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Main Page Comments

Sep 16, 2008 at 11:30 PM
This is a copy of all comments added to the main page of the project as of 9/16/2008.  I want to clean up that front page, but not lose any of the content.


yousaid wrote  Feb 26 at 10:40 AM
Ok, this is a great idea, but while you are it, why not write a Forum Application that includes the features you have listed? Remember ASPNET FORUMS? It was a great tool that is now sold as community server by Telligent. Rob Connery, the Subsonic guy already has a starter that can be expanded.
The way I see it, in addition to MSDN and other MS forums, a developer may be interested in viewing other forums offline. To develop that, the developer will need MS tools, etc, meaning more VS2008 copies sold !

PaoloTCS wrote  Feb 27 at 4:30 AM
There are a few grammatical errors, do those count?

pauldomag wrote  Feb 27 at 1:12 PM
Count me in!

tfl wrote  Mar 1 at 4:15 AM
I have read the scope document with interest. When I get a moment, I'll provide detailed comments via an annotated doc.

I am very dissapointed with the statement that "We are hoping as an organization to be able to phase out the newsgroups with the help of the FC to enable customers who enjoy the newsgroup style of interaction only using the forums as the data source rather than newsgroups."

As your MVPs have been telling you loudly and clearly - building a new client is not really the best way to help Microsoft's forum users. Many of those users use the forums to get answers to their questions, and to get the best out of Microsoft products. for them, the on-line forums are a great resoruce. Microsoft a 3000-strong team of MVPs, but many of them use the NNTP newsgroups. I've never seen any issue on which the MVPs are so unanimous! Please re-think the strategy.

This project faces two significant challenges: first MS have to derive, build and deliver a scalable open API set. In effect, they have to re-invent NNTP and that is just not easy. Secondly, they need to build a rich, reliable, robust client in order to meet the needs of both the users of the content and the creators of that content. Pleasing the first group is more straightforward and a lot simpler than satisfying the second group. In effect, this project seeks to build, from scratch, a new forums API client that is as rich, reliable and usable as exsiting NNTP clients (such as Forte Agent, Turnpike, Gravity and even Outlook express).

The best way forward would be to re-use existing NNTP to Web forum gateways (such as the one being used to support MCTs), then focus on building a great on-line client. That way, casual questioners (follks who come over, ask a question and leave when it's answered) can continue to use the web interface, while the content providers (MVPs and others) could use their client of choice. And if a forums client that is non NNTP based still makes busienss sense, then go for it. Better yet, with NNTP in place, why not make OE a really great product?

I will watch this project with interest. Sadly I do not have much faith it'll be successful, but I'm happy to provide detailed comments as and when.

Thomas Lee

albertpascual wrote  Mar 20 at 1:53 PM
Would that work as well with Community Server forums?
Al Pascual

dcsoft wrote  Mar 27 at 5:11 PM
This sounds like a great project for the lucky people on the dev team. But while I would drool over the chance to start from scratching using the latest stuff like WPF and WCF, what I suggest is grabbing the source code to any of the popular NNTP newsreaders that you have access to. Go across the hall (or freeway) and grab a copy of the Outlook Express (or Windows Mail) code if you don't have any other, then modify it to use the forum API's. That's it. This would be educational to see how little you have to do give us a product that serves our needs quickly.

Thank you,
David Ching
Microsoft Visual C++ MVP

bliengme wrote  May 2 at 6:06 AM
At Summit there was a v ery shrill women who hindered discussion. When I compare answering question using Outlook Express vs Internet Explorer these are my concerns. I hope they might help with your design.
0) Peole having questions like to use websites not newsgroups; so the problem is with those who answer not those who ask
1) Hard to see the question while answering it on website
2) Cannot flag a question so as to follow other answers
3) Cannot save another person's answer as a file - helpful for building 'canned' replies.
4) No spell check - I am poor speller and terrible typist
5) In OE, one used CTRL+H to see all one's postings (good for egoists!) Helpful finding an answer to similar Q that you replied to weeks ago.
In general: why are there so many Excel groups/communities? We need i) Excel general; ii) Excel Charting and iii) Excel VBA (not 'programming' which confuses novices)

Bernard Liengme
Microsoft Excel MVP

artfudd wrote  May 8 at 11:40 AM
I read the documentation about the proposed Forums Client, and while it appears it might be a step in the right direction (aside from syncing forums to NNTP readers like OE, WMail & WLMail - which IMO would be the best way to go), however.. maybe I am missing something, but I fail to see how this proposed Forums Client will address the problem I stated - that of being able to monitor and post to many forums quickly and easily like we can do now with NNTP readers like Windows Mail. The problem is that if you insist (as stated in the documentation) on moving away from NNTP altogether - for whatever mysterious reason - then there needs to be a method of making the browsing and participating in many forums as quick and easy as it is now with WMail etc..

I see from other feedback in various places that most MVPs agree with my take on this... Why should we have to spend 12 to 15 hours a day to monitor and participate in say 20 forums (as an example), compared to being able to spend maybe 4 or 5 hours to monitor and participate in say 20 NNTP newsgroups like we can now?

