One more point which I forgot to include in the last message: I have
said on many occasions that bionet.software can be used to discuss GCG
software as well as DNAStar, Textco, IG, ABI, Hitachi, etc., etc. GCG
responds to the INFO-GCG forum, and there is no reason why they can't
also comment in bionet.software when questions are raised about their
products; the same holds for any other company. People at GCG
actively read the BIOSCI newsgroups and have been on our mailing lists
for a long time.
By keeping the discussion in a general software forum instead of
specifically naming companies, this also minimizes the chances that
some group that doesn't have its own forum will complain of bias or be
singled out for trashing. Given an average during 1992 of six
postings a day to bionet.software (its obviously higher now than at
the start of '92), there seems little reason to fragment this
newsgroup further into bionet.software.gcg, .ig, .dnastar, etc.
If anyone has the idea that BIOSCI is somehow an "IG" forum, that is
totally ridiculous. Every forum on the network is wide open to
everyone for reading and posting. I should also note that, besides
exchanging e-mail, I have met and talked with John Devereaux of GCG on
many occasions such as during GenBank advisory meetings, and we both
get along fine. Some of you out there are reading more intrigue and
skullduggery into this whole affair than the facts warrant.
My personal opinion being said, however, Reinhard, if you or someone
else wants to put together a proposal for a new newsgroup for GCG or
any other company, please feel free to do so. I include the rules
below for your reference.
kristoff at net.bio.net
Newsgroup Creation Policy
For full-fledged BIOSCI newsgroup status (also see "prototype" rules below):
Proposals for new groups must contain a statement of purpose for the
group and the name of a person designated as discussion leader unless
the group is in the service category such as METHODS, EMPLOYMENT, etc.
Discussion leaders are responsible for ensuring that a reasonable
level of activity is sustained on the newsgroup (see Newsgroup
Termination Policy below). The discussion leader can also propose the
creation of moderated newsgroups if he/she agrees to serve as
moderator (this requires access to USENET news software at the
moderator's site). Proposals should be sent to
biosci at genbank.bio.net.
When a proposal is received it will be posted on
BIONEWS/bionet.announce. A ten day period for discussion on
BIOFORUM/bionet.general will follow and precede the call for votes.
After the discussion, the person proposing the newsgroup may modify or
withdraw the proposal prior to the call for votes. The modified
proposal will then be included in a call for votes on
BIONEWS/bionet.announce. The proposal must collect 80 YES votes in 30
days and the number of YES votes must exceed the number of NO votes by
at least 40 to pass.
BIOSCI management must be informed in advance of any intended efforts
to advertise the newsgroup proposal in other forums. While BIOSCI
wishes to inform potential users of the creation of newsgroups that
might be of interest to them, promotional efforts should be focussed
in forums likely to be utilized by professionals in the subject area
covered by the newsgroup proposal, and should seek participation in
the discussion of the proposal within bionet.general/BIOFORUM rather
than promoting separate discussions in other forums to which portions
of the BIOSCI readership may not have ready access.
If a proposal is not passed by the readers, there will be a three
month period before it can be brought up for another vote.
Newsgroup Termination Policy
Any group with less than 52 msgs in the previous calendar year will be
put on notice by posting an announcement to the newsgroup (not to
bionet.announce) that it faces cancellation. It can be reprieved if
80 readers respond within two weeks (this policy will be stated in the
termination announcement). It then has two months to reach a usage
level of one message per 3 days or else it will be abolished. Appeals
to the BIOSCI management about high content albeit low volume on the
group will be considered.
BIOSCI "prototype" newsgroup creation policy
We will be happy to establish and administer a straight *mailing* list
*without* an associated USENET newsgroup for a six month trial period
for anyone that wants to try to form a new electronic community in the
biological sciences (We stress that the topics are limited to
professional communications though.).
The mailing lists will be maintained *initially* only at net.bio.net
instead of at both BIOSCI sites. It will be the responsibility of the
person who proposes the list to get it up and running within the six
month period. They will have to handle promotion; our involvement at
BIOSCI at net.bio.net will be limited to creating the list, putting
out one announcement about it, and handling subscription requests.
After six months, the list will be put out for discussion and a vote
according to our procedures for full-fledged newsgroups above (unless
the organizer decides to bow out). If it passes it will become a
full-fledged BIOSCI newsgroup at both net.bio.net and daresbury.ac.uk
and will also have a parallel USENET newsgroup. If it fails, the
prototype mailing list at net.bio.net will be shut down.
Note that this service does not preclude people who have an idea that
has widespread appeal from following our current newsgroup creation
policy and going to a vote after a 10 day discussion.
If you have an idea for a prototype newsgroup, please send it to
biosci at net.bio.net.