april, 5, 2003 archives

what does a good mailing list web archive look like?

i know the by-date archiving needs to use the time that the mail actually arrived to the server, or you get the sort of oddities that mailman archives get. by-month, threaded archives don't scale particularly well for busy lists. i'm not a big fan of the ezmlm-cgi-style list of threads with links to the latest post. do you want a single message at a time, or multiple posts from a thread at a time, google news-style? (with frames?) i think there's something to be said for a simple list of the most recent posts, with no threading. (but perhaps sorted with the newest at the top is better?) i think displaying the message thread with each message is a must-have feature. i think doing some intelligent coloring of quoted passages is a really neat feature. so is intelligent handling of attachments. using jwz's threading algorithm is probably a good idea (although i would probably use a database to store the results). obviously encoding or obscuring or omitting email addresses in message headers is a good idea, and it's probably a good thing to do in message bodies, too. being able to get the list of messages from a particular author is a nice feature. closing the loop by making it possible to reply to messages using the web interface could satisfy desires for web-based forums. setting up a nntp server is obviously a good thing to do, too.

(yes, this is obviously a work-related musing. don't get too excited, it's not a high-priority item right now.)

reports from the front line

no, not that war. first. second.

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