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Author Topic: Example of Google's software design skills  (Read 1072 times)
kurdt
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« on: April 27, 2010, 11:32:14 PM »

I just can't not post this... it's just awesome to hear someone with widespread authority saying out loud what smaller guys have been saying for years.

John Resig (jQuery creator): Google Groups is dead

Best pieces:
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This post isn't so much about the usefulness of mailing lists as a discussion medium, it's the complete failure of Google Groups as an adequate purveyor of public discussion software.
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When you create a public group everything will go well for a couple days, at most. Without fail an onslaught of spam will start to come through your group - I've even seen it happen within the first day. It happens to every group and doesn't matter how well you advertise it (or try to hide it). After having watched Google Groups for as long as I have I can only assume that there exists no spam filtering whatsoever. Or, if there is any, it's the most grossly incompetent spam filter I've ever seen.
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First, you may not even notice the spams coming through. Since you're likely reading the list in a competent email client (such as Gmail) it'll detect the messages and dump them into your personal spam folder. Don't be surprised if you visit your group and see a pile of spammy messages sitting there greeting your new visitors.
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For example, let's say you go to bed at the same time as someone in Tokyo attempts to post a message to the group; you won't be able to moderate the message through for many hours (and that's assuming that you moderate messages during your work day). Of course, this would assume that Google Groups actually informs the users that their message has been held in moderation. Looking through the moderation queue you can see users attempting to submit their message over-and-over again, wondering why it isn't working. Eventually they'll just give up in frustration.
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Spammers are now spoofing the email addresses of existing group participants to sneak their messages through. Previously you would've seen a delightful "FREE MOVIE DOWNLOADS" spam from "freemovies123@gmail.com" - but now you'll see it coming from existing group users - or even the group moderators themselves. This cheat completely bypasses the moderation system since the spammers are pretending to be pre-moderated users. The Google Groups system is completely fooled. This means that we (the owner and moderators of the group) have to moderate our own messages before we post, for fear of letting a spoofed spam through.
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On top of all of this, Google Groups actually strips out many of the original spam indicators from the message when it re-broadcasts it to the full list. This means that when the message finally arrives at a user's email client it actually looks like it came from the spoofed user. Since I'm currently being spoofed I've actually had a bunch of my legitimate email end up in spam folders as a result.

yeah...
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I met god and he had nothing to say to me.
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