is too damned small for my eyes, I cannot read the tiny text.)
 Most forum software is highly configurable and offers so much more 
 beyond just the forum threads, such as email notification for important 
 topics you want to follow, private messages without handing out your 
 email address, the ability to post images or youtube videos inline, 
 plugins (on the admin side) and more. Every time I open Thunderbird to 
 see the D groups, I feel like I'm back in 1995.

Sure, the web interface to the news groups is utterly lacking in glitz, but it's functional. I know you cannot post images or videos, and I think that would be a significant handicap for other topics, but not so much with programming. One might suspect it is even an advantage to not have pictures, avatars, etc. :-)
 And, for the record, SMF (and most other open source software) does not 
 come with ads. Ads are set up by administrators.

Ok, I understand. One thing I hadn't mentioned is the news server is bulletproof and utterly trivial to maintain - I essentially do nothing. There aren't even any user accounts to deal with. I know this isn't an advantage to the users of it, but it is a large advantage to me. One of the problems web forums have is spam. Ironically, one of the advantages of using an obsolete news system is the spammers leave it mostly alone, again making it a lot easier on my time. I'm sure there are people who won't use D because of it, but using newsgroups doesn't seem to have impaired the adoption of php. Anyhow, thanks for spending the time to post your thoughts on this. Based on your comments and others here, I at least have improved the access by combining it all into a nice table at http://www.digitalmars.com/NewsGroup.html, so there shouldn't be any trouble finding it now.
Apr 06 2010
parent Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
  > Anyhow, thanks for spending the time to post your thoughts on this.
 Based on your comments and others here, I at least have improved the 
 access by combining it all into a nice table at 
 http://www.digitalmars.com/NewsGroup.html, so there shouldn't be any 
 trouble finding it now.
 

Yeah, I think having all of the links collected in one location like that is a big step forward. Thanks for listening.
Apr 06 2010
prev sibling next sibling parent Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
Ads are actually installed by admin. There're no ads after installation.
Apr 04 2010
prev sibling parent Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Mathias Laurenz Baumann wrote:
 

So, the users used to a forum might not even appreciate a threaded view over a flat view. Though, I can't confirm that opinion.

That makes sense to me. People who use forum software more than newsgroups, if they've used newsgroups at all, are /used/ to it. It's what they expect.
Apr 05 2010
prev sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Don wrote:
 I have to say, most forums seem incredibly amateurish to me. I'm amazed 
 that absolute garbage like phpBB is actually still in use. Is there any 
 *good* forum software out there? It doesn't seem like it would be hard 
 to beat a newsgroup. But...

That also continually surprises me, how wretched the supposedly modern forum software is compared with newsgroups.
Apr 03 2010
parent "BobR" <brhodes simple.access.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 Don wrote:
 I have to say, most forums seem incredibly amateurish to me. I'm
 amazed that absolute garbage like phpBB is actually still in use. Is
 there any *good* forum software out there? It doesn't seem like it
 would be hard to beat a newsgroup. But...

That also continually surprises me, how wretched the supposedly modern forum software is compared with newsgroups.

Real programmers don't make web pages, they create software! The web is a kludgy interface at best, doing something with the technology that it was not designed to do, and it shows. If there is any real "software" in a website, it's the underpinnings. Having to suffer through a web "interface" is like going back to green-screen terminals after having had used a PC for a decade or more.
Apr 03 2010
prev sibling next sibling parent Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 A big start would be ditching the newsgroups for proper forum software. 
 I know a lot of people here prefer the newsgroups, but like it or not 
 this is 2010. Newsgroups are from yesteryear. People who weren't online 
 in their heyday don't expect to have to use them (for that matter, there 
 are those who *were* around and don't expect to have to use them). When 
 someone checks out a project for the first time, it's quite common these 
 days that one of the first stops is the project's forums. No forums? Ah 
 well, too bad. Next project.

A counterpoint is that the serious work that goes on with C++ is done with mailing lists, which behave pretty much like a private newsgroup. You could argue that the people who work on C++ are older fuddy-duddies, with some justification, but still, they are very serious and find the format effective. But you still have a good point.
Apr 03 2010
prev sibling parent reply "Lars T. Kyllingstad" <public kyllingen.NOSPAMnet> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 Jordi wrote:
 Kyle Mallory wrote:
 On 4/1/10 10:51 PM, Justin Johansson wrote:
 Nick Sabalausky Wrote:


 Kyle

I second all this. I understand D is not a "corporative" project backed up by a huge marketing team or anything like that, but better managing of its image and communication channels (in usability and appearance) would help it a lot.

