Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

UI: DG vs Mailing List vs Newsgroup

Author:Samuel Reynolds
Posted:7/7/1999; 3:58:20 PM
Topic:Link colors
Msg #:8306 (In response to 8216)
Prev/Next:8305 / 8307

Mailing lists are clumsy compared to a DG.

Them's fightin' words, buddy! ;-)
Some of us actually *like* mailing lists; how useful they are depends in part on the content and signal-to-noise ratio (as anywhere), and in part on the tools available; whether they're clumsy or not mainly depends on the tools.

The new DG interface is nicer than the old one; it feels cleaner with the standardized navbar on the left. But it's about the same for actually reading and responding to messages: you still have to 'stair-step' up and down the message hierarchy to follow a message thread, or open a second window to keep the full thread outline visible (from the first message).

The 'stair-stepper' navigation kills it for me, so I usually only read the DG when Dave posts an interesting link on the Scripting News page. Jacob Nielsen recommends letting users travel back up the hierarchy to any level without having to hit all the intermediate points, but the replies list only supports jumping to specific replies (down the hierarchy), and not rapid return up the hierarchy.

Frontier does so well with outlines; could the DG have one? For example, it might nest the replies to a topic (AKA thread) under the lead message in a navbar. Has anyone (third-party or Userland) looked into alternate browsing interfaces?

Or it might be useful for the DG to be "mirrored" to/from an NNTP ("usenet") newsgroup. Other than the search capabilities, the DG and a newsgroup are fundamentally alike. Has anyone (third-party or Userland) looked into such a bridge?

One thing I love about this place is the search - I have a problem in Frontier I go to the search and I find info in the DocServer, in the Frontier site and in the DG !

The DG really shines in this area--especially compared to normal newsgroups. Yeah, Deja-News provides a search engine and archive for many NGs, but search is *built-in* to the DG.

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