Let's admit it. HN is not a highly polished web UI - there's not even thread collapsing. It works because it doesn't matter; we're communicating and sharing wisdom.
And for you wise-asses from the future: THIS IS NOT THE BEST WE CAN DO IN TERMS OF UI. Just like there were cutting-edge films in 1984 with lots of visual effects, we could have a much richer interface today if we wanted. We're not primitive - we don't care! In fact, future wise-ass, what have YOU built today? Why not pick a problem and solve it rather than snickering at the ancient past :)
The one thing I will agree with you on is thread collapsing, but I've installed a Chrome add-on that lets me do that.
If you've got the Stylebot plugin, this CSS:
As sad as the post is, I think it really highlights how much the world has changed in just a generation. I hope our kids look back at the world of today with similar distaste. We still have a long way to go.
If you like this website, you may also enjoy http://www.textfiles.com/, a huge collection of old text documents from the early net (especially BBSes).
I usually only pop on one of their podcasts when I'm really bored, but I followed most of that while it was happening because of an interesting effect. For some reason hearing about stuff from the past on the same calendar day and day of week just really made you connect to it more.
I saw this the other day too, and bookmarked it because it brought that cool feeling back. It's a really neat idea imo.
* lined up in terms of days of the week - so if the 3rd of March was a Monday the one year, it was the other too
Among the more substantial collections of those cycles is here:
There are a number of old Usenetters on G+, including Peter da Silva, who at one point was the most prolific poster on Usenet. And, under another identity, the third.
Some recent additions (not on the link):
Why the hell isn't there a "collapsing thread" primitive in HTML? Which I suppose calls for a threaded primitive as well.
I'm pretty much at the point I'm ready to throw in the towel and create an Internet proxy which rewrites all Web pages to strip _all_ the fucking design off of them and deliver them styled pretty much as Readability / Pocket do now.
"a nice UX" is what killed the rest of usenet (google groups anyone?)