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Fix the Forums before eliminating newsgroups

    Question

  • The forums are slow, there is no way to flag threads of interest, no way to easily find my own posts, search returns no results or incorrect results.
    New things are nice, but how are the current forums an improvement over newsgroups where one can very easily do most of the above in a newsreader?

    If Microsoft is going to make the change, all of the above should be fixed first.

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010 12:48 PM

All replies

  • I gotta say, I was looking forward to getting back into the newsgroups after defecting to Stack Overflow about a year ago but then I heard the newsgroups were being killed off and was very disappointed. One of my frustrations with StackOverflow is that there's no "client" option. I really don't like web interfaces for discussions for a lot of reasons. I think it's important to have a web interface for the occasional user, but for the frequent user, it quickly becomes a pain.

    Some of these annoyances are just a fact of life that has never been fixed on the web such as back navigation constantly getting screwed up, inconsistent load times, poor handling of intermittent connections, etc.

    But some of my complaints are specific to this web interface. At least on Stack Overflow everything feels light and snappy. But this site feels like a very heavy, bloated, distracting UI. I'm afraid to click links because I'm afraid when I go back I'll have lost my scroll position or something will get re-posted. It's a subconscious thing but once a user stops trusting that navigation will do what it's supposed to, then browsing the site starts to become a chore.

    Maybe an offline Silverlight client is in the works? That would be nice but it'll take a pretty long time to catch up to the maturity of most newsgroup clients. And in the meantime how many other volunteers will defect to Stack Overflow or just give up?

    Monday, May 17, 2010 4:33 PM