Has anyone thought about creating a JavaRanch Big Moose Saloon desktop client which would enable people to pick specific forums using a drop down list, built-in spell checking, and widgets to insert the UBB code?
It has been discussed before, usually as a request/suggestion for an offline reader.
There are at least two major problems with off-line readers, and the same problems are likely to occur even if the thick client is used on-line:
If someone goes online once per day, and downloads all the messages in all the forums that they are interested in that have been updated, then in all likelihood, that single person will bring the servers to a crawl for everyone else. Multiply that by the potential numbers of people who visit JavaRanch each day, and multiply that by the people who would like to have their own personal copy of all the threads in all the forums, and it just becomes unmanageable.
One of the great things about JavaRanch is that someone asks a question, and someone answers it. This may then result in a further question being asked and further answers.
Take it to an off-line mode, and you have a very good chance that people will be posting answers to questions that have already been answered. And answers to questions appearing long after everyone else has moved on.Those 2 problems are pretty much killers to the whole off-line reader concept.
As for your suggested benefits:
pick specific forums from a drop-down list
There is already a drop-down list of forums in the bottom right hand corner of whatever forum you are in. So you can jump directly from the current forum (or even thread) to another forum.
built in spell checking
Firefox gives me that capability already. And not just for JavaRanch - for any site I go to where I need to type text into a field.
widgets to insert UBB code
What would this give you over the buttons that already exist underneath the entry field?Personally I am not seeing value, but I am always willing to be convinced otherwise.
Regards, Andrew [ June 14, 2007: Message edited by: Andrew Monkhouse ]
I didn't mean offline-reader, I meant offline-writer (let's someone post something quickly to a JavaRanch Big Moose Saloon forum).
For example, wouldn't it be cool, if someone had a question and they were at an airport or somewhere where there was free wireless access and they just had a draft saved or just wanted to post something (but have the full feature of making the content very customizable) quickly? They would of course reply to posts online or through the writer. The reading part is done online.