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  Google Groups. From Useful to Useless. 

Google just had to go and mess up a great thing. Google Groups was the greatest thing around, until Google decided to mess it up and make it totally useless.

Google recently released the new beta of Google groups. In an attempt to improve it they've gotten rid of one of the greatest things about it. I've been a long time fan of Google Groups. It provided me a quick and easy way to search my favorite newsgroups, such as microsoft.public.dotnet.languages.csharp. Granted you can still do that, but the feature I loved the most is gone. That is, the easy to read layout. The kick-butt feature of seeing the post threaded, via a tree view on the left side, or as single items is gone. The new less-readable, albeit prettier interface is a pain. It is harder to read and the threaded view & tree is no longer available. The layout is now much harder to follow and you certainly cannot jump around from post to post in a thread as quickly. Enough to make me stop using it.

However, there are some changes that are good. You can now subscribe to a group, so I see my favorite C# & ASP.NET newsgroups listed for quick access & searching. Also, in the posts, the quoted back is a hidden DIV which you can click to show (but defaults to hidden). You can also subscribe, or watch a particular thread, post replies, etc. These are good, and welcome, changes - but in my opinion they are useless without having the older, more useful features brought back.

Maybe I'll have to start using the web-based newsreader from Microsoft to do my searches, but I've never liked that either. Too slow and clunky.

You have your ears on out there Google?

Edit: Eric Bachtal commented with some info I apparently was too dense to see before. While I still miss the old Google Groups, I am glad to get back my threaded tree-list. Thanks Eric.


Leave a comment below.


  1. Eric W. Bachtal 12/6/2004 9:39 PM
    Just caught my first glimpse of it this afternoon, too. After getting over my shock and double checking my URL 2-3 times to make sure I was in the right place, I drew pretty much the same conclusions.

    But, then I clicked around some and found that the tree is still available, so it's not so bad as it seems. Here's an example:

    You should see a "view as tree" link at the top. Clicking the old "No frame" link above the tree will get you back to the straight-through view.

    Also, to view a single entry, you have to first click "show options" next to the entry's title. There you'll find an "Individual Message" link.

  2. Ryan Farley 12/6/2004 10:03 PM

    Thanks a ton for the comment. So was that link there all along and I just never noticed it? Crap. Much better. Gives me back of some of what I was missing from before. Thanks!

  3. dave 3/15/2005 7:56 AM
    yes, i quit using it too for the most part.
  4. efrg 3/20/2005 4:05 AM
    to access the old grps


    and yeahi ate the new ones
  5. Tomi Häsä 8/21/2005 7:02 AM
    Update: there have been no old GG1 sites since July 28, 2005. See
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