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Desktop newsreader for MSDN forums RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello

    Is there a desktop newsreader that makes following MSDN threads easy. The web site just doesn't cut it for me.

    In the old days, I used to use Outlook Express...

    Wednesday, January 7, 2015 1:50 PM

Answers

  • amir, I think you are referring to the old newsgroups, which were retired in October, 2009. I also used Outlook Express in the old days, and I could monitor and keep up-to-date in 12 newsgroups. Now in the forums I can only manage 4 forums.

    Advantages of the old newsgroups:

    • Thread titles were bold if there was any activity you had not read. In the forums (if the bold even works) a thread is not bold if you ever viewed it, even if there have been many new posts since.
    • You could mark any thread as one you were not interested in. The title became dim and you never had to deal with it again.
    • You could mark any thread as one you wanted to "watch". The title became red.
    • When reviewing a newsgroup, you could deal with bold red threads first, then bold black, and ignore the rest.
    • In the list of newsgroups you had subscribed to (similar to "My Forums" now), the title of the newsgroup was bold red if there where any bold red threads in the newsgroup. Otherwise, the title was bold black if there were bold black threads.
    • When reviewing newsgroups, I would deal first with those where the newsgroup title was bold red. Next I would deal with those where the title was bold black. The rest I would ignore.

    The result is I never had to open threads unnecessarily. If I ever got behind, I could mark all threads in a newsgroup as "read" and start fresh.

    Truth is we will probably never see similar functionality in the forums. Right now I would settle for better readability. For example, instead of the pale blue and gray and small fonts we have now in the lists of threads. But like most regulars in the forums, I have gotten used to what we have now.


    Richard Mueller - MVP Directory Services

    • Marked as answer by amir tohidi Thursday, January 8, 2015 2:13 PM
    Wednesday, January 7, 2015 9:46 PM

All replies

  • Hello

    Is there a desktop newsreader that makes following MSDN threads easy. The web site just doesn't cut it for me.

    In the old days, I used to use Outlook Express...

    As Mike Laughlin says, there is the NNTP bridge (recently updated), which can be used with any newsreader. For the newsreader itself, you might try the free Thunderbird. I am a SeaMonkey (Mozilla Suite) user, so I would use that.

    I was using the NNTP bridge, but it became unavailable for a while last year, and I came to terms with the forum interface. For me the two things that make it usable are My Threads and the ability to save views of arbitrary collections of forums as browser bookmarks. In fact I have browser bookmarks for everything I want to do in the forums and they live in a bookmark folder that lives on my browser toolbar. Therefore I am only two clicks away from anything I might want.


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP

    Wednesday, January 7, 2015 2:31 PM
  • amir, I think you are referring to the old newsgroups, which were retired in October, 2009. I also used Outlook Express in the old days, and I could monitor and keep up-to-date in 12 newsgroups. Now in the forums I can only manage 4 forums.

    Advantages of the old newsgroups:

    • Thread titles were bold if there was any activity you had not read. In the forums (if the bold even works) a thread is not bold if you ever viewed it, even if there have been many new posts since.
    • You could mark any thread as one you were not interested in. The title became dim and you never had to deal with it again.
    • You could mark any thread as one you wanted to "watch". The title became red.
    • When reviewing a newsgroup, you could deal with bold red threads first, then bold black, and ignore the rest.
    • In the list of newsgroups you had subscribed to (similar to "My Forums" now), the title of the newsgroup was bold red if there where any bold red threads in the newsgroup. Otherwise, the title was bold black if there were bold black threads.
    • When reviewing newsgroups, I would deal first with those where the newsgroup title was bold red. Next I would deal with those where the title was bold black. The rest I would ignore.

    The result is I never had to open threads unnecessarily. If I ever got behind, I could mark all threads in a newsgroup as "read" and start fresh.

    Truth is we will probably never see similar functionality in the forums. Right now I would settle for better readability. For example, instead of the pale blue and gray and small fonts we have now in the lists of threads. But like most regulars in the forums, I have gotten used to what we have now.


    Richard Mueller - MVP Directory Services

    • Marked as answer by amir tohidi Thursday, January 8, 2015 2:13 PM
    Wednesday, January 7, 2015 9:46 PM
  • David - I will try the apps you mantion.

    Richard - I agree with your comments. The "new" forums makes it very diificult and time consuming to try to follow forums + threads (RSS subscription is useless as you only see the question). Let's hope Microsoft bring back the old style.

    Thursday, January 8, 2015 2:05 PM
  • David - I will try the apps you mantion.

    Richard - I agree with your comments. The "new" forums makes it very diificult and time consuming to try to follow forums + threads (RSS subscription is useless as you only see the question). Let's hope Microsoft bring back the old style.

    Make sure you click that link I provided before trying to use any of the newsreaders. You need to have the NNTP bridge up and running to use one.

    Don't retire TechNet! - (Don't give up yet - 13,085+ strong and growing)

    Thursday, January 8, 2015 2:11 PM