Bionet hierarchy

Dave Kristofferson kristoff at GENBANK.BIO.NET
Mon Apr 13 15:10:34 EST 1992


On USENET news systems the newsgroup names correspond to directory
structures under the main news directory, e.g., there is a bionet
directory on the same level as comp, sci, etc. and then for example
one would find bionet/molbio/genbank using typical UNIX directory
nomenclature.  We try to fit new names within existing directory
structures (hence bionet.biology.used-equipment places one
used-equipment subdirectory under the existing bionet/biology
directory while bionet.equipment.recyle creates two new directories)
when its is not too artificial, but there is no denying that the
bionet structure is influenced by its initial molbio roots.

Whether it is worth while reorganizing the whole thing at this point
is debatable.  I personally have no strong reservations from the end
user perspective but a lot of systems people do not like shifting the
directory structure around and it would also complicate archiving.

In summary, these are not just arbitrary names that we can change at
will.  The names are a direct representative of the UNIX news file
structure as it exists on hundreds (actually thousands) of machines.

Kenton Hoover, our USENET systems programmer, also says (staring over
my shoulder) that these reorganization attempts are usually
short-lived successes.  Regardless of the structure decided upon there
usually happens along people or new circumstances that either disagree
with the chosen structure soon thereafter or come up with situations
that don't fit well within the chosen heirarchy.

I guess in light of this I'd have to ask what would we really gain by
merely shifting the names around?

Dave





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