[Date Prev][Date Next] [Chronological] [Thread] [Top]

Re: LDAP forum (was: fascism)

On Wed, 22 Sep 2004, Francis Swasey wrote:

The fact that newsgroups are dying is just part of the sad commentary on our current Internet growth phase. As a world society we do not seem to be willing to spend time on much of anything. We want INSTANT results. Instead of "try, try again" our motto has become "I'll try anything, once and only once".

Some folks still have a work ethic, but that's not a popular thing among GenX/Y.

It used to be accepted as fact that once a mailinglist exceeded 1000 participants, a newsgroup was far better and more efficient at getting the information around to everyone interested.

Newsgroups were very efficient before AOL came on the Internet. These days the bandwidth requirements of a "full Usenet feed" are so exorbitant that fewer and fewer folks are running their own local news server.

Perhaps that was based more on the combined bandwidth requirements than the instant gratification desires of the participants.

Bandwidth and disk requirements. News wasn't kept forever. It was ephemeral except for those few folks who chose to backup everything to tape or some reasonably cheap medium. These days a hard drive could hold the entire history of Usenet's first decade and have space left over for a few Linux distros.

But even in the "good old days" of the Net I've observed the tendancy of newsgroups to be less technical and less likely to evoke a response than a mailing list. A mailing list has a defined set of participants that want to participate all the time. Newsgroups have a few regulars that read every post voraciously and a lot of occassional lurkers. I don't know whether there's a different psychology about posting something for the whole world to see versus sending to the cozy set of a mailing lists participants, but it does seem to have an effect.

One example of this is the pine-users mailing list which I was on for a few years. This was also gatewayed to a newsgroup. There was great debate over the effect this had on the mailing list. Generally it didn't have a huge impact once it was all over, but there was a lot of whining about things going to hell in a handbasket just over the idea.

I've personally never read the ldap mailinglist at umich -- it seemed to have died a while back, but probably I was just too impatient with it and wasn't willing to search out the archives of the list to see how relevant it would be to my situation.

I asked my question there and got back total silence so I'd say rumors about ldap@umich's death seem to be quite true. I haven't seen any other traffic on there at all. [sigh.] The one link I found to an archive is dead with no redirect. I didn't look too hard though.

I also posted on the Microsoft forums with no replies.

But I'll keep trying.


There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. And the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.
-- C.A.R. Hoare