Re: Why are we still using trn? ... trn culture

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I use trn because the whole thread-tree-centric interface is so
perfect for my brain; I'd love to understand the psychology behind
it.  While I'm using trn, mainly pressing n <spacebar> { - k J
<comma> <left>, each single keypress is very closely associated in
my mind with the effect on the tree diagram.  It's as though I am
physically adjusting the device.  I've noticed maybe 10 or so
people over the years post comments indicating they have the same
"makes me want to do cartwheels" reaction to trn as I have, but for
the rest of the world it seems a complete miss.  Even when I try
to carefully demonstrate its benefits, I always get the "Huh? So
what?" response:  They'd rather use hotmail.  (And then there are
the newsgroup moderators whose software destroys Ref/IRT headers
... )  I've been known to argue that a discussion of the same
subject among the same participants would be significantly higher
quality with fewer doh!s if everyone used trn, because of the
increased awareness of the big picture, including the obvious
indicator of how many people have already responded to this
message, and the ease with which you can jump to the parent, root,
and previous message to avoid attribution and context errors.

What is the history of the tree diagram?  Who
conceived/designed/implemented it?  Was it inspired by some
previous software or transcription method?  Something from

trn culture has provided some memorable expressions:  I
particularly enjoyed explanations that begin with "trn believes
..." and responses to "How do I defeat the 4-line sig limit?", as
well as the "are you absolutely sure?" jokes like

Perhaps if some renewed development happens you can encourage the
IPv6 stuff and cleanups proposed by Rhialto in October (His ISP
rejects any mail I send: have others contacted him?)

For those who find it depressing to be participating in a
discussion about trn using software designed for private email
messaging, try using your favorite newsreader at

Many thanks to Wayne and the others for such great software, and
special thanks to Colin for "apt-get install trn4".

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