Forums vs Mailing Lists

Michael Shigorin mike at
Sat Dec 31 18:17:26 GMT 2005

On Sat, Dec 31, 2005 at 04:41:23PM +0000, Ben Francis wrote:
> Has anyone ever wondered, like me, why mailing lists and forums
> are separate? What is the distinction between the two? I must
> be missing something but surely a forum should just be a web
> front end to a mailing list?

Oh no.  You might want to re-read the last week threads here,
there was a bit of discussion of a difference.

> There is software available which can create a combined forum
> and mailing list so people can either take part in discussion
> via the forums on the web site or with their favourite mail
> client and email addresses are sufficiently obfuscated or
> removed on the forums.

I know of two more or less working implementations -- gmane and
some MLM web[archive] frontends which make it possible to post
via web [for authenticated users].

Have yet to see at least one successul example of forum/list
integration (didn't lurk in any phorum-gated lists though);
and the cultural difference just is there, and only adds to
the technical problems of integration between these medii.

Happy New Year, anyways! :-)

 ---- WBR, Michael Shigorin <mike at>
  ------ Linux.Kiev

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