The view from "outside of bionet.*

Dave Mack dmack at
Mon Aug 29 14:21:38 EST 1994

In article <33lh2l$np6 at>,
Ken Sallenger <ken at> wrote:
>In <CMM. at>, Dave K. refers to:
>>...appealing in newsgroups outside of the bionet domain to news
>>administrators who have little understanding of our issues...
>Having been out of town for a week, I'm scrambling to catch up on
>this most interesting thread.
>I'm not a biologist, but a news administrator.

Me too. Pleased to meet you.


>			*	*	*
>	Ok, here's my tuppence.  Some thoughts on how bionet.*
>might make life easier for the news administrator.
>One thing I miss in the bionet hierarchy is a clearly-identified place
>for issues of propagation, group policy, new group discussion.... 
>Something corresponding to bit.admin or ieee.config.
>When I acquired a bionet feed, I checked the newsgroup descriptions but
>did not deduce that it was lumped with "General BIOSCI discussion".
>Of course I subscribed to bionet.announce.
>I found the info sheet, which told me this group was for "Discussions
>about biological topics for which there is not yet a dedicated
>newsgroup."  Still didn't click.
>Not until much later did I get around to reading the FAQ list which
>told me unequivocally to look in bionet.general.  Oh well, I'm here

I agree on this point. I am considering proposing the formation of
two new newsgroups: bionet.groups for the discussion of bionet
newsgroup creation and bionet.admin for the discussion of Usenet
administrative issues specific to the bionet hierarchy. Not only
would this help administrators trying to deal with bionet.*, it
would also get the discussion of these issues out of bionet.general,
leaving it free for discussions of actual biology.

Of course, both of these groups would have to be voted on in
accordance with the bionet charter.

>Second, I had a regular expression in my config files to catch
>authorized newgroup messages.  About a month ago, I realized it was
>missing some or all of the bionet newgroup control messages.  
>Apparently the address from which they were posted had changed, either
>temporarily or permanently.
>My original entry was based on the example in the INN distribution;
>so there were probably many other sites using the same config.
>It would be nice to know (and I looked in the FAQ/info) what set of
>addresses issue the official control messages, so that I can be sure
>the newgroup takes effect automagically, in case I am behind on

Right again. Many of the bionet control messages in the past came
from "shibumi at" (Kenton Hoover.) Kenton is no longer
with BIOSCI, but still uses the "shibumi" username, so we aren't
posting under that one anymore - that way no one can blame Kenton
for what goes wrong :-).

FYI: control messages from the US portion of BIOSCI should come
from either "dmack at" or "kristoff at".

I'll add this information to whatever document Dave K deems most

>Finally, from the point of view of a plain ol' user on the Usenet side
>of the world:
>It would be REALLY, REALLY, REALLY nice if everyone made sure their
>software preserved/updated the References: header line.  Especially
>the BIOSCI staff.  <hint, hint>

I'm running stock INN-1.4sec here. The fact that all of the bionet
newsgroups are bi-directionally gated to mailing lists probably
causes the References line to get nuked now and then. I'm not
entirely sure what I can do about that, but I would welcome any 
suggestions that don't involve a massive AI research project.

Dave Mack
Manager, Computer Facilities
Senior Systems Administrator
IntelliGenetics, Inc./BIOSCI Project

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