JP Software pays a company called SparkLIST to provide JP Software's customer support forum. SparkLIST provides mailing list hosting services, and uses software called Lyris ListManager to do so.
What SparkLIST doesn't tell you is that Lyris ListManager is a terribly broken piece of software that doesn't interoperate at all well with the world's mail and news tools because it doesn't do various things correctly.
You may have hit one or more of these problems. If so, you are not the first to have done so. Many of JP Software's customers, over a period of almost three years now, have expressed to JP Software their frustration with the faults in the software that drives its customer support forum.
One might think to blame the client softwares for the problems. But these problems aren't at the client end. Changing one's ISP, User Agent, or local news server software won't fix these problems, because these problems are in Lyris ListManager. The only way that these problems will ever get fixed is if JP Software complains to SparkLIST about its defective service and SparkLIST in turn complains to Lyris.
JP Software has not done so, however. Instead, its tactic is fourfold:
To blame the client softwares for the problems, of course.
if any user's email, web, or news client can't handle something as basic as this Forum, it's probably time to switch to a new client- Mike Bessy, JP Software Technical Support, 2003-06-14 20:07:47 -0500
To simply switch from one Lyris ListManager shop to another, in the vain hope that the problems inherent in the forum distribution software itself will magically go away if one switches between different companies all using the same broken software.
To (in the case of the problem where Lyris ListManager breaks threading) outright deny the way that threading is supposed to work in mail
The Message-ID is not the proper header to use for email "threading", [...]despite the many explanatory articles dealing with threading in mail such as this one by Dan Bernstein, and despite of RFC 2822 § 3.6.4; all of which clearly say that mail does have threads, and that the Message-ID: header (along with the References: header) is the proper header to use for threading mail messages together.
A "threaded email client" is somewhat of a misnomer.
Because email has no intrinsic threading, [...]
- Mike Bessy, JP Software Technical Support, 2003-06-14 10:20:46 -0500
To tell each new person encountering the same problems in Lyris ListManager that no-one else has seen a problem, making them think that they are alone in their experience and thus doubt themselves or their softwares,
I have yet to see any credible report of a legitimate problem.despite the same several problems having been observed and reported in detail (in many instances showing exactly what Lyris ListManager is doing wrong and how that is causing problems, contrary to the claim that there have been no "credible" reports) by many people over the space of the past three years, including "ddunfee", Gisle Vanem, Rolf Jentsch, CB Falconer, Bill McCarthy, R.A.G. Seely, James M. Prange, Gary Welles, ...- Mike Bessy, JP Software Technical Support, 2003-06-23 07:52:06 -0500
Ironically, the Usenet comp.os.msdos.4dos newsgroup is accessible as a newsgroup, via a web interface, and via electronic mail, and doesn't suffer from any of the problems that JP Software's support forum has because of Lyris ListManager. According to JP Software, however, its problems that make it unsuitable as a forum are:
Off-topic messages and junk mail.
Inability for JP Software to reject any unwanted content.