Modernizing W3C's mailing list archives
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img New feature: SPA, dynamic loading of messages Mar 9, 2016
js New feature: SPA, dynamic loading of messages Mar 9, 2016
samples
style New feature: SPA, dynamic loading of messages Mar 9, 2016
README.md

README.md

Modern Mailing List Archives

This repository is used to experiment with various approaches to modernizing W3C's mailing list archives.

Goals include:

  • 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.

Background

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)

We would like to improve the markup of our hypermail-generated archives, and possibly add a few extra features on top of that using javascript libraries that can evolve independently from hypermail's basic output.

How to contribute

Style/markup improvements

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!

Javascript code

We could also use some javascript code contributions to provide more advanced functionality, such as:

  • 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:

Feel free to raise new issues related to our archives as well.

See also proposed improvements to the mailing lists archives (2002/2003).