Why not use newsgroup?

Alexey Feldgendler alexey at feldgendler.ru
Fri Jun 13 20:32:08 CEST 2008

On Fri, 13 Jun 2008 19:30:02 +0200, Ben Burdette <bburdette at comcast.net>  

> But I still don't understand why groups choose mailing lists over
> newsgroups.

Usenet was an almost 30 years old attempt at implementing what's currently  
solved by mailing lists, subject to those days' technological requirements  
and constraints. It's currently obsoleted by mailing lists providing  
exactly the same on a better technological basis.

NNTP is an underdefined protocol with a vast number of features, of which  
servers and clients support arbitrary subsets, and most of which have lost  
their value with the development of communications. Some parts of NNTP are  
still impossible to get “right” because they aren't specified, e.g.  
international characters in headers.

The only two real features that NNTP has and mailing lists don't are the  
ability to access older messages through the client timmediately after  
subscribing (that is supposed to be solved by the often overlooked feature  
of IMAP: shared folders) and the ability to cancel a message after sending  
it (something that is a bit unfair and shouldn't be possible in the first  
place). All other “features”, like the often mentioned “kill files”, are  
actually features of clients, not the protocol, and are also found in good  
email clients.

> By default you just download the headers without having to get the text
> of every message,

You can do that with IMAP, which is the modern protocol for accessing your  

> you can subscribe and unsubscribe from them without impacting your  
> regular email account.

If you insist on ML subscriptions being on a separate account, you can  
have another email account for that. How is having one email account and  
one NNTP account better than having two email accounts?

Alexey Feldgendler <alexey at feldgendler.ru>
[ICQ: 115226275] http://feldgendler.livejournal.com

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