Gateway Q+A

Una Smith smith-una at
Thu Apr 22 20:29:38 EST 1993

Several people have sent me questions about what my proposal to allow
gateways between "external" mailing lists and bionet newsgroups.  Here
are the questions, paraphrased, with my answer to each.

"Would more subscription requests be posted to the lists/newsgroups?"


No matter where or how a mailing list is administered, it is always a
mistake to send subscription requests to the list. Some novice users will
always make this mistake, unless they have instructions in hand.  We need
to get instructions into everyone's hands, and not make the system overly
simple just to accomodate new users who lack enough information.

"Would this affect me as a list owner/discussion leader?"

Only if you want it to.

It would allow you to keep your current administrative role (which is not
now an option).  But you would still have the option of having BIOSCI
administer your mailing list.

"Would this affect me as a Usenet reader?"


"Would this affect me as an e-mail subscriber?"

Not really.

This would have a small impact on some subscribers, who would need to
keep on hand a list of their subscriptions and the address of the 
subscription server.  This is merely good record-keeping, and anyone
who has an e-mail subscription should be doing this anyway.

"Would this complicate the BIOSCI FAQ sheet?"

Not much.  Try this:

Here are the newsgroup in the bionet hierarchy:

bionet.general			Discussion about biology			Software for biology
bionet.ecology.esa		Ecological Society of America		Something else again
For an e-mail
subscription to		send the message		to	
----------------------	------------------------	---------------------	
bionet.ecology.esa	SUB ECOLOG-L <your name> 	listserv at	SUB UNAMEIT <your name>		listserv at

For all other bionet groups, send a message specifying the group or groups
you want to receive to biosci at

"Would this complicate BIOSCI's job?"

No.  It would make BIOSCI's job easier.

Some people would mistakenly send subscription requests to BIOSCI rather 
than the appropriate list server.  But BIOSCI would spend less time over
all administering lists.  And besides, any mis-directed request is an
opportunity to send the BIOSCI FAQ to someone who clearly needs a copy. :-)

Dave said:

>I have made no public statements about how NSF views the
>BIOSCI grant, i.e., startup versus maintenance, etc., so this
>"understanding," while correct, means simply that the information must
>be reaching Una because of her private queries into our grant. 

No.  I infered this from what I have read about the NSF in Science.  But
since it is true, let's make the best of these resources while they last.


      Una Smith      Biology Department       smith-una at
                     Yale University
                     New Haven, CT  06511

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