Attention: Forum designer : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

To Ed Yourdon or whoever designed this forum: Just a suggestion

Is it possible without too much difficulty to make the posting program automatically number our posts? Often times I cannot find earlier posts that I like to refer back to. Perhaps a numbering system starting with "A000" up to "A999" then switch to "B000" and so on, should be enough numbers to cover us for a while. This way we could just keep track of the numbers of interesting posts instead of trying to find the titles.

Thank you.

-- Bender (, March 20, 1999


There are a number of features that would make the forum easier to traverse and use, especially a search engine. However, this is one of those situations where you get what you pay for -- when I started this forum about 15 months ago, I briefly considered writing my own software, and then decided to look around for something/someone that could host the discussions without a lot of work on my part. I was lucky enough to stumble upon Phil Greenspun's forum environment at MIT, which has now hosted more than 70,000 messages at NO COST to any of us.

Indeed, ours is the busiest of all the forums that Greenspun's software is hosting, with something like 9 times as many messages as any other forum. I'm not inclined to look a gift horse in the mouth...

However, I'm intrigued by Sysman's reference to the GNIABFI forum. Haven't heard of it, don't know where it is. Maybe we should take a look at it to see if it might serve as a new home for us.

Chances are, though, that if we want something that has a lot of bells and whistles, it's going to cost substantial $$$ that someone will have to pay; after all, there's no such thing as a free lunch. If someone can recommend a forum-hosting environment that would only cost $100 per month to operate, I'd be happy to pay for it ... but if it starts rising to the level of a couple thousand dollars a month, then it's a problem.


-- Ed Yourdon (, March 21, 1999.

I was over at the GNIABFI forum a few days ago, and I hate to admit it, but I did see a few nice things over there. For one, they do number their threads. It makes it easy to note the number of a good thread and use it for future reference. They also have a "next" button to jump to the next thread without having to go back to the "top level", a nice time saver. Maybe we could also add a next/prev link with to the "contribute an answer" link at the bottom of the page. Just my $.02. <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 20, 1999.

Search Engine, FAQ

-- searching (for@engine.faq), March 21, 1999.

What and where is GNIABFI ??? I assume it has to do with North. Thanks

-- Taz (, March 21, 1999.

GNIABFI = Gary Morth Is A Big Fat Idiot. Needless to say, they have a somewhat different view of th2 Y2K problem than most of us here. I first came across the site about 6 months ago. I believe they had no forum at that time. I only went back because of a link in another thread here. It is the land of TROLLS! <:)=


-- Sysman (, March 21, 1999.

So much for my typing today. More coffee. MORE COFFEE! <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 21, 1999.

try the front door of Biffy, much more helpful, (and the forum post #1 is dated June of 98)

-- cluesforsale...anybuyers? (, March 21, 1999.

Poor Sysman. Would you fancy dropping by and trying out your DGI-converting skills? Promise we won't byte.

-- BigBadTrolls (, March 21, 1999.

Come on, Sissyman. We're waiting. Are you afraid?

-- BigBadTrolls (, March 21, 1999.

I for one would defect. The GNIABFI forum software is S_L_O_W. You have to sit there changing screens between every message. This significantly dampens your train of thought and the community feeling. I would even venture that it affects the quality of the communication. In fact I'm sure it does.

Maybe it's in the structure of the "GNIABFI" forum software that it is easier to number messages and have a search engine. The Greenspun forum software is very differently constructed. There are probably tradeoffs that might make some bells and whistles harder to add in this forum, in return for important things like speed of loading, and having the entire thread on one page. Another great feature I like is being able to compose my reply, look at the top message I'm responding to, and also easily click back and look at the whole train of thought of everybody on the entire thread, as I reply. There is no other internet forum I know of where you can do that.

The best software is the one that doesn't get in your way of what you're trying to do. An example is the software at the e-Bay site.

Even when this site gives "server too busy" on occasion, I notice it's never impossible to get on it. If at first I can't get on, after about five tries I'm usually on. It almost seems like the software is tracking the IP addresses as they try to get on and making sure each one gets their fair turn. I could be imagining this, though.

I'm only guessing that a search engine might be relatively more involved to create on forum software such as this, but could be completely wrong. Even adding thread numbers and message numbers could help a lot - good idea.

It might be helpful to have a notice at the top that directs people to look in the archives.

-- Debbie (, March 22, 1999.

Debbie - Yes, this site is much better overall. About the only nice things over there are the numbering and the next thread button.

