The Importance of Terminology's Quality

Peter Duniho NpOeStPeAdM at
Sun Jun 1 08:43:21 CEST 2008

On Sat, 31 May 2008 23:27:35 -0700, szr <szrRE at szromanMO.comVE> wrote:

> [...]
>> But the subthread Lew commente don was about Perl and Unix. That is
>> clearly off topic.
> I agree with and understand what you are saying in general, but still,
> isn't it possible that were are people in the java group (and others)
> who might of been following the thread, only to discover (probably not
> right away) that someone decided to remove the group they were reading
> the thread from? I know I would not like that, even if it wasn't on
> topic at the branch.

All due respect, I don't really care if those people find the thread  
gone.  And no one should.

Each individual person has a wide variety of interests.  A thread that is  
off-topic in a newsgroup may in fact be concerning a topic of interest for  
someone who just happened to be reading that newsgroup.  The fact that  
that person might have been interested in it isn't justification for  
continuing the thread in that newsgroup.  The most important question  
isn't who might have been reading the thread, but rather whether the  
thread is on-topic.

What if someone cross-posted a thread about motorcycle racing in the Perl  
newsgroup as well as an actual motorcycle racing newsgroup?  No doubt, at  
least some people reading the Perl newsgroup have an interest in  
motorcycle racing.  They may in fact be racers themselves.  Those people  
may have found the thread about motorcycle racing interesting.

Does that justify the thread continuing to be cross-posted to the Perl  
newsgroup?  No, of course not.

So please.  Quit trying to justify a thread being cross-posted to a  
newsgroup that you aren't even reading just on the sole basis of the  
remote possibility that someone in that newsgroup was interested in the  
thread.  It's not a legitimate justification, and even if it were, there's  
been sufficient opportunity for someone here in the Java newsgroup to  
speak up and say "hey, wait!  I was reading that!"

But no one's said anything of the sort.  Those people who don't exist have  
no need for you to provide an irrelevant defense for them.

> Personally, I find it very annoying to have to switch news groups in
> order to resume a thread and weed my way down the thread to where it
> left off before it was cut off from the previous group.

If people use the newsgroups responsibly, that never happens.

A thread should never be cut-off midstream like that unless it was  
inappropriately cross-posted in the first place, and if the thread was  
inappropriately cross-posted in the first place, no one has any business  
expecting to be able to continue reading it in any newsgroup where it's  