Coffeehouse Thread

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Channel9 format to replace NNTP newsgroups

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  • User profile image

    Channel9 Dudes,

    I currently use NewsGator to subscribe to Channel9 feeds as well as NNTP newsgroups. The problem with the newsgroup integration is that newsgroups are just too damn busy with threads that I don't care about until I have to diagnose a problem (at which point I can use Google Groups to find what I am looking for). When I post to a newsgroup, I usually want to watch that thread. Also I like to watch newsgroups for information about upcoming Microsoft beta announcements. It is hardly worth it though, since it takes way too much time to sift through the information.

    Anyhow, on to my point.

    You should be doing more with the Channel9 setup. The RSS integration you have provided into the conversations is fantastic. It is so great that I'd love to see Microsoft's NNTP Newsgroups replaced entirely with this sites integration of RSS into forums as a model. You should create an ASP .NET starter kit for other newsgroup creators to do the same as well.

    My $0.02.

    Loving this site.

    Kirk out.

  • User profile image

    Thanks for the comment, we are big fans of this approach as well obviously. I think of newsgroups as a party with a whole bunch of strangers having a conversation about what ever they feel like and you have to butt in and make yourself a part of it. By breaking from that structure and having identities we think you can change that to being more of a community with a sense of purpose. That said, many people like the newsgroups and depend on them, not easy to just flip a switch and move to this model.

  • User profile image

    One of the "problems" I have with RSS is that it seems to be a lot harder to watch a thread.  Perhaps this is mostly a client issue (I use SharpReader), but I think it also has to do with the different comment schemes and what really constitues a change.

    NNTP is also valuable in that has mechanisms to efficiently distribute content (everybody doesn't have to hit your website).  Not to mention that NNTP is better defined than all these different versions of RSS.

    Maybe ATOM will be the "grand unification"...

  • User profile image
    Bryn Waibel

    There are a couple of issues that you might be bringing up here, so i'll address them, while staying away from any grandiose claims about ATOM (I mean, it's just XML, let's leave grand unification to string theorists (Also, I don't know enough about ATOM request response to speak intelligently on the subject (can you tell I miss LISP))).

    First, we sent out an RSS implementation update yesterday which had a number of features which I think should be useful. Our RSS has actual real true guid properties now, and those properties link directly to a post. So if you are used to subscribing to a thread in SharpReader and watching the items in the thread turn italic and bold over and over again without changing, that should be fixed now. From now on, they should only turn italic and bold when someone edits their post.

    Second, we've included a whole host of comments items into our RSS feeds now. For SharpReader, this means that you can tell the total number of replies just by looking at the top level thread. For RSSBandit, it means you can actually expand the entire list of replies directly from the UI, so there's no need to subscribe to individual threads.

    As for NNTP, it's definitely a more efficient protocol than the hodge podge RSS world today. Maybe someday that'll change, for now, we just like the little orange icons, so we're sticking with them. NNTP, I think, comes with a barrier to entry that we just weren't willing to accept, so we made a website and added RSS for clients to parse. Maybe someday we'll add an NNTP layer, who knows.


  • User profile image

    If you are following the site via RSS you might want to try using RSS Bandit.  RSS Bandit supports RSS Comments so you can follow the entire thread without leaving your aggregator.  Essentially giving you an NNTP style view of this forum.

  • User profile image

    I just tried RSS Bandit...the one feature of LOVE from SharpReader is being able to double-click on an item and have the view link automatically open.

  • User profile image

    My comments were intended to be about RSS and/or/versus NNTP in general, not Channel9 specifically.

    You're doing a fine job with Channel9; keep it up.

  • User profile image

    JDanielSmith wrote:
    the one feature of LOVE from SharpReader is being able to double-click on an item and have the view link automatically open.

    Well shoot, I never knew it did that.  I was always right-clicking.  The things people learn at Channel 9... 

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