Why ... top-level hierarchy?

Una Smith una at doliolum.biology.yale.edu
Mon Aug 22 20:07:06 EST 1994

Peter Trei <ptrei at bistromath.mitre.org> wrote:

>* Why does bionet.* exist as a top level hierarchy: Why aren't these
>  groups under sci.bio?

Sci.bio, and much of the "big 7" culture already existed when
bionet.* was established.  All newsgroup control messages for
sci.* groups are handled by one person:  to create a newsgroup
there, David Kristofferson would have to follow the procedures
established by that administrator.

>* What's the history behind this? How long has bionet been around?  

The mailing lists (a few of them) have been around since before
late 1986 (when I got involved), and I believe it was Spring 1987
when the hierarchy was established.

>* Did it experience resistance or propagation problems when it was
>  created? It's still only around 50%.

It's sometimes been very slow going.  Princeton got the hierarchy
almost at once, because I petitioned for it.  Duke University did
not get the hierarchy until 1991, when I had to make my way up a
chain of command through several different insitutions until I got  
a feed carried all the way to Duke.  That took several months of
letter writing and waiting.  At Yale, we're having some problems;
they're created locally, but we aren't getting a feed for all of

[By the way, BIOSCI folks:  we're getting bionet.biophysics, not

The highest propagation is 45%, for bionet.general.  The average
is closer to 35%.

Basically, if a hierarchy doesn't get high propagation, it makes
a lot of work for all the little guys who want to read it there.

	Una Smith			smith-una at yale.edu

Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT  06520-8104  USA

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