Been having an interesting discussion on the relative merits of mailing lists as opposed to web forums. Personally, I hate having to read things in web forums, because I am always find the interface terrible, particularly for writing notes as you are largely limited to a rubbish text box. Part of the reason why I hate web forums so much, though, is because I am a Gnus user; it was originally a usenet, news group reader and it’s user interface it designed for reading high traffic, where most of what you want you get, you don’t want to read. When I was had to use Outlook earlier this academic year, I was in real troubles, because it’s user interface could just not cope with large amounts of traffic — click, click, point, read, click, click, right click, mark, read — read by date or by thread, but not both.

However, during the discussion I realised that there was a display that Gnus doesn’t do; it would be really nice if the summary display — a threaded, indented set of subject lines — could also display the first four of five lines of text underneath. Currently, subjects and contents are heavily mixed.

Originally published on my old blog site.