PHOTOSYN as a Newsgroup

David Kristofferson kristoff at
Wed Dec 9 17:08:02 EST 1992

>the response is virtually immediate:  no waiting a week, as is now the
>case with the Bionet e-mail subscriptions that are handled by BIOSCI.

This is ***completely untrue***.  No one waits a week to get a
subscription to BIOSCI.  We process all requests daily.  In the worst
case if a subscription is sent in on the weekend it might not get
handled until Monday AM but we often do log in to the system on the
weekend as well.

We have not used automated means in the past **because the workload of
signing up users has been minimal**, and we believed that it was a lot
easier on our users to just send a plain English request to an address
rather than have to remember a command syntax.  Some people like to
try to put a spin on this to indicate that we are technologically
backwards.  My personal view is that we are trying to put the user's
comfort ahead of the technology.

We are implementing an automated subscription procedure at, but I still do not intend to promote it as the primary
means of signing up for e-mail at  People who prefer to
use this method will be able to retrieve instructions on how to do so,
but we will continue at our BIOSCI node to use the biosci address as
the primary contact point.  I know that the "computer literate" may
shake their heads in disgust at this decision, but our purpose is to
serve biologists, not computer scientists.

>BTW:  every LISTSERV user should get a copy of the LISTSERV REFCARD,
>which is a very useful document.

On BIOSCI they don't need a reference card for commands.  All they
need to remember is biosci at or biosci at
depending upon their location.

>That's a very good point.  As some bionet.general readers may recall, I
>was one of the people who harrassed him about establishing voting rules

Maybe we would be better off if there was less "harrassing" and more
congenial conversation.  The choice of words above speaks volumes.  I
apologize to PHOTOSYN readers if the net result of this "conversation"
merely proves to them that "harrassment" is the preferred mode of
communication on BIOSCI.  I have always tried to promote a reasonable
tone on these newsgroups, but unfortunately it is true that "fights"
erupt upon occasion.

>for the bionet groups last year.  I think the rules are good and
>necessary, but they weren't designed with the transfer of pre-existing
>groups in mind.

The facts are that there were already rules in place at that time for
voting on bionet group creation.  We revised them because they were
designed for a time when our readership was much smaller.  There is
also no need to have separate voting rules for pre-existing groups.
The decision to revise the voting regs was based on logic, and
"harrassment" (which I don't even remember) by the individual in
question had *no* influence on the outcome.

I guess that I would have to conclude, if I was a reader of PHOTOSYN,
that the group should stay where it is in light of the bickering that
this proposal caused on BIOSCI/bionet.  I am really sorry that Una
Smith, after doing a nice job in putting together a FAQ for BIOSCI,
had to follow this work up by distortions such as the above.

Una, I have always listened to your suggestions but lately you are
putting them more in the form of demands.  I appreciate the time that
you took to write the FAQ.  That time, however, is a drop in the
bucket compared to what the people here and at Daresbury have put in
to this system.  If we do not want to start gatewaying LISTSERV lists
into USENET, someone with absolutely no technical involvement in this
system is not going to "harrass" us into doing so just because they
spent several hours putting together a FAQ.  If you think that writing
this one document somehow gives you administrative authority over this
system, then you are ***seriously deluding yourself***, not to mention
undermining the good that you have done for BIOSCI in the past.


				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				kristoff at

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