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How many use Google Groups here

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by rickman, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. rickman

    rickman Guest

    I have been using Google groups to access usesnet groups for over a
    year. But they seem to have changed their user interface with no
    advantage that I can see. In fact, it seems to have some significant
    bugs and has lost some functionality. About the only read change that
    anyone might like is the fact that they have given it a bunch of large,
    pretty icons.

    Anyone else here rely on Google for usenet group access? How do you
    like the new interface?

    Unfortunately I am stuck with Google unless there are other web based
    usegroup interfaces. Can anyone suggest one?
    rickman, Jan 26, 2007
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  2. rickman

    Tom Lucas Guest

    When did it happen? I use OE and it mostly works OK. I only have a look
    at Google groups when I want to find a really old post or find out usage
    statistics. I looked the other day and it had suddenly changed and not
    much for the better as far as I could see.
    Tom Lucas, Jan 26, 2007
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  3. rickman

    steve Guest

    I use it, it seems after years of blessed simplicity, it looks like the
    Google employess have falling prey to bloated HTML designs. I guess
    it was just a matter of time, 10,000 employees have to be kept busy,
    and you can't keep them busy by producing simple products.

    I wonder if the same thing is going to happen to the main google page,
    it seems that time and money are the arch enemy of simplicity.
    steve, Jan 26, 2007
  4. rickman

    PeteS Guest

    I use google groups for access from work as they don't have a news
    server. The new groups sucks, in a word.

    There's a thread that googlecodemonkeys are apparently reading that
    reams them a new one for it - the standard thread being 'go back to the
    old groups or we won't bother with them'

    Thread here -


    if you dislike it, post there (warning: you have to become a 'member'
    of the group to post - more google stupidity from the kids who think
    flashy is better)


    PeteS, Jan 26, 2007
  5. rickman

    Didi Guest

    Anyone else here rely on Google for usenet group access?

    I also do.
    Just changed colours and, as another poster already noted,
    a somewhat more pronounced kind of
    "keep all those html "programmers" busy" look.
    Ah, now you can also upload a photo to your profile (I did).
    Looks like Google are after a long term hijack of the usenet
    participants into something which will eventually be some
    sort of their proprietary forum. At the rate I see people
    complaining they had to switch to google groups because
    their newsserver is gone I can see this is an evil thing
    (kills diversity). On the other hand, I just had no usenet
    access prior to google from here - perhaps I could have
    setup some simple nntp reader, not sure if any server
    would have wanted to talk to me (never really investigated

    Didi, Jan 26, 2007
  6. On 26 Jan, in article
    Not me but understand why some people do.
    Just remember a few expressions...

    "Change is inevitable, progress isn't"

    "Q. Why...."
    "A. Because they can, not they should or it is useful[1]."
    news.individual.net is a good service, and what I will be transferring
    my news pickup to soon.

    I personally hate the plethora of web fora, especially with semi
    manufacturers and software companies, let alone other organisations.
    They tend to be slow, clunky and have bad threading let alone the pain
    in actually posting anything.

    [1] See also HTML email, XML bloat being introduced into nearly everything
    and whatever the latest fad is.
    Paul Carpenter, Jan 26, 2007
  7. I have for quite some time.
    I don't have any reason to care about it one way or the other, yet. I
    generally don't complain about free stuff unless the issue is serious,
    like it doesn't work. I gave up my .signature files some years back
    because Google Groups didn't have 'em and cut-n-paste was getting old.
    Also I've had no filters for quite awhile, something that GG lacked. I
    wonder if they've added either of these now?
    What you're really saying is you're a cheap bastard like me. :) You
    can buy your way out of any difficulties... so before you say there's
    "no advantage" to Google's new interface, consider that it keeps
    allowing you to access newsgroups for free.
    I don't know of one.

    Brandon Van Every
    Brandon J. Van Every, Jan 26, 2007
  8. If Google wants to compete directly with Microsoft - and that seems
    inevitable given their growth ambitions - then they have a legitimate
    need for consumer-friendly eye candy. Now I have no idea if average
    people can be induced to use Usenet newsgroups. But maybe they use
    Google's homespun groups. I have no idea, I've never been interested
    in them.

    Brandon Van Every
    Brandon J. Van Every, Jan 26, 2007
  9. Is this anything more than techies bitching and moaning, as they think
    is their God-given right to do, even with free stuff? I mean, if there
    are any actual bugs, they can be fixed.

