[ale] ALE forum ?

Michael B. Trausch mike at trausch.us
Tue Feb 22 12:03:44 EST 2011

On Tue, 2011-02-22 at 08:53 -0800, Boris Borisov wrote:
> No offense to anybody but why there is no forum for ALE group created
> yet? For me personally will be the easy way to follow the threads. I'm
> kind of tired trying to read email with multitude replies.

I'm going to assume you mean a different type of forum, such as a Web
forum.  This mailing list is indeed a forum for ALE members to

If this were a voting matter, I would have to vote against a Web
forum---or really, any type of forum that offers less in the way of
functionality than a mailing list---as a primary method of
communication.  It would be possible to create some sort of a Web forum
gateway into the mailing list, if desired, that one could use to "wrap"
the list into a Web forum format.

Allow me to explain why I am against the idea of Web forums.  I strongly
dislike them because they do not (in any implementation that I am aware
of) offer the flexibility or usefulness of either mailing lists or NNTP
feeds.  Both mailing lists and NNTP feeds can be filtered, are able to
provide notifications of new messages with software that supports those
standards, and do not require the use of the Web.  I would not be averse
to something that truly replaced the functionality and flexibility of
mail or NNTP when it comes to forums, but most Web forum software works
around such issues by themselves providing email notifications, which
kind of defeats the point of not using a mailing list.

There is nothing to say that mail systems or spools cannot be done over
the Web.  Given a fully functional programmatic interface and the notion
of per-user state, it's possible to reinvent the wheel that traditional
forums such as mailing lists and NNTP feeds provide.  However, there is
really no reason to do such a thing; we already have the standards that
are available for mail and newsgroups which work quite well---not to
mention, they are standards which everyone can use to their own benefit,
mostly without having to worry about non-standard extensions or

	--- Mike
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