PHOTOSYN as a Newsgroup

Tony Travis ajt at
Sat Dec 12 17:52:03 EST 1992

In article <921210185646.MIN-LRUBa00330.bionet-news at> you wrote:
: > Why would the PHOTOSYN subscribers be any more inclined to use
: > bionet.photosyn than bionet.plants?
: I think the main answer to this was expressed by one PHOTOSYN reader.
: bionet.plants has turned out to be a fairly active newsgroup which
: covers a broad set of subjects.  It appears that at least some of the
: PHOTOSYN people don't want to get what they believe would be a lot of
: mail.  Is the low volume on PHOTOSYN really perceived as a problem by
: its readers?

I accept that bionet.plants is fairly active compared to some of the
other bionet groups, but I don't regard less than ten messages per day
to be a lot of mail.

At the risk of boring everyone to death, let me repeat that I have a
full subscription to BIOSCI coming in here as mail and "procmail" puts
it into folders for me that are periodically split into separate
articles and posted locally as bionet.* news.

Even without the local C-news it is a trivial matter to read the
folders with most mailreaders, and elm has "filter" which is similar to
procmail.  So, diverting incoming mail into mail folders automatically
is not difficult.

Despite what you hope, Dave, there is little prospect of all the
current BIOSCI email subscribers having access to Usenet news and it
seems a pity to me that, without such access, many people are
struggling to read BIOSCI with inadequate mailreaders.

However, many sites are now expiring news so quickly that it is a
positive advantage to receive the bionet traffic as mail ;-(

The issue is not really how people receive BIOSCI/bionet, but how they
read it.  Some newsreaders (eg. rn) are as difficult to use with a
newsfeed as it is to wade through dozens of messages in a mailbox using
an inadequate mailreader.

I suspect that many of the people who advocate splitting/creating
newsgroups on Usenet generally (not just bionet) are reflecting the
problems of using an inadequate newsreader.  The problem of dealing
with several hundred messages a day (eg. comp.os.linux) may justify
splitting a group, but not the traffic on bionet.plants.

I don't see the logic of justifying the creation of bionet.photosyn on
the basis of the low volume of traffic on the PHOTOSYN list?  If you
expect the majority of existing PHOTOSYN subscribers to subscribe to a
BIOSCI version of their list (ie. not reading it as news) the only
advantage I can see is that it brings PHOTOSYN to a wider (bionet)

I suggested that Jonathan posted articles from PHOTOSYN to
bionet.plants for precisely that reason, and he _has_ encouraged
PHOTOSYN subscribers to use bionet.plants but I've not seen the epic
debates about photosynthesis that I had hoped would evolve from this.

So, where does that leave PHOTOSYN as a news group?

Dr. A.J.Travis,                       |  Tony Travis
Rowett Research Institute,            |  JANET: <ajt at>
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,            |  other: <ajt at>
Aberdeen, AB2 9SB. UK.                |  phone: 0224-712751

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