Newsgroups vs. Mailing Lists (was: Thank you Tony, XSL-list doomed) - LONG

Subject: Newsgroups vs. Mailing Lists (was: Thank you Tony, XSL-list doomed) - LONG
From: David_Marston@xxxxxxxxx
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2000 09:57:19 -0400 (EST)
I'll quote Benoit Cerrina non-sequentially:

>...I think that news reader are more adapted to reading
>the kind of exchanges which takes place in this list
>(specifically they have thread support).

As a user of Usenet news since 1983, I heartily agree.
This is a shared asynchronous discussion that contains
much material worth archiving. Thread detection is a
function of the reader, and either news or mail readers
may have threading capabilities, but they're not
guaranteed. News offers a better system of permanent
citation. News archives can appear via DejaNews or
simply by any site choosing to never expire articles
in the newsgroup.

>I'm surprised there is no newsgroup on xsl except

Actually, most of the discussion happens on
comp.text.xml, and there is a group for Microsoft
sycophants in the microsoft.public hierarchy.

>Does anybody know the formality which goes with creating
>such a newsgroup and why none exists.

Given what we have so far, the newsgroup wouldn't be
created "from scratch" but rather as a split off of
comp.text.xml (assuming there is no other newsgroup
with anywhere near as much XSLT discussion). Someone who
has been participating in that group (abbreviated "c.t.x"
for the rest of this message) observes that the volume
of postings is getting large and that some distinct
sub-topics can be identified. For example, it could
emerge that many c.t.x participants are there only to
discuss XSLT, others are only discussing XML Query,
some want to discuss the voice-related aspects, while
there is a residual set of threads about the rest of
XML. The next step is for one of the people noting the
division to post an article asking whether a split
should occur. Informal discussion occurs, possibly
cross-posted to news.groups or groups on related
topics. If a consensus appears for a poll, then a
"Call For Votes" article is posted, following
guidelines which I'll omit here. If the vote is
favorable, a news adminstrator creates the group. In
the above scenario, c.t.x probably continues to exist,
but it could morph into c.t.x.misc if a "clean"
split were to emerge as consensus opinion.

I think that the current c.t.x volume is not
excessive, which explains why an XSLT-only newsgroup
has not yet been created.

>newsgroup are inherently sorted.

Not true. That's a function of the reader. Articles
arrive asynchronously from The Net and are stored in
order of arrival. It is common to have early replies
arrive before the beginning article in a thread. On
the other hand, mail sorting is likely to be more

Another consideration is that email is a push medium:
messages arrive with a much higher "interruption
factor" and mailing-list messages are mixed with ones
directed just to you, unless you set up some rules. I
can casually participate in hundreds of newsgroups,
because I only drop in when I feel like it. Also, when
I drop in, I expect that everything I see is about that
group's topic </idealism>. Nobody should subscribe to
XSL-list unless they are heavily involved in XSL. If
thousands of people start writing stylesheets, we'll
need other resources besides this list!
.................David Marston

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