COMING CHANGES: BIONEWS/bionet.announce and BIO-CHAT/bionet.general

doelz at doelz at
Tue Dec 10 01:38:30 EST 1991

In article <Dec. at>, kristoff at (David Kristofferson) writes:
> Most likely in the first quarter of next year BIOSCI/bionet will be
> undergoing some extensive reorganization.  As part of these changes,

Wouldn't it be a good idea to ask the community for suggestions? I imagine 
that the 'use and abuse' of the bionet.general was an expression of the 
(admittedly historical, but not ideal) current hierarchy. I certainly would
like to have specialized forums for particular software packages 
(why not feed INFO-GCG into here?) which are discussed on mailing lists 
only. I really hate to get all the bitnet hierarchy just because of one 
or two other newsgroups. 

> bionet.general will officially become a "free forum" where people can
> chat and brawl to their heart's content.  The e-mail name for the list
> will probably be changed from BIONEWS to something like BIO-CHAT.

This is an idea which is worth being discussed, at least. I think that 
the more simple a change will be the better the result - and redirecting 
names but keeping the old for a new purpose doen't likely become a good 

> BIONEWS will be associated with a new USENET newsgroup called
> bionet.announce which will be a ***fully moderated forum***.  Current

Wow :-)    Who's going to do that job???

> e-mail subscribers to BIONEWS/bionet.general will be automatically
> subscribed to the new BIONEWS/bionet.announce newsgroup, but e-mail
> postings from the new BIO-CHAT/bionet.general newsgroup will only be
> sent to people who request e-mail subscriptions.  Anything deemed not
> appropriate for the moderated bionet.announce newsgroup will not be
> (shudder) censored but will instead be redirected to bionet.general.
> This will allow those who subscribed to BIONEWS/bionet.general as a
> more serious, lower volume forum to limit their receipt of messages to
> bionet.announce postings.  The new bionet.general forum will give a
> forum to those who desire one for discussing whatever in biology is of
> interest to them.  People who subscribe to the new newsgroup will do so
> with the knowledge that they will be receiving postings on a wide
> variety of topics.  The other BIOSCI/bionet newsgroups will continue
> to serve their *specialized* purposes, and we will request that
> discussions on specialized newsgroups that are "off the topic" be held
> instead on bionet.general.  Although these requests to shift to
> bionet.general will undoubtedly still greatly annoy some people, we
                                                              who is 'we' ?
> need to take such actions to avoid annoying the greater number of our
> readers who don't want to engage in flame wars or
> stream-of-consciousness discussions, but instead want to read messages
> about topics to which they have subscribed.

I had to read that twice (at least) to catch the idea. I am not in favour 
of it. Despite the huge work implied, it is so complicated that the 
'ordinary bench chemist' who usually doesn't deal with NEWS gets confused.
With respect to the recent discussion on the future f BIONEWS, is that 
affair a reaction to a response from the money-spending agencies? 

Again, I don't think that the newsgroups belong to an individual who 
is authorized to do what he/she wants. This is by no means disregarding
the effort Dave and all the others have put into it but I doubt that 
this is the right way of improving things. We always had to 'vote' for 
a new newsgroup, and suddenly everything becomes changed just because 
of one single decision? 

> Happy Holidays to friend and foe alike; peace on earth, goodwill to
> persons.

Same to you all. I would like to see less war in the world of 1992. 


    Dr. Reinhard Doelz            *     EAN     doelz at
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