Karsten M. Self kmself at
Sat Sep 29 02:11:01 UTC 2001

on Fri, Sep 28, 2001 at 06:56:45PM -0700, Rick Moen (rick at wrote:
> begin Steve Mallett quotation:
> > Thank you everyone who made comments regarding the test-forums.
> > That test-site is now down pending decisions to use forums.
> I feel like a real heel saying this to someone who's obviously putting a
> lot of good and generous work into this.  But...
> ...Web-based discussion forums don't work for serious discussion.  And I
> suspect you'll find that practically all technical users presently
> involved with OSI will say "No thanks."

I'm going to second this and raise the ante:

    Discussion forums which bifurcate an existing discussion either fall
    of their own accord, or destroy both venues.

There are those who prefer a web-based interface.  I'm not among them,
for numerous reasons, techncical, social, and just personal preference.
And I've helped design a few.

If you want to create a web-mail gateway, with a web interface, power to
you.  I don't know of any suitable solutions though doubtless they
exist.  With few exceptions, my experience is that web fora impose
little but slow interaction, poor editors, lack of choice in viewing,
poor (if any) filtering tools, and lock-in to the tool's author's ideas
of what a "good interface" should be.  Far better to provide content and
leave the choice of interface to the user.  E.g.: mail, usenet.

Again, a gateway would be considered an acceptable compromise.  But
you'll find me not visiting a forum much if at all.

And, as Rick mentioned, no offence.  Just experience.


Karsten M. Self <kmself at>
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