Bionet FAQ sheet (was Re: Bionet hierarchy)

Wed Apr 22 13:52:27 EST 1992

Dave Kristofferson writes:

/> 4) Even if only one FAQ sheet is ever written, post it to all the groups.
/> Otherwise, how will people who are interested in, eg, Methods and Reagents
/> know where to look for the FAQ sheet?
/This means that people who subscribe to all of the newsgroups by
/e-mail will get ***26*** copies of the FAQ sheet.  I think that the
/Frequently Asked Questions sheet would quickly become the ATFS sheet
/(read "All-To-Frequently-Seen").

Short Response: It's easier to delete 25 messages than read one that doesn't 

Longer Response: That's why there should be a separate FAQ sheet for every 
newsgroup. My feelings are that it should look something like this (eg, for 

Table of Contents

Q1. What is BIO-SOFT?
A1. (Brief summary, no longer than 3 lines (240 characters))

Q2. What kind of postings are appropriate for BIO-SOFT?
A2. ...

Q3. What kind of postings are NOT appropriate for BIO-SOFT?
A3. ...

Q4. If I want to respond to a posting, should I send it to the newsgroup as 
a whole, or just to the person who asked the question?
A4. If someone asked the question, chances are good that others will be 
interested in the answer. Always post to the newsgroup. Also, 
corrections/updates to other responses are welcome, so long as they are 
polite. For example, it's considered bad form to question the species of 
someone's ancestors in public.

Q5. Are there any FTP sites for accessing public domain software relevant 
to biologists? What are the addresses?
A5. ...

Q6. Our administrators are living in the dark ages and we can't FTP from 
here, since we only have access to Bitnet. Can I get software mailed to me?
A6. ...

Q7. I've never tried to use FTP before. How do I go about it?
A7. (This would be a long response so might best be addressed by having an 
FTP primer that can be mailed from biosci-request. Rob Harper has posted 
such primers numerous times in the past.)

Q7. I have allocated $100 for general molbio software for my 
Mac/pc/Unix/VAX/etc and would like to know which are the best programs to 
get in this price range?

Q8. Is there any software for the Mac/pc/Unix/VAX/etc. that can 
design PCR primers?
A8. ..

Q9. I want to display the 3D structure of some proteins given the atomic 
coordinates. What software is available for the Mac/pc/Unix/VAX/etc?
Qx. What is Gopher?

Qy. What is WAIS?

Qz. How do I get more information about the other biosci newsgroups, like 
what is available, and how to subscribe?
Az. Check out the FAQ sheet on biosci.announce or send an email message to 
biosci-request at

I hope you see what I'm trying to get at here, Dave. In this example, the 
first 4 questions and the last would be common to all the groups, except 
biosci.announce (the answers to the first three would be different, of 
course). By having a table of contents at the top, perhaps with some way of 
indicating new questions or answers, it won't be necessary to read the 
whole thing to see if there is anything worthwhile to the veteran 

Steve Clark

clark at  (Internet)
clark at salk               (Bitnet)

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