Structure of bionet
una at doliolum.biology.yale.edu
Mon Aug 22 20:46:17 EST 1994
James Mahaffy <mahaffy at dordt.edu> wrote:
>... The noise level [in bionet.*] is quite low. Maybe that is
>because as Dave said it is more centrally run.
How is it more centrally run than, say, any "big 7" newsgroup
that has a mailing list attached? James, can you explain why
you thought this? I'm not being critical: I'm just curious
why you think the "centrality" described by David affects what
is posted here.
>But who runs it? ...
To expand on the earlier replies to this question,
BIOSCI runs all the mailing lists (handles subscriptions) and
keeps the gateways open, and runs one of the estimated 100,000
Usenet servers that carry bionet.*. And David Kristofferson
also moderates bionet.announce, controls which proposals will
appear on bionet.announce, collects votes on proposals, and
sends out control messages to create new newsgroups. His site
also has an Internet archive that, along with several others,
archives the bionet.* traffic. The archive has several other,
Thus, David Kristofferson and the others who run net.bio.net
are doing on one machine a variety of completely independent
but complimentary tasks. These tasks, were they performed on
a part-time volunteer basis, like most other Internet and
Usenet services, might involve 50 people. BIOSCI does some
of everything. And that's a lot!
>The big 7 were originally funded by government weren't they?
No. They are a grass-roots community enterprise begun by some
computer science graduate students in North Carolina (see "What
is Usenet?" and several other FAQs in news.answers).
>Or does it go back to the bitnet days when Universities
>were sharing by lists and not newsgroups?
No. You're thinking of the LISTSERV mailing lists. They are
still around (there are many thousands of them), and several
hundred of them are gated to newsgroups in bit.listserv.*.
Also, a number of them are gated to "big 7" newsgroups, inc.
sci.bio.ecology and sci.bio.technology (see news.lists for a
complete list, "Mailing Lists Available in Usenet".)
>By the way, I don't see a lot of overlap in the groups. ...
There isn't much point in duplicating newsgroups that already
>One of the main differences I see is fewer groups on bionet, but
>last couple of years have shown a great increase in the number.
Bionet.* now has 49 (says my .newsrc file), and sci.bio.* has 6.
Una Smith smith-una at yale.edu
Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8104 USA
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