[FoRK] my dream mailing list software

Luis Villa <luis at tieguy.org> on Tue Jul 17 05:16:10 PDT 2007

On 7/17/07, Luis Villa <luis at tieguy.org> wrote:
> On 7/17/07, Justin Mason <jm at jmason.org> wrote:
> > > Does this exist and I am clueless?
> > >
> > > X-THREAD-URL:http://somewhere.com/list-id/2cb10c440707161851s5d1cdb5au7e3bfce52ee78757
> >
> > me, I'd like to add RSS/Atom feeds to the wishlist. ;)
>
> Those are both nice ideas. (I have particular interest in the
> X-THREAD-URL, since a goal of my ideal mailing list software would be
> to minimize repeated conversations- which means good archives.)
>
> I'm a little less interested in the RSS/Atom feeds; not that they are
> bad, but that in and of themselves they are just polish on a turd.
>
> Current mailing list software is like a bad panel at a conference- you
> have to lock yourself in a room, you're often listening to the same
> 3-4 people, people end up either shouting or bored, with nothing in
> between, and (overall) you're stuck with whatever is going on unless
> you either leave or you're one of the lucky few who owns really good
> earplugs.
>
> Good mailing list software would (IMHO) be like a really good party.
> If you get tired of a conversation, you can easily and politely ignore
> it by just walking away, but you don't have to leave the party just to
> get away from one conversation. If a conversation gets really good
> once you walk away, you can notice that that corner of the room has
> gotten more crowded and more animated, and you can rejoin the
> conversation. (Ideally, a good friend catches you up on what you
> missed while you were away, hence the interest in good archives.)
> Since you're speaking to smaller groups of interested people instead
> of a whole room, you don't have to raise your voice and you're less
> likely to want to scream. And overall it can be a lot more welcoming
> than a conference- you can invite your friends over, and tell them
> 'don't worry, if the asshole talks to you, you can just ignore him.'

And I forgot to mention that in an ideal party, after a while talkers
notice the cues from others around them (huh! the entire group around
me started yawning and vanished!), and shut up, or at least change
their style. Current mailing lists offer no such cues.

Luis

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