A big start would be ditching the newsgroups for proper forum software. I know a lot of people here prefer the newsgroups, but like it or not this is 2010. Newsgroups are from yesteryear. People who weren't online in their heyday don't expect to have to use them (for that matter, there are those who *were* around and don't expect to have to use them). When someone checks out a project for the first time, it's quite common these days that one of the first stops is the project's forums. No forums? Ah well, too bad. Next project. These days, you can't expect people to have a newsreader installed by default. Nor can they be expected to know how to use one. [...]

You can expect them to learn to use a programming language like D, but not how to install a news reader? -Lars
Apr 03 2010
next sibling parent Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Lars T. Kyllingstad wrote:
 You can expect them to learn to use a programming language like D, but 
 not how to install a news reader?

The instructions are here: http://www.digitalmars.com/NewsGroup.html#how-to-install The problem is, it takes a bit of effort.
Apr 03 2010
prev sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Lars T. Kyllingstad wrote:
 You can expect them to learn to use a programming language like D, but 
 not how to install a news reader?

I found some interesting things. PHP is pretty popular, so I looked at their 'forum' software: http://news.php.net/group.php?group=php.general which is pretty darned similar to: http://www.digitalmars.com/pnews/indexing.php?server=news.digitalmars.com&group=c++.stl Now, the most interesting thing is if you go to: http://www.php.net/mailing-lists.php and under the "Newsgroup" column, click on one of the "yes" links, and it will fire up your newsreader and attempt to configure it to read the newsgroups for you. Anyone know how to do this?
Apr 03 2010
next sibling parent reply Michel Fortin <michel.fortin michelf.com> writes:
On 2010-04-03 15:31:51 -0400, Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> said:

 Now, the most interesting thing is if you go to:
 
 http://www.php.net/mailing-lists.php
 
 and under the "Newsgroup" column, click on one of the "yes" links, and 
 it will fire up your newsreader and attempt to configure it to read the 
 newsgroups for you. Anyone know how to do this?

It's just a link with a "news:" URL. Try this one: news://news.digitalmars.com/digitalmars.D -- Michel Fortin michel.fortin michelf.com http://michelf.com/
Apr 03 2010
parent Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Michel Fortin wrote:
 It's just a link with a "news:" URL. Try this one:
 
     news://news.digitalmars.com/digitalmars.D
 

Aggh, in 10 years of running this forum nobody told me about that!
Apr 03 2010
prev sibling next sibling parent Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Mathias Laurenz Baumann wrote:
 It's the protocol part of the link, the "news" in
 
  news://news.php.net/php.announce
 
 if a handler for that protocol is registered to the browser, it will try 
 to use it.
 For example, my opera tries to subscribe immidiatly.

Yup, I just figured that out, too. I'll try and incorporate it.
Apr 03 2010
prev sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Mathias Laurenz Baumann wrote:
 It's the protocol part of the link, the "news" in
 
  news://news.php.net/php.announce
 
 if a handler for that protocol is registered to the browser, it will try 
 to use it.
 For example, my opera tries to subscribe immidiatly.

I rewrote things a bit taking advantage of this information: http://www.digitalmars.com/d/index.html See the new Forum link at the top and in the sidebar. I'm not happy with it, but I think it is better.
Apr 04 2010
next sibling parent Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Brad Roberts wrote:
 I rewrote things a bit taking advantage of this information:

 http://www.digitalmars.com/d/index.html

 See the new Forum link at the top and in the sidebar. I'm not happy with
 it, but I think it is better.

You should add a column for all the D groups to point to the mailing list versions of them: http://lists.puremagic.com/ Individually they'd be .../listinfo/<listname> Also, there's several mailing list only entries you could add: d-runtime dmd-beta dmd-concurrency dmd-internals phobos

Good idea.
Apr 04 2010
prev sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Brad Roberts wrote:
 Also, there's several mailing list only entries you could add:

Done.
Apr 04 2010
parent reply Robert Clipsham <robert octarineparrot.com> writes:
On 04/04/10 23:31, Walter Bright wrote:
 Brad Roberts wrote:
 Also, there's several mailing list only entries you could add:

Done.

You could also add them as newsgroups and http thanks to gmane: news://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.dmd.beta news://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.concurrency news://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.dmd.devel (dmd-internal) news://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.phobos http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.dmd.beta http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.concurrency http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.dmd.devel (dmd-internal) http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.phobos To use the web interface to reply, use the drop down menu in the top right and go to 'followup'. Gmane also has this web interface for the other dmd lists (by a proxy admittedly), it might be better than the current web interface though... If it is, the source code is open source, so you could set up that same interface for all the digital mars groups :)
Apr 04 2010
next sibling parent Robert Clipsham <robert octarineparrot.com> writes:
On 05/04/10 00:29, Robert Clipsham wrote:
 To use the web interface to reply, use the drop down menu in the top
 right and go to 'followup'. Gmane also has this web interface for the
 other dmd lists (by a proxy admittedly), it might be better than the
 current web interface though... If it is, the source code is open
 source, so you could set up that same interface for all the digital mars
 groups :)

Should have given a link to the gmane downloads for the web interface/any other part of it you want to steal: http://gmane.org/dist.php
Apr 04 2010
prev sibling parent Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Robert Clipsham wrote:
 You could also add them as newsgroups and http thanks to gmane:
 
 news://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.dmd.beta
 news://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.concurrency
 news://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.dmd.devel (dmd-internal)
 news://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.phobos
 
 http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.dmd.beta
 http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.concurrency
 http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.dmd.devel (dmd-internal)
 http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.phobos

Done, thanks for letting me know.
Apr 05 2010
prev sibling parent "Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
On Sat, Apr 03, 2010 at 01:45:59PM -0700, Walter Bright wrote:
 What about this thread? Without the newsreader, given the 50 or so messages 
 here, how would I know that the one on the end specifically replies to that 
 one of mine?

That's what the quotations are for. Though, threaded vs linear isn't too much of a forum vs news argument. I use a linear view into this group just by having my client sort by date; in this sense, the newsgroup is probably superior, since it provides enough flexibility to go both ways. -- Adam D. Ruppe http://arsdnet.net
Apr 03 2010
prev sibling next sibling parent "Simen kjaeraas" <simen.kjaras gmail.com> writes:
Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> wrote:

 Jordi wrote:
 Kyle Mallory wrote:
 On 4/1/10 10:51 PM, Justin Johansson wrote:
 Nick Sabalausky Wrote:


 Kyle

backed up by a huge marketing team or anything like that, but better managing of its image and communication channels (in usability and appearance) would help it a lot.

A big start would be ditching the newsgroups for proper forum software. I know a lot of people here prefer the newsgroups, but like it or not this is 2010. Newsgroups are from yesteryear. People who weren't online in their heyday don't expect to have to use them (for that matter, there are those who *were* around and don't expect to have to use them). When someone checks out a project for the first time, it's quite common these days that one of the first stops is the project's forums. No forums? Ah well, too bad. Next project. These days, you can't expect people to have a newsreader installed by default. Nor can they be expected to know how to use one. And as for the web interface, compared to the quality of forum software out there it is horribly substandard. Furthermore, a forum can yield some useful activity statistics that you just can't get from a newsgroup. That help in gauging the interest in D itself as well as specific areas/features, moreso than TIOBE/# of DMD downloads/# of nesgroup posts. Walter has iterated his gripes with forum software more than once. But in my mind, the downsides of web forums are far fewer than those of newsgroups, especially when viewed from the eyes of many of today's twenty- & thirty-somethings.

Also, in this day of steam-powered kajiggeries and electromechanical doohickeys, there is software available that allows one to keep a regular forum and newsgroups synced. Never actually tried any of those, though. -- Simen
Apr 03 2010
prev sibling next sibling parent "Mathias Laurenz Baumann" <maba0014 stud.fh-kl.de> writes:
It's the protocol part of the link, the "news" in

  news://news.php.net/php.announce

if a handler for that protocol is registered to the browser, it will try=
  =

to use it.
For example, my opera tries to subscribe immidiatly.

--Marenz


Am 03.04.2010, 21:31 Uhr, schrieb Walter Bright  =

<newshound1 digitalmars.com>:

 Lars T. Kyllingstad wrote:
 You can expect them to learn to use a programming language like D, bu=


 not how to install a news reader?

I found some interesting things. PHP is pretty popular, so I looked at=

 their 'forum' software:

 http://news.php.net/group.php?group=3Dphp.general

 which is pretty darned similar to:

 http://www.digitalmars.com/pnews/indexing.php?server=3Dnews.digitalmar=

 Now, the most interesting thing is if you go to:

 http://www.php.net/mailing-lists.php

 and under the "Newsgroup" column, click on one of the "yes" links, and=

 it will fire up your newsreader and attempt to configure it to read th=

 newsgroups for you. Anyone know how to do this?

