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Re: [tor-talk] General questions about Tor proxy

On 5/19/2014 1:26 PM, Akater wrote:
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Some people think the only valid / conceivable form
of community / comms on the net are 'forums'.
Well, they're free to set one up.
No pro-forum argument, but one can see why someone would prefer forums
to mailing lists. Some reasons can be clearly identified. And it's true
for other forms of communication.
I'm not avidly pro list or forum for something like Tor. There are pros & cons, no matter what format is used.

Mailing lists aren't as user friendly to search old topics. Yes, there's an archive.
It's not a friendly / easy to search as forums with (good) software.

Mailing lists (& email) are harder to follow on longer topics - where one wants to actually follow the entire thread.

On forums or similar layout, it's all laid out on one page (often can specify # of comments to a page). In email, even in "conversation view," have to move from one response to next to next.

Sometimes, people top post or bottom post in mailing lists (no amt of reminders will ever change this).
In forums, the posting format is fixed.

It's much more difficult to quotes & use certain other formatting for the plain text mailing list messages (and keep the formatting easy to read). Attachments or images aren't possible in plain text mailing lists (except thru links).

I know nothing about *difficulty of maintaining* mailing lists vs. forums. I'd assume mailing list is easier. However, many small (one man), open source freeware devs choose forums over mailing lists. Probably because they think it's easier / more useful for many users - for various reasons. Some small devs may make a little $ off adds on their sites (an incentive to set up forum), but many of them have few trackers on their sites, to deliver the ads; many like that may barely break even. But, I guess ? they think a forum is important enough to warrant it? Not sure.

My guess is, a properly run, well-supported forum would attract more "avg" users to Tor. It's a more familiar way for them to get help & self help. One question is, w/ the current complexity* of the browser / network & support from a mailing list, will numbers of Tor users keep growing at fast enough pace to grow the network, so it will become easier to get lost in the crowd? Continually adding large numbers of users likely means attracting avg technical capability users? *IF* ... the decision is, Tor doesn't want / need avg users (for various reasons), so be it.

*Complexity: Not in the installation or connecting to Tor network, but in correct browser use, so anonymity isn't blown. Complexity of torrifying other apps, etc. All the things that require more technical ability than most avg users have.

Yes, these things are easy to regulars here, or to programmers, etc. Those types of things are Greek to avg users & the lack of a single, well laid out, up to date user / help manual will likely stop the vast majority of avg users from ever trying it. Not belittling anyone - just observations, from having worked w/ many "avg users."

If ever there was a "seriously complicated, difficult & vitally important" software, that probably needs more support than a mailing list typically gives, it has to be Tor.

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