bionet.bionette or bionet.women ?

David Kristofferson kristoff at
Wed Sep 2 06:28:40 EST 1992

The discussion about the name of the newsgroup is something that needs
to be resolved before the newsgroup is established and there is
nothing in our policy that prohibits renaming a group whose concept
has been approved.  It is too bad that this hit during the summer
doldrums and that no one commented during the discussion period when
this issue should have been raised.

The first point that I'd like to make, Una, is that the name did not
originate with me and that there is no need to wait for me to go on
vacation to discuss changing it.  Sorry you think that way.  I have
supported this newsgroup all along and it is a bit sad that one of the
first discussions about it begins with an assumption of male
chauvinism on my part.  This is not an auspicious beginning.

My suggestion is that Cassandra collect suggestions and provide me
with a new name if the current one is that distasteful.  We need to
get this resolved *before* we create the group.

I would vote strongly against bionet.women because the name is too
broad and will attract casual postings on women's issues that are much
broader than those related primarily to women biologists.  Please
remember that the primary purpose of the bionet newsgroups is
scientific and that this newsgroup sets a precedent which could
deviate from the purpose of bionet if it blows up into, e.g., a forum
for fighting about abortion rights.  I am very concerned that a simple
name like bionet.women might lead to exactly such deviations from the
charter of the newsgroup and the hierarchy.  bionet.bionette had the
virtue of avoiding attracting postings from casual non-scientific
readers while bionet.women would stick out excessively and imply a
broad charter.  Even though bionet.bionette was not my suggestion, I
liked the idea and still support it as a means of keeping the
newsgroup on track.  bionet.women does not work.
bionet.women-biologists might be better but women-biologists is two
characters over the 14 character limit on USENET segment names.  The
final suggestion should either fit the format "bionet.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
or break it up into bionet.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.yyyyyyyyyyyyyy where the x's
should preferably be one of the existing subhierarchies such as
"molbio", etc.

Cassandra, the ball is back in your court on this.  Please collect
comments and get back to me with a new name so that we can establish
the newsgroup.


				Dave Kristofferson
				GenBank Manager

				kristoff at

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