-- = Erstellt mit Operas revolution=C3=A4rem E-Mail-Modul: http://www.opera.c= om/mail/
Apr 03 2010
prev sibling next sibling parent "Mathias Laurenz Baumann" <anonym001 supradigital.org> writes:
After a bit of googling, threaded view is possible, just requires a litt=
le  =

work:

http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=3D255510.0

The guy who did this wrote:

"If you remember, I added that particular feature to my board some time =
 =

ago -- http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=3D212576.=
0 (I  =

even posted a screenshot.)
After the last message in that topic, I modified the Quick Reply feature=
  =

to actually add a Quick Reply box under EVERY message. Which made it muc=
h  =

easier to "build" an actual threaded view.
It worked, really. Very well. I've kept a copy of all the changes I made=
.

Only, I posted a poll, asking my viewers their feelings about the featur=
e,  =

and only two people shared their enthusiasm -- and that's because they'r=
e  =

originally from LiveJournal where threaded view is all over the place.
Everybody else either said they didn't care, or reacted strongly against=
  =

the feature, saying it would make it more complicated to follow a  =

discussion.
While a threaded view is desireable when you're viewing a topic once and=
  =

long after it was created (as a guest, from a Google search, etc.), it i=
s  =

not the best possible way to discuss when the topic is active.
Of course, there's always the possibility of not showing any posts, only=
 a  =

complete list of indented subjects, with a "new" icon next to the messag=
es  =

you haven't read yet, and a single click to get to that particular  =

message. But even if using Ajax to retrieve them, that would still requi=
re  =

a LOT of clicking, and keeping track of all unread messages, instead of =
 =

"last unread message"! Oh my, the agony..."


So, the users used to a forum might not even appreciate a threaded view =
 =

over a flat view. Though, I can't confirm that opinion.


--Marenz


Am 03.04.2010, 20:29 Uhr, schrieb Walter Bright  =

<newshound1 digitalmars.com>:

 Mike Parker wrote:
 My favorite is SMF [1], which you can see in action at [2] and [3].

Here's a link: http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=3D374244.0 It is typical of web forum software and has the usual problems: 1. no threaded display, it's difficult to see who is replying to what.=

 2. Lots of irrelevant and annoying pictures, multiple fonts, borders, =

 ads, etc. The focus is on glitz rather than content.

 3. It seems that less than half of the browser window is actually take=

 up by the meat, and in a painfully small font, too. If you've got a  =

 small screen, like on say a portable, it's hopeless.

 Yes, I suppose it's all customizable, but nearly all forum software  =

 follows this style, and blows for the same reasons.


 I know the php web interface to the D newsgroups sucks. I make no  =

 apologies for it.

 The only web forum software I actually like is reddit.com and the  =

 similar one at ycombinator.com. Unfortunately, it has no interface to =

 newsgroups. Digg and slashdot suck with their awful interfaces.

-- = Erstellt mit Operas revolution=C3=A4rem E-Mail-Modul: http://www.opera.c= om/mail/
Apr 05 2010
prev sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Mon, 05 Apr 2010 16:51:36 -0400, Walter Bright  
<newshound1 digitalmars.com> wrote:

 Robert Clipsham wrote:
 You could also add them as newsgroups and http thanks to gmane:
  news://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.dmd.beta
 news://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.concurrency
 news://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.dmd.devel (dmd-internal)
 news://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.phobos
  http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.dmd.beta
 http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.concurrency
 http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.dmd.devel (dmd-internal)
 http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.d.phobos

Done, thanks for letting me know.

I went looking for where you put these, and found that the navigation bar on the left is very inconsistent. For example, the community box for the main D page (http://www.digitalmars.com/d/index.html) has just 3 links in it, whereas the D2 page (http://www.digitalmars.com/d/2.0/index.html) Has the forums link expanded into it's own box. However, I don't see the news link unless I click on "Links" in the Community box. It might be worth seeing how you can auto-generate the side bar instead of hand editing it. This can cut down on the inconsistency and also make the web site easier to navigate. -Steve
Apr 05 2010
prev sibling parent Brad Roberts <braddr puremagic.com> writes:
On 4/4/2010 12:11 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 Mathias Laurenz Baumann wrote:
 It's the protocol part of the link, the "news" in

  news://news.php.net/php.announce

 if a handler for that protocol is registered to the browser, it will
 try to use it.
 For example, my opera tries to subscribe immidiatly.

I rewrote things a bit taking advantage of this information: http://www.digitalmars.com/d/index.html See the new Forum link at the top and in the sidebar. I'm not happy with it, but I think it is better.

You should add a column for all the D groups to point to the mailing list versions of them: http://lists.puremagic.com/ Individually they'd be .../listinfo/<listname> Also, there's several mailing list only entries you could add: d-runtime dmd-beta dmd-concurrency dmd-internals phobos
Apr 04 2010