When will a beta of this Forums Client be available for testing? Without a model to test, it is very difficult to understand exactly what you propose and whether it will address these concerns. Just being able to access forum content offline, while important to some, is not IMO the major concern here. Being able to access and monitor and participate in multi different forums in the quick and easy fashion we can now with NNTP, *is* the major concern as I see it.

GaryVand wrote  May 23 at 2:58 PM
When you say "We are hoping ... to be able to phase out the newsgroups," which particular newsgroups are you talking about?

artfudd wrote  Jun 10 at 4:29 PM
GaryVand.. I think they intend to phase out *all* MS NNTP newsgroups by the sound of it............. a really really BIG mistake IMO.. They stand to lose a vast number of knowledgeable contributers..

There doesn't appear to be much progress on this project at any rate.... so it looks like (at this pace) it will take 10 years to implement this new forums client, and phase out NNTP... :)

larsw wrote  Jun 30 at 12:37 PM

Ferglo wrote  Aug 7 at 7:51 AM
for es-Es it does not works do you know why?

iwhp1 wrote  Aug 7 at 8:49 AM
This is a intressting project and I hope it will start a broder discussion about the features the forums should provide. I believe missing the NNTP support is not a good idea since there are many products out which support NNTP. What should also be considered is to where this client functionality should be implemented. Does it realy need to be another software product. What about OE, Outlook, IE, etc. There are just to many places one can store NewsFeeds, blogs, Links, etc. Also for the client side caching the point of having multiple computers should be considered. If I read a thread and therefore the thread is marked as read on one computer, it should also be marked as read on another computer I am using, e.g. having blogs in Outlook does solve this issue...
Cheers Harry

Malke wrote  Aug 8 at 6:38 AM
Is this going to be cross-platform and usable in any browser? Because if this is a Windows-only executable, forget it. I'm not going to switch to using Windows just to provide free tech support in Microsoft user forums. I like using NNTP but would consider helping in forums if it were as easy as using a newsreader. But certainly I'm not going to turn on and use a Windows machine just for this. - Malke, MS-MVP

GarthMJ wrote  Aug 8 at 7:35 AM
when will all TechNet forums be available via this reader? Currently if only does a few forums and none of these are forums are ones that I working in, therefore I can't provide any real world data other than. It is slow to get the list for forums and it crashes on 64bit OS when adding a forums to review.

skannan wrote  Aug 8 at 10:50 AM
You can view the TechNet forums by selecting "Technet" brand. But as I said in my email to GrathMJ, the list of available forums through this application is limited by what is exposed through the Forums API and should match to what you find at

Leo_MVP wrote  Aug 11 at 10:31 AM
It does not support Chinese?

MVP_Udo_Laumann wrote  Sep 4 at 12:57 PM
What I've seen for now looks promising, but the amount of extra to install software will lower its acceptance.

All I can say: Always remember the K.I.S.S principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid). All solutions which need a lot of extra installations, configurations and setting before running a software, will discourage users of its use. Users want to click on a setup file, submitting few necessary information for the setup and then work with the software. You have to install 4 different programs less before you can start with your work.

Why so complicate? Look when you run a forum, there's any SQL (mostely MySQL) server running in behind. The front end is an easy to use and handy GUI which allows you to navigate easily from one topic to another. IPB and pHpBB are some welknown examples for such an easy to use software. I know MS has a wonderful SQL server and lot of other brilliant tools to create a nice GUI, so why developing the wheel again and not using the ressources which are still there.
MVP Udo Laumann - Germany -

MVP_Udo_Laumann wrote  Sep 4 at 1:03 PM
Something I forgot in my topic before:
Everyone runs a browser, so why not using an interface running it via a browser? Makeas it much easier for all using this software.

interactive wrote  Sep 8 at 3:07 AM
Here's my opinion: why starting developing of a new application that everybody needs to install? We have Windows Mail, Live Mail, Outlook Express, Outlook 2007, online version of hotmail/,... why do we need another tool for doing the same stuff? As Udo comments I would see a online version, too, which is capable to save it for offline reading. Why not using Silverlight or WPF? And, of course, we need writing and not only reading!!

MVP_Udo_Laumann wrote  Sep 10 at 1:57 PM
Something more to think about: The perfect connection to access such a forum are DSL like connections. But what will members do without such a fast connection line, when being on a business trip f.e.? Not everyone has access to such a fast line.

There was a discussion about this client in our German MVP forum and lot of the tester's feedback was: slow loading, not handy enough and replying to a topic nearly impossible. I second interactives words, give Silverlight, WPF a try.. I know you can do that ;)

MVP Udo Laumann - Germany -

skannan wrote  Today at 9:51 AM
Thanks for sharing your feedback Udo Laumann. We are still in preview stage of this project and we do understand their are performance issues with the API. The API team is working on addressing those.

>>replying to a topic nearly impossible

Well we still don't have that functionality in the client. It is very much in the plan. There had been some schedule changes on the Forum API side so we plan to release a July CTP refresh for the reader and work on write capabilities in our next CTP. You should see an update from me on the timelines soon.