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Web-based message boards

  • 2nd Feb, 2004 at 9:59 PM

So I've been thinking about web-based message boards. You know, the ones called forums. You may have seen them on Slashdot, Scoop, or LiveJournal.

What really gets to me is users complaining about web-based message boards on Orkut. They say things like how it isn't powerful enough, and how they can't keep track of communities. And I realise that this functionality must have been implemented a bazillion times everywhere.

So I think. Man, someone must have solved this problem already. Low and behold, they have! It's called Usenet and it even has its own standard messaging protocol!

I suggest that these people who write messaging software write Weblog-to-NNTP gateways. Then host authenticated NNTP servers on their site. That way, you can read comments using a full-featured client that isn't sucking up the server's resources. Not only that, you get real features. Like real threading, scoring, killfiles, your favourite editor, spell-checking, sane follow-ups, and a host of other wonderful features.

"But Simon," you cry, "nobody uses news readers anymore! It's all about the web!" Sadly, I admit that people are flocking to web-based e-mail services; so web-forums are really just difficult to find, hard to search, web-based news services. But if you ran NNTP on your machine, why you can also serve up a web-based news reader. I mean, the Horde project has its web-based e-mail client, why doesn't it have a web-based news reader? Well, whadaya know? It does.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
3rd Feb, 2004 13:45 (UTC)
No man! Don't do it! NNTP is crap. Crap. NNTP considered harmful.

Read Avery's comments here: http://www.advogato.org/article/651.html

Have fun,
3rd Feb, 2004 16:25 (UTC)

That's odd. NNTP looks like a pull protocol to me. Looking at RFC 977, I see a distinctly interactive protocol for only fetching the articles you want.

Perhaps Avery has confused it with UUCP. That's a push-only protocol which many news servers commonly emulate with NNTP. But this is in no way how news readers pull news.

16th Feb, 2004 17:14 (UTC)
And you Dave, should read the second paragraph of his comment. NNTP as a transport sucks, but using the NNRP variant directly (like what Simon is suggesting) is the "least sucky" thing we have today.

Pierre Phaneuf
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )