OT mailing lists wit web interface

Lionel √Člie Mamane lionel at mamane.lu
Tue Oct 29 08:28:15 UTC 2019

On Tue, Oct 29, 2019 at 12:13:41AM +0100, marc wrote:
> Lionel wrote:

>>>> I know that I'm old-fashioned in this respect, but I think for
>>>> online discussions no better system than Usenet has been invented,
>>>> but mailing lists are the next best options.

>>> Full ACK.

>> Have you lived the heydays of Fidonet?

> I am going to assume that Lionel's comment was meant snarkily.

No, it wasn't. As I remember things, Fidonet echomail & netmail was
more "power user"-friendly than Usenet/NNTP. I admit I now cannot
anymore clearly articulate why, and my memory of details is now hazy,
but I distinctly remember being frustrated a half-life ago with some
Usenet (or was it the then-available user agents?) technical
limitations compared to my Fidonet setup (which included a point
address). One point I remember is that one didn't have to worry about
the BBS' post retention policy, the way one has/had with
Usenet/NNTP. But it could not have been the only point. I have a vague
memory that the Fidonet echomail/netmail bundle allowed one to get a
message by both personal mail (netmail) and also see in the public
discussion (echomail), while the two were integrated; reading it in
one did mark it read in the other; maybe even showed it in
context. Usenet falls back to email for personal messages, and there
it becomes two independent messages, possibly duplicated. Or maybe
that was just a feature of the user agent I was using for echomail &
netmail, that made it "feel" like personal mail by highlighting
(sub?)threads below my own posts and/or organising them into a
"virtual personal mailbox". I honestly don't remember exactly. In
this, mailing lists are more integrated than the Usenet/email
bundle. The way one gets personal copies (personal CCs) is the same as
the way one gets ML posts; although it is not universally supported
(and didn't make into official RFCs...), there is a way to request
these personal copies, the Mail-Followup-To header, which is rather
widely supported in the unix clone hacker / floss MUAs at least. But
I don't know any MUA that will link both copies and handle them in an
integrated way.

I do remember I had in my Fidonet echomail setup a script that
presorted some messages "on top" in the feed and then used the fact
that my user agent's sort was stable to finish up the sort (that was
before I had any instruction on how to actually write a sort
algorithm... I just hunted for messages I wanted, writing a kind of
finite state automaton by hand, and moved them to the top).


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