    Brandon Van Every
    Brandon J. Van Every, Jan 26, 2007
  10. Nah. They're still giving away Google Mail. Google just wants
    mindshare and lotsa guinea pigs to do data searches on.
    No, it's cheap bastards who could jolly well pay for a newsserver if
    it's so important to them.
    I have. For awhile, it was possible to scam up free newsgroup access.
    There were even websites devoted to locating such servers. Actually,
    locating a read-only server is still trivial. But posting rights came
    harder and harder to come by. People rightly realized that they didn't
    want to absorb the bandwidth cost of all these Usenet freeloaders. I
    eventually went to Google because that was simpler than digging and
    digging to get something for nothing. You might still find something
    for nothing, but you'll have to dig for it. Or you could pay for
    newsgroup service a la carte, if you think it's important. Or you
    could just give up the newsgroups. Heretical, but I have to say over
    the years, I've often been wasting my time.

    Brandon Van Every
    Brandon J. Van Every, Jan 26, 2007
  11. A recent post on Slashdot tells us that Google are now having people
    test code while in the bathroom!!! Ah well, the result may well be
    sh*thouse code (as we might say in Australia) :)
    David R Brooks, Jan 26, 2007
  12. rickman

    Didi Guest

    Looks like Google are after a long term hijack of the usenet
    OK, so they are a bunch of innocent gooddoers and are not after
    becoming a global monopoly. Whatever you say.
    It is not for free. I do pay for my internet access; my ISP pays part
    of that further etc., we all do pay for what we get.
    There must be some other reason why the newsservers are being shut
    The traffic on them is nothing significant; take into account that they
    been active for decades, and the orders of magnitude higher bandwidth
    available today and you'll see what they take is negligible.
    So the reason is elsewhere.

    Didi, Jan 26, 2007
  13. rickman

    Didi Guest

    "Change is inevitable, progress isn't"
    I agree those have to be reminded more often than they are, including
    (or should I say "in particular") the [1] ...
    I'll keep on using google for now, not such a huge issue to me.
    After all, we still can resort to mailing lists pretty easily... they
    with the hosting service I am buying, I could set some up within
    a few days work under DPS etc. Not that I cannot see the day when
    these become extinct and everything will be nicely under Big Brothers
    control (moderated, as they now have it), but I tend to act when
    I really have to :)


    Didi, Jan 26, 2007
  14. They are certainly intersted in being the premiere search engine
    powerhouse. They do a lot of basic R&D and I'm sure they'll get their
    hooks into any business model that deals with massive amounts of data.
    I find your insinuations that they're Microsoft-like to be either
    quaint, amusing, or ignorantly reactionary on your part. Google is a
    major contributor to Open Source Software, funding the Summers Of Code
    for a few years now, and notably employing Python's author Guido Van
    Rossum. I realize that a data searching business model will make many
    people worried about their privacy, and that Google will inevitably
    catch flack for that. But if Google is "an evil company" then there
    are simply no good companies, and you will have to accept that any
    large software company is fundamentally evil.
    Exactly. Recently I made an informal proposal to reduce the entire 6
    groups of the comp.games.development.* hierarchy to simply 1 group. We
    simply don't have the traffic. People are abandoning newsgroups in
    droves, using web forums and RSS feeds instead. I've done no more than
    dabble with RSS for a few hours. I am told there's an entire
    generation of techies that doesn't use newsgroups and may not even know
    what they are.

    comp.arch.embedded is healthy, but a lot of Usenet forums are dying. I
    can see, with
    out a perception and mindshare amongst techies at large, how support
    for newsgroup servers could wither. The perception may roughly be,
    "Who cares?"
    It has always taken human labor to administrate newsservers, however.
    "Who cares" may lead to the logical conclusion of "let's save money and
    get rid of 1 more support person."

    Brandon Van Every
    Brandon J. Van Every, Jan 27, 2007
  15. Frank Zappa said, "Change isn't just inevitable, it is necessary." I
    don't know what he thought it was necessary for. I will say that any
    appeal to "progress" begs a definition. I will wager that Frank Zappa
    had a humanistic definition.
    But the fora that aren't actually useful simply die. Their bones are
    easy to assess: they have no posts.

    I do think mailing lists have superseded most newsgroups in importance.
    This happened years ago. Too many people, and too many rude people,
    on unmoderated Usenet. People retreated to more focused watering holes
    that they could get higher quality information from.
    comp.arch.embedded is an exception rather than a rule among newsgroups.

