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Jun 28, 2006 05:56 PM

Miss tree view - how about an NNTP interface?

First: I hate the topic font size, the paltry 20 topics per page limit, the wasted space on sidebars and headers. Enough people have complained about this that you should be on the case.

Moving on, though, one thing I find myself sorely missing is the ability to see, at a glance, who's responded to topics and in what pattern. (i.e. popular topics may be flat, with lots of replies from different people, or deep with back-and-forth bickering between two users, or another shape entirely)

This was possible with the simple but brilliant tree view of the old chowhound. User tracking is not an adequate replacement. Have you considered an NNTP (newsgroup) interface to chowhound so we can interact with the discussions in our own preferred interface? This would be a service I'd consider paying for.

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  1. I'm finding that I miss the message tree too, but it's not going to happen. Welcome to the world of CNET!

    1. I beyond whole-heartedly agree with everything the original poster stated. In addition, I noticed the threads becoming "flatter." I believe this is due to people clicking the HUGE "ADD YOUR OWN" button when replying, instead of hitting the small "reply" button that belongs to the actual post the person is replying to.

      Along the lines of nesting. When you are reading a large topic that does nest, then you get one 3 levels higher, its much harder to find what post that one related to.

      I love chowhound. But, I am getting weary of this. I don't know what to do. I am leaving for China for a month and was excited to document the trip and report back, but I don't know, the wind has been taken out of my sails.

      1. The site has RSS feeds. You could parse those any way you like.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          where are the feeds? I don't see where I can subscibe...but I'm just getting a feed, right? I still have to come back here to post, correct?

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Have you ever used the RSS feeds? They don't even give the number of replies to a topic - they just give the original title and description, without even the original poster.

            RSS is not even on the same planet as a substitute.

            1. re: terrier

              "Number of replies" is meaningless in an RSS feed as it's a moving target.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Thanks, that's what I was getting at. I miss the tree view. RSS doesn't get me there. It's not the same thing as NNTP. Why suggest RSS?

                Or did you mean I should write my own Chowhound screen-scraper that used the RSS feed as a starting point? Because that's just silly - I have a job and a life already, and will move over to Mouthfuls or eGullet before I bother coding against a moving target out of my control for marginal benefit. I'd rather pay Chowhound a nominal sum for their trouble and have them do the right thing.

                1. re: terrier

                  Wow...i was thinking of doing just that....using ROME to get the feeds and build my own interface...then I thought what you did...job, wife, life...interesting proposition..but not worth the maintenence....