Trn is the best method I've seen for making long discussions usable on-line.
The .newsrc (a record of your preferences and what you've read) is the most crucial part.
Usenet was set up (at least by the time I was reading it) to be read on a telnet screen. Your computer probably has telnet, and you've probably never heard of it. Telnet screens were ASCII-only, and they could load pretty fast, even on a 56K dial-up connection.
The result was that it made sense to display one article (post) at a time, and that meant that a record could be kept of which posts you... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘/CTRL+F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post
The .newsrc also let you switch clients, while keeping the same records of what had been read.
This post is a place to discuss meta-level issues regarding Less Wrong. Previous thread.