[uf-discuss] Mailing list debate moved & new proposal

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at gmail.com
Fri Nov 3 05:03:33 PST 2006


I'm going to reply to you point for point because, frankly after reading
your reply I felt like you were dredging up excuses, not reasons and I just
feel compelled to challege your assertions.  

To the rest of you, please feel free it ignore the rest of my email if you
would rather not be bothered with this issue. I'd love to see a forum but
could live without one too.  But I just couldn't help myself but go into
pedantic mode given his arguments.  ;)

>>  Perhaps you should try a different email client, then?

So you are suggesting that I should change the application I spend 60% of my
business day which meets many other needs besides just email so that I may
accomodate your dislike for a forum?  I wouldn't actually think you'd want
to impose that on someone else, but it rather sounds that way.

>> The only reason I say Often, is because the version of Safari I'm using
allows you to resize text entry elements.

I don't follow your reasoning.

>> I use a vBulliten based forum every day and it's torture. I really
dislike forums, but the people and issues I discuss on the forum outweigh my
dislike of forums.

To-may-to, To-mah-to.

>> Er, I know that was meant as a joke, but calling someone you're trying to
win to your side a luddite isn't the best way to do so.

You mean there was more than a 0.00001% chance I'd change your mind?
Mailing list vs. forum is a religion just like Windows vs. Linux or Mac,
REST vs SOAP, Java vs. .NET, Perl vs. Python. Conservative vs. Liberal. (US)
Republican vs. Democrat.  Christianity vs. Islam vs. Judiasm. And so on.
There is rarely rational thought involved when discussing those kind of
issues. So, I had zero expectation of converting you at all; I was making
arguments for the rest of the list participants.

Anywho, as has been said many times before; best not to take personal
offense at what people say on the list because its far too easy to
misinterpret.  I've frequently had to count to 100 before typing, and I just
joined recently.

>> Can I *reply* from it? I'm pretty sure the answer is no, and the
composing interface of my email client is much nicer.

If you have an email client that accepts HTML mail and the admin configures
the forum for that you can.

>> Sure. User names. I hate them. Theyr'e tolerable on IRC, but in an area
as permanent and public as a mailinglist/forum I'd rather have my full name
associated with my (and others) posts, especially a technical discussion.
It's a chore to keep track of remembering what crazy nick name corresponds
to which person. 

I agree with you. That's why I have a policy on a forum I administer for my
condo community that everyone uses real names. And I also have the same
policy here: http://wiki.welldesignedurls.org/The_Rules  There's nothing
that says we couldn't (and shouldn't) have the same policy for a
Microformats forum.  

>> Mailing lists also allow you to use an already established "identity" --
your email. On a forum, you have to create a completely new web presence and

I don't see why one would have to create a completely new identity.  I
almost always use "MikeSchinkel" or "Mike Schinkel" as applicable except in
the rare cases I want to be anonymous. Not so helpful for "John Smith," but
for most of us it's not an issue.

>> You can link it to your other ones with signatures and profiles, etc, but
still, it's another login and another identity.

Vs. another mailing list subscription to manage. To-may-to, To-mah-to.

>> The above username/identity debacle a pretty huge one, and probably my
number one complaint.

Maybe we are getting some where; has my "real name" policy not addressed
your concern?

>> BBcode is a secondary one. It's awful. I hate having to deal with [quote]
tags. Chevrons for quoting is so easier. Plain text email for the win.

If you use the "quote" button instead of the "reply" button vBulletin quotes
it for you.  That said you can always use the same style quoting on a forum
as you do in email if that your style.

I find quoting in email much more or a PITA because I have to quote every
line instead of just the begin and end of the quote.  And if the person
quoting is not careful (and who is?) the quotes will be too long and then
you get an absolutely visual mess which is almost impossible to read. 

What's more, mailing list is plain text and makes it infinitely harder to
present information in a understandable form than on a forum where you have
lots of formatting options.

And vBulletin has an optional WYSIWYG editor now so BBCode's not an issue.

>> It also costs money. Who's going to pay for that? vB 

$85?  Are you for real?  $85 is pocket change for almost anyone with the
technical skill to be active on this list. I'm currently unsure who my next
client or revenue source will be (long story; after 12 years running
Xtras.Net, I need a break and am being very selective), and *I'd* pay for
the damn thing if that's what it took.  

>> is also not exactly slim in the markup it generates. Who would pay for
that extra bandwidth?

YOU ARE NOT REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT THAT POINT, are you?  You are saying this
on a list where the philosophy is "Don't worry about HTML bloat, just worry
about the semantics?"  Just how much extra bandwidth do you think a
relatively low traffic forum will require?!? YouTube this aint.  

I'm pretty sure we could host the forum here
http://www.asmallorange.com/services/hosting/ for $5 a month and stay under
their 10Gb limit.  But if things go really extreme we could pay $30 a month
and go for 100Gb; that's 100,000 page views a month on their largest page
size.  Think we'll make that any time soon?

And I don't know any stats on this, but I'll be that a mailing list server
takes more bandwidth than a forum because forum pages are on demand and
*everything* gets mailed to *everyone* on a mailing list.

I'm sorry, but with that "objection" I can't take your objections seriously
anymore. It's clear you're just looking for things to object to because you
don't like green eggs and ham. Sam I am. Well, I know you've tried using
forums, but the point is your mind's already made up and nothing's going to
change it.  Which is fine, except for when you dig in to impose your
preferences on others where there could otherwise possibly be a middle

>> There's the layout, for one. I've admined forums (phpBB, not the
greatest, but it's free) in the past and people always seem to ask for
things when you're the admin, especially related to other users (bans of all
shapes and sizes).

Again, people ask for new lists on the mailing list server.  To-may-to,

Finally, it's telling that you didn't even mention the fact that we could
have a forum AND an integrated mailing list and you wouldn't have to be
bothered by the forum if you didn't want to be other than being insulted by
my making levity of the disagreement in preference.  If we did go that route
then we'd have the best of both worlds and wouldn't have those who dislike
forums imposing their preferences on the on the rest of the group.

OTOH, this is not ours to decide anyway; we are both just guests to
microformats. And with that said, I'm really hoping this email didn't
"overstay my welcome" with our hosts...

-Mike Schinkel

P.S. Please accept we are debating the issue and don't take any of this

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