BigBadTrolls - It would be a waste of my time, and yours. I do wish you guys good luck, you'll need it. I hope you're all alive next year to make fun of us. <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 22, 1999.

Interesting reply Sissyman, considering that you seem to have plenty of time to bait trolls and pollys on this NG.Just how many threads have you started, just spoiling for a fight? "Paging AES2010,,,, Paging Norm,,,, Paging Vinnie,,,," You even start new threads linking back to those old threads. jeez. If you really want to talk, come over and set a spell. Come to the land of trolls, as you put it. Only thing is, you won't have anyone to back you up. Can you handle it? And by the way, we're touched that you wish we'll still be alive to make fun of you. Has a nice doomer ring to it.

-- BigBadTrolls (, March 22, 1999.

Don't waste your time Sysman. Their latest post is about a horse named Gary North. It looks like they spent most of the day attacking Ed Yourdon and us. No news over there, just a bunch of idiots.

-- GI (, March 22, 1999.

Thanks GI. I have no plans on going over there. For one thing I'ld die of boredom. They only have about 10 new threads a day. When they can't find any "good news" they resort to name calling to keep themselves entertained. I think we're called the "swamp pit". Real intelligent crowd. <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 22, 1999.

I much prefer the format of this forum, myself. I find it vastly more useful to retrieve the entire thread at once, so I can scan through it quickly. I hate retrieving an entire HTML page for every message, since there's usually no way to tell whether it's a meaty post or a one-liner. On this forum one-liners don't get in the way, you can scan through a couple dozen of 'em in five seconds instead of five minutes.

Whether a search engine would be feasible depends on the database software Phil is using. Some databases have full-text indexing, some don't. If it doesn't it's still possible, you just have to write it all out in text files and index that, but it's a lot more work.

Anyway, as far as keeping track of interesting posts: I've just started bookmarking threads. I have a special folder in my Favorites page called Yourdon Threads. Seems easier than keeping a list of numbers somewhere.

-- Shimrod (, March 22, 1999.

"For one thing I'ld die of boredom"

We both know the REAL reason, don't we, Sissyman?

-- BigBadTrolls (, March 22, 1999.

Not being very knowledgeable in computers compared to many who post, I will add my (humble) $.02...

I have vistited other forums, but this is my daily read. Number one because the knowledge is factual and the explainations, for the most part, are within the grasp of someone not technically inclined; number two, folks on this forum provide an excellent blend of fact and humor..(if I laugh outloud sitting here every once in awhile, my DWGI family is more receptive to my comments); and third, and in relation to changing the style of the forum, which is the topic...I still battle the internet on a very old and rebuilt PB computer with a 14.4 modem. So I guess I am a bit of a computer expert on loading times of various pages. This forum is by far the fastest of the lot. Please don't change it too much.

*Don't forget to inventory your nonpower tools, handsaw, nails, lumber, plastic, chemical/oil based household products* :-)

-- cinnamon (, March 23, 1999.

to the "point and click" internet 1000+ hour 'research' crowd self appointed y2k experts:

Good, lord.... please stop wearing your ignorance on your sleeves!

Were any of you even aware that it is possible to open more than one window at a time on your browsers?!?

It's called open the mainpage...then right click on relevant threads to open in a new window....sheesh...

Or (the best way) subscribe via hypernews...all posts come to your mailbox and have links directly to them, bypassing the mainpage all together.

(the preview feature alone puts Idiot De-bunkers forum light years ahead of most...)

-- Mutha Nachu (---@oyvey...theignorance!), March 23, 1999.

"Were any of you even aware that it is possible to open more than one window at a time on your browsers?!?"

Yep of course I knew that! I usually have at least five, six or more Netscape windows open, right click where needed to multi-task all the things I am interested in. Emphasis on interested in !

-- Debbie (, March 23, 1999.

Ah well, Motha Nachu to be fair in my visits to GNIABFI I never much explored optimizing it for myself for whatever reasons, so beyond multiple windows, just never knew that stuff was there. Maybe cuz I get frustrated by the content and leave...

Did recall a few other forums that have the whole thread on one page; the Mrs. Survival forum and the old GN entrewave software, for two.

What web forums need is software that combines the best of the web and offline forum reader software. You could read online or download messages to your own database, as you can do on usenet and we still do on the :-( dying Compuserve. The web is so much more powerful, but weak in this one little way when it comes to databases. But that's changing fast...

-- Debbie (, March 23, 1999.

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