Survey of newsreaders.

Robert Harper harper at FINSUN.CSC.FI
Mon Jul 22 00:55:38 EST 1991


>Path: funic!fuug!mcsun!uunet!spool.mu.edu!agate!darkstar!cash!aryeh
>From: aryeh at cash..ucsc.edu (Aryeh M. Friedman)
>Newsgroups: news.software.readers
>Subject: Summery of News Reader Survey #1 results
>Message-ID: <18293 at darkstar.ucsc.edu>
>Date: 19 Jul 91 10:14:35 GMT
>Sender: usenet at darkstar.ucsc.edu
>Organization: UC Santa Cruz, Dept. of Economics
>Lines: 93
>Originator: aryeh at cash

What newsreader people use:

Numer	Reader	Percentage	Average Rating	Comments
-----	------	----------	--------------	--------
11	gnus			6		One invalid answer on the rating
12	nn			8		Two invalid answers for the 
						rating
7	rn					magled the rn results so sorry
4	NewsGrazer (NeXT)	9.5		nothing can be this good folks!
5	trn			6
8	xrn			8
7	various obscure ones	N/A		Rating whould be impossible

The net in general in terms of organzation (Average rating): 6
5 invalid responses

Since I feel that I was unclear on the poster or on the customization rating 
quesions I will not consider the results valid

And now for general feedback on stuff:
	Readers:
		You should note that I have decided not to consider suggestions
	that require non-standard hardware (i.e. gui's and other non-text 
	support as not practicle til standords have been made to handle these 
	where avaible and to convert them to something useful when not avaible 
	not to mention the need for stuff like termcap entries for such 
	services)

	Also I try to lump anything to do with virtual groups in with that
	section of the survey [1].  And anything that is a existing feature in 
	some reader out there.  Also they unversially call for more speed.
	

	mail to self feature so you can save files to your mail and not
	to a file.	

	a more intutive straight forward command set with out level 
	inconsitences in command naming

	providing various "hot spots" so stuff like quotes can be hidden
	or to provide "jump" points.

	The net it self:
		I will not not relay any of the remarks on how to make the
	list of newsgroups any better instead I will only mention the ones
	that seem to reflect new imagintive ideas on solving gridlock in 
	general.  I should note that any bandwidth hungry manditory protocol is
	not included since there are many many sites still on slower nets 
	then of the Internet or any of the other real time nets.

	more detailed listings of what to expect from a group when you join.
	like having the charter in some central location with no experation
	date.

	some way to intergrate arcives in with the group. i.e. easy ways to
	request them.

	allowing groups to pay someone to maintain the group and resource 
	listings

	auto arciving of major groups by backbone sites (already some what in
	place)

	posters:
		Being flamed my self for it I whould (and most others)
		suggested adding auto grammer and/or spelling aids to the 
		poster

		Allow quoting from multiple articles

		Allow differnt signatures for differnt groups.

Virtual groups
23 yes and 24 no or didnot answer
Most people liked the idea of filters best and for techincal reasons (I
could steal the code) I decided to use a setup like Dave Taylor'ss wonderful 
mail filtering system out of Elm 2.3 to implement it.  Of course I will 
virtually give it a face lift but the basic mechonizims will be there.

Posting Limits
Almost everyone agreed it is up to the local adm if anyone.

Forward refs
These are a low proirity for most people and myself.
	
	customization:
[1] I consider the ferrets from David Brin's Earth (and yes I read and loved
the book) to be nothing more then virtual groups when fully developed and
simpilifed (something I don't really see how to do).
-- 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aryeh M. Friedman					aryeh at cash.ucsc.edu
						     or (415) 644-0181




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