Reading multiple forums

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snowshed
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Reading multiple forums

Post by snowshed » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:16 pm

I would like to read a number of Softmaker forums regularly, but the whole philosophy of forums is not an efficient means for doing this.

Usenet newsservers are simply better for this, and far faster.

Would Softmaker consider supporting a newsserver, or associate with gmane.io? I already follow 4 software programs via gmane.

Thank you.

martin-k
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Re: Reading multiple forums

Post by martin-k » Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:03 pm

While I have long been a proponent of Usenet, these days are long gone. There is no capacity at SoftMaker to open another support venue for a protocol that is, despite its advantages, frankly dead.
Martin Kotulla
SoftMaker Software GmbH

snowshed
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Re: Reading multiple forums

Post by snowshed » Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:27 pm

What about gmane?

martin-k
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Re: Reading multiple forums

Post by martin-k » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:55 am

That's a mailing list archive. I know of no way to feed out this forum to a mailing list, and we will not start mailing list as a new support venue.
Martin Kotulla
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Jossi
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Re: Reading multiple forums

Post by Jossi » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:37 pm

I receive some mailing lists and I don't see the advantage over a forum. What exactly are you missing here?

snowshed
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Re: Reading multiple forums

Post by snowshed » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:51 am

I receive some mailing lists and I don't see the advantage over a forum. What exactly are you missing here?
You are missing how the mailing list or forum messages are displayed to the user. If you support the Usenet or a place like Gmane, when the user accessees the list/forum, you get a threaded view as in this link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversat ... e:Nntp.jpg

The user can immediately see the relationship of posts and answers, and doesn't have to scroll through the messages trying to figure out who answered who in which message.

A benefit of this is it makes learning the program easier, as you can find the discussion topics that interest you quicker and easier. And you don't have to open multiple tabs in a browser to follow multiple forums. I follow 4 forums using Gmane, and know if there are any new messages or not, and never have to use a web browser.

Almoast as good is the Nabble interface used by The Document Foundation (Libre Office). But you still need to use your browser.

http://document-foundation-mail-archive ... .html#none

Many computers and users have poor quality monitors, so the thread lines may not be noticeable. But they are there.

I could go on, but I've concluded vendors don't want to do their best for supporting users anymore, they just want to do "good enough". :-(

Jossi
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Re: Reading multiple forums

Post by Jossi » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:16 pm

I see, it's not so much the question of forum vs. mailing list which matters for you as the display in conversation form (AFAIK conversation threading is possible in forums as well as in mail programs). Personally, I don't like it, but tastes vary.

snowshed
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Re: Reading multiple forums

Post by snowshed » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:15 pm

by Jossi » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:16 am
I see, it's not so much the question of forum vs. mailing list which matters for you as the display in conversation form (AFAIK conversation threading is possible in forums as well as in mail programs). Personally, I don't like it, but tastes vary.
Conversation views are not the same as threaded views. Conversation views simply group all replies to a particular subject together, in the order they were posted. It does not give any indication of which message a subsequent message is referring to.

"Thread" seems to have 2 definitions these days. One definition is grouping all messages with a particular subject together. The other is to display those messages showing their relationships to each other, as in the jpg I provided a link to.

Essentially, a forum is a conversation view. Topic=subject. But when viewing the posts, the messages are listed in the order they were posted, the same as a conversation view in many email programs today. The missing piece is, there is no way to tell if message 10 is a reply to message 7, or 4, or the original. The threaded view in my link gives you that information.

Jossi
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Re: Reading multiple forums

Post by Jossi » Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:43 pm

Threaded view surely has an advantage in very big forums with dozens or hundreds of replies every day where you only want to read a small part of them in selected threads and can find them more easily. Here in the SoftMaker forum I read all posts, so it's easier to click Quick links > New posts and then the subjects instead of having to click for every single post separately.

snowshed
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Re: Reading multiple forums

Post by snowshed » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:50 pm

by Jossi » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:43 am
Threaded view surely has an advantage in very big forums with dozens or hundreds of replies every day where you only want to read a small part of them in selected threads and can find them more easily. Here in the SoftMaker forum I read all posts, so it's easier to click Quick links > New posts and then the subjects instead of having to click for every single post separately.
How many forums do you read? Do you read any Microsoft forums? Apple fourms? Mozilla forums?

I would, if it didn't take so much of my time. I read them because I want to learn, and learn efficiently. Why would I want to spend an hour just checking for new messages if I can do it in a few seconds?

Have you ever used a newsgroup reader? From your replies, I don't think you have.

These are the newsgroups I follow:

Screen Shot 2020-10-17 at 7.56.14 AM.jpg

If you count them, there are 25. (Gmane is an exception, since those are mailing lists formatted to work like a newsgroup.) I can immediately see which groups have messages I have not read. If I select a group, I can choose to show only unread messages, just like Quicklinks. But organized in different ways of my choosing.

This is the equivalent of Softmaker's Quicklinks:

Screen Shot 2020-10-17 at 8.20.13 AM.jpg

Notice how the same amount of data is shown is less space? Think how many screens you might have to scroll through to see them all? Also note the view shows how many unread messages there are in each thread.

When I select a thread to view, I see how the various messages relate to each other.

Screen Shot 2020-10-17 at 8.35.59 AM.jpg

If we did this the contemporary way, forums, I would have to open 25 tabs and use whatever system that particular forum has for showing just unread messages, assuming that forum has such a feature. And, if I want to reply, I have to go through login steps, since I will not stay logged into to anyplace on the web.

I can pretty much guarantee, that once a user learns how to use a newsgroup, they'll never want to go back to a forum.

FWIW, I do the same with email. I don't use a conversation view, that apparently was started by Google.

One of the purposes of having a computer is to make it easier, quicker, and more efficient to do daily tasks. Forums are a step backwards in this case. Why would anyone want to use a system that takes more time where there are quicker ways to do the same task?

Not to mention that formatting a reply like this is a helluva lot easier in my newsgroup reader than it is here.

I hate having my time wasted by someone else, and forums do that. We all have the same number of hours in a day, and how you choose to use it, is your choice.

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