    Brandon Van Every
    Brandon J. Van Every, Jan 27, 2007
  16. I created gamedesign-l on Yahoo Groups years ago. It will take you
    minutes, and the administrative interface is very easy / proven. When
    I'm constituting a new group of techs for some purpose, and we get
    around to the inevitable "So will we have a mailing list?" question,
    this is what has actually gotten done in the real world. Getting it
    done in minutes beats people hemming and hawing about what they say
    they're gonna do. The infrastructure and archiving is reliable, it's
    better than someone's homespun server blowing up and losing the

    The only downside is getting a commercial ad at the bottom of your
    posts. I never notice them, I never scroll down that far. There was a
    time when Yahoo Groups tried to put them at the top of the posts.
    Zillions of customers screamed bloody murder that they'd defect. Yahoo
    thought better of it, and I think that negative experience will keep
    them from trying it again for many years to come.

    Some organizations may need their own webpage and domain name some day.
    That's a reason not to use Yahoo Groups; your URL will certainly be
    shorter. But having started several groups, I can say that lazy
    evaluation is the protocol here. Don't bother overthinking /
    overengineering your internet presence until there's a group worthy of
    it. We'd move SeaFunc to its own domain if anyone cared and was
    ambitious enough to take it on, but nobody has been, and the status quo
    has worked just fine under Yahoo Groups.

    I think mailing lists are the logical conclusion when newsgroups aren't
    working, for whatever reason. Text is a better interface for the long
    winded techie. :)

    Brandon Van Every
    Brandon J. Van Every, Jan 27, 2007
  17. First flaw noticed: the above is a quoting / attribution snafu.
    Presumably fixable.

    First feature noticed, and the actual reason I'm posting: "My Groups"
    drop down menu in my web browser. Convenient. Actually all the stuff,
    "My Groups, Favorites, Profile, Help, My Account, Sign Out" is in the
    upper right corner. Good design.

    Brandon Van Every
    Brandon J. Van Every, Jan 27, 2007
  18. rickman

    JeffM Guest

    Slashdot changed their page layout last year,
    also moving to a DIV-based layout. That result sucked as well IMO.
    I liked Google Groups before 'cause I could get a lot on one screen
    and could mostly just scroll to what I wanted.
    The Frame-based layout (with divisions that I could reposition)
    made it quite usable.
    None that I can see either. Seems like lately
    Web developers have a bug up their butts about the DIV paradigm
    The results are far less flexible than their previous layouts.
    ISTM, it's mostly just change for the sake of change.

    When this Google Groups boondoggle was still in beta,
    I used some of my old Bookmarks[1]
    and saw what they were up to.
    The DIV thing makes my NukeAnything extension far less useful.

    I've done some initial investigation of Mozilla extensions
    like Remove It Permanently, Aardvark, and Greasemonkey (scripts)
    which deal with the idiocy of ooo-ain't-I-cool Web designers.
    If they don't currently address these things,
    I foresee some tweaks to them.
    IMO, it's mostly about rigid, poorly-thought-out page layouts.
    The same bullshit happened when Slashdot changed.
    Maybe I just need a 21" monitor to see it the way they want me to.
    Yup. Previously, I could pull up a page
    with the threading down the left margin
    (Pete Smith's link showing that format)
    then close the browser to save the cookie with the new setting;
    the next time I opened the browser, all links on the Topics pages
    would no longer be of the browse_thread variety.
    No mas. I now have to jump thru hoops to get what I want
    and all of my browser's History for the site is useless.
    Wasted bandwidth and screen space.

    My current AdBlock filters for Google Groups:
    and, of course,

    This essentially leaves
    Which will indicate the indexed post
    in the left pane of a browse_frm page.
    Sucks. The only they did anywhere near right during this fiasco
    was that the groups-beta.google.com thing[1]
    was an *option* until they brought it out of beta
    and sprung the changes on us full-bore Wednesday.
    All are inferior -- Even poorer threading display options,
    worse latency, and no search capability:
    [1] Previously, with each iteration they would change the main URL
    back and forth between groups-beta.google.com
    and groups.google.com. (Really STUPID.)
    JeffM, Jan 27, 2007
  19. rickman

    PeteS Guest

    Google makes it's money primarily from ads. If we don't use it (such as
    now using my email based newsreader) then Google makes less money
    because they get fewer page hits. I used to use google groups from work
    as they have no news server available; now I just won't bother.

    Techies built the internet, incidentally. Some might argue they have a
    right (and a duty) to mention such things as usability.


    PeteS, Jan 27, 2007
  20. rickman

    PeteS Guest

    I have my email reader set to not show images inline and not to load
    remote images at all. That pretty much kills advertisers [1] from
    knowing I have opened their email.

    [1] Culprits here include Xilinx, Altera, Tesco (yep - the grocery store
    that I occasionally use online) and a host of others.

    I agree with the comments about html/xml email - it's a text medium. If
    someone wants to send pretty pictures, then send it as an attachment and
    I'll decide if I want to open it.


    PeteS, Jan 27, 2007
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