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[APD] APD discussion

OK, I'll crawl back out of my rocking chair by the fire.<g>

Those who know me know I'm not likely to be the first to jump on a
bandwagon.  So to be quite honest, I hadn't really visited any of the
planted tank BB's that have sprung up in the last few years. Those who
remember W-A-Y back, know that I was the section leader for the aquatic
plants section of "FISHNET" on CompuServe, from conception and through its
heyday. (before Internet was available to the masses, the choices were
C-serve or AOL) I can't remember exact numbers of posts, but I do remember
that I was buried daily.

That was a well-designed forum for its time, with excellent threading and
archives.  We also had a huge library.  It cost $60 per month and people
STILL came in droves, because we were the only game in town.  I joined APD
in the very, very early days, and was quickly won over.  While I was one of
a very few who consistently answered questions on C-serve that weren't
grossly inaccurate, (some of our understandings have changed and matured
since then, but they were "accurate" at the time<g>) on APD suddenly I had a
whole group of people who understood aquatic gardening.  They were learning
and growing, just as I was. We could all bounce ideas off one another, argue
things, occasionally from the sublime to the ridiculous (Scott mentioned
blue buckets the other day... how many of you remember that particularly
infamous APD battle?<g>)  But IMO, it was that intellectual wrangling, which
took place almost entirely on the APD, that brought the planted tank hobby
to its current state.

If you look back at European literature before that time, while they were
keeping some beautiful tanks, even the Dutch were doing it "this way because
we know it works",  with no real understanding of the science behind it.
Even the German literature of the time was off the mark in terms of the
science.  We've come a long way, baby.  And I truly believe that the APD,
arguments and all (or maybe BECAUSE of the arguments) was the driving force
behind much of it.

Getting back to the present.  Last night I DID take a look at some of the
BB's out there.  There are some very nice sites, doing some very nice work.
But I have to say that personally, though I like threaded messaging, I find
the typical BB set up to be too time consuming for me to deal with these
days.  It's also too hard to find the new posts among the old. (probably
much less so if you read the BB daily, but that's not happening for me!<g>)
With the APD, it gets dropped in my in box daily.  I can deal with it in a
number of ways.  I can ignore it for a while, and go back to it when I have
time, I can delete it if I KNOW I won't get back to it, or I can scroll
through it.  If I scroll through it, I can stop, read and respond to
anything of interest, and just bypass the others by continuing to hold down
the scroll key.
If I have skipped reading for a few days, (or weeks, sometimes) and I come
in mid-conversation on something of interest, it's easy enough to go to the
archives and find the posts that lead up to it.  It may not be the most
elegant interface, but there is something to be said for simplicity, and at
this point in my life, it suits me fine.

As far as content and message numbers are concerned, I don't mind less
volume with solid substance.  I'll take granola over corn flakes any day.<g>
I hate it that sometimes some of our "curmudgeons" give a newbie a hard
time.  But there are people with bad manners everywhere in the world.  There
are usually better mannered folk here who will jump to their defense too.  I
have met many wonderful people through the APD, some of whom have become
close personal friends through the years.  It's still my favorite place to


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