Recently, some interesting projects emerged that make the vision of exchanging distributed information from mailinglists more and more true. ZZ/OSS has the vision that one day it will be able to reuse a certain mailinglist post or thread in an online publication or forum for example, and automatically preserve the relation with the mailinglist. Mailinglist Networks are one step towards interchangeable information – no matter from which source it comes. We develop the Content Network System to become a supportive software architecture for this purpose.
1. RSS Feeds
There are mailinglist archives/scripts available that offer RSS feeds aka XML annotated threads for harvesting. Take for example the mailman-archive-to-rss.txt script or Archive.
Contextual relations between threads and postings are often hard to grasp once a discussion involves many contributors and goes over a long period of time. With Apache Agora, Stefano Mazzocchi has written a Java Applet to visualize social relationships in a community by analyzing the postings, especially the replies, to that community’s mailinglist.