CALL FOR DISCUSSION: BIO-WWW/bionet.software.www

Reinhard Doelz doelz at comp.bioz.unibas.ch
Fri Jun 3 11:43:34 EST 1994


Mike Cherry (cherry at stout.Stanford.EDU) wrote:
: BIOSCI Administrator <biosci-help at NET.BIO.NET> wrote:
: >	 The intention of mederation is to (a) ensure quality, resp.  
: >	 relevance of postings and (b) compose a common format which
: >	 is intended to server as URL derpository where appropriate.
: Is moderation really necessary? Is it assumed that the quality and
: relevance of most of the BioSci groups is low? Other than
: bionet.general I would not agree.

We don't want to have Jesus sell soap to make money fast, and the other 
item - (b) compose a common format - is extremely important as we want
to have announcements which are useful as URLs immediately. Unless we 
make sure that there's a control there might easily come poblems by mail or 
other transmission artefacts. Second, as stated, the intention is to 
have the list as well on WWW, i.e. it must be concatenated into HTML. 
You will cetrainly agree that HTML plain text is difficult to read. 
We want both ASCII and HTML, so the 'moderation' is also HTML conversion.

: >        GOPHER and WAIS servers are  invited  to  supplement  their
: >        information if their usage with WWW and associated browsers
: >        is possible.
: This is very nice. But is the moderation (above) and the exclusion of
: non-WWW resources (below) really to allow the quality of the WWW
: server mentioned in the charter to be higher quality and easier to
: maintain?

I would argue that there's a suspicion behind this statement that we want 
'censor' or 'manipulate' the group. Moderation is no fun and certainly a 
lot of work. If we propose to have it moderated then this is not to disgust
but to keep people happy. I am very much concerned about 'chatting', and 
wrong URLs. An automatic feed onto a HTML page requires manual maintenance
as well, so why not have it as part of a submission process? 

There's another point to make here. Biologists suffer very much from the fact
that electronic resources are not peer-reviewed. What we would really need 
is a 'quotation' in terms of a place which you can point to and get it 
onto a report. If we make sure that an archive is moderated its value should
be considered higher than a chat channel submission.  

Again, there is not the intention to _exclude_ non-WWW resources. The  
proposed group shall allow all and everyone who serves data and information,
as well as everyone who seeks data, to participate. It is that we want to 
name a protocol to access the information in an umbrella rather than stick 
to individual items. The WWW browsers of today can well speak to non-www 
resources including file servers (ftp), NEWS,  WAIS, and Gopher. 

: >	 shall  not be  competed. Specific  items on GOPHER and WAIS 
: >	 software which deal with non-WWW issues are not intended to 
: >	 be  discussed. The  newsgroup  shall  not be used for large 

: Why a WWW specific group? I would support a more general group to
: include Internet resources. I do not believe there is so much WWW
: activity to merit a separate group, particularly if it is excluding
: the other commonly used Internet discovery software.

The misunderstanding of yours is that we do NOT want to have a 
bio-comp.infosystems.www or bio-comp.infosystems.gopher or bio-comp.whatever
but rather a group to communicate SERVICES and benefits. If you feel 
that GOPHER is important then we could easily crosspost to the still-in-
the-works gopher group. Discussion communication requires a language what 
you talk about, and we propose to 'talk' the HTML tounge. 

: I think the charter could be changed to include Gopher and FTP
: resources (as well as anything else that comes along) with little
: problem. I do not think fragmenting the resources by software is the
: overall best approach. Maybe fragmenting by topic would be better, if
: fragmentation must be done. Many resources are available via a number
: of different Internet software, will a site be excluded from
: mentioning their Gopher and FTP servers? Of course all you have to do
: is list a URL for a gopher resource and it is a WWW issue? So why
: state that non-WWW is excluded?

Mike, read the charter. We explicitly state that we DO NOT WANT TO EXCLUDE
the other resources. We want to focus on the availability of all available
resources within the WWW family of browsers. There are a lot of resources 
which are accessible from within this system, and BIOlogists will need and 
use them all. So if I want to make known tnat we run the only WAIS type 
service via GOPHER world-wide which accesses the EMBL data library then I 
may give the URL and I am 'in'. 

-- 
  +---------------------------+-------------------------------------------+
  |    Dr. Reinhard Doelz     | Tel. x41 61 2672247    Fax x41 61 2672078 |
  |      Biocomputing         | electronic Mail       doelz at urz.unibas.ch |
  |Biozentrum der Universitaet+-------------------------------------------+



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