Tags Internet
This post is a rant. Take it with a grain of salt. Executive summary: I don't like mailing lists. I think they're a thing of the past, and these days using a web interface like a forum or a Google Group makes much more sense. So, it makes me angry that a lot of groups I'm interested in lately hold their discussions in mailing lists. Mailing lists used to be popular some years ago. Sure, when web access was via a modem and you only connected for an hour a day, it was convenient to download all the mail to your PC and read it offline. But today, with fast, permanent web connections for almost everyone, I think mailing lists are an anachronism. Forums and places like Google Groups are much better - they present all the information with full archives in a single place, you don't have to fill your mailbox with all the list's messages, and it's easy to post and view discussions in hierarchical threads. With a mailing list that delivers dozens of mails per day, you have to have an inbox full of mailing list correspondence, have no good search possibilities and can't see thread hierarchies - everything is flat. So why is it good, why many groups still prefer this discussion method ? Specifically, I fume about Python. Although its main mailing list is reflected to comp.lang.python, most of the libraries and topical discussion groups use mailing lists, to which you have to subscribe. So let me get this straight. I'm interested in distutils, py2exe, matplotlib, wxPython and several other libraries. Does it really mean I have to subscribe to a gazillion mailing lists, just to go and ask a question / search for answers in one of them, once in a blue moon ? What other option to I have if I want to be able to post ? Sure, there are sites like Nabble and Gmane, that reflect mailing lists to hierarchical forums bi-directionally, and they are great. I personally use Nabble for most of my participation in Python-related lists. But some mailing lists haven't registered with such services, so all that's left is using the mailing list itself. In particular, I'm fuming about python-es, a mailing list for Python in the Spanish language, which isn't connected to Nabble and is already registered in Gmane as read-only. Argh, this is annoying.

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