Modern Mailing List Archives
This repository is used to experiment with various approaches to modernizing W3C's mailing list archives.
- improve readability of default styles (incl. proportional fonts)
- improve usability on mobile devices
- provide a thread view that spans hypermail's period boundaries
- provide a flattened view of message threads (all messages on one page)
- preserve the stable URIs for messages in W3C's existing archives
See How to contribute below for how to contribute to this project.
W3C uses hypermail to manage its archives, and while we could consider switching to something else, doing so would be quite disruptive so it seems unlikely to happen. (though that is up for discussion)
How to contribute
We could use contributions in a number of areas:
- simple markup improvements to the current archives: HTML5, mobile-friendly; think non-controversial changes. This is tracked/discussed as issue #1. Existing proposals:
- markup to display the structure of a message thread along with a message. This needs to work well with threads that contain anywhere from 3 messages to 200 messages or more. (but probably best to optimize for 5-20 or so) @gosko's proposal includes a sample of what this might look like.
- radical proposals for better archive UIs: in addition to simple markup fixes we should consider what usability improvements we can make by adding more advanced features, even if they prove to be infeasible. Upvote/downvote features? Inline textareas for responses? Please submit any ideas you might have!
- retrieving, parsing and displaying a message's thread structure in a useful way.
- code to show or hide the thread structure along with a message.
- code to switch to/from a flattened view of a message thread.
- code to intelligently prettify an email message (switch to proportional font, judiciously hide quoted text, allow quoted text to be toggled visible/invisible)
- code to allow for efficient navigation of message threads using simple keystrokes a la gmail.
Discuss open issues
W3C staff and collaborators are welcome to give their opinions on the open issues within this repository, including topics such as:
- should we continue to use hypermail?
- what should archived messages look like by default?
- what is the best way to integrate a flattened view of message threads?
- should we add some kind of thread navigation widget?
Feel free to raise new issues related to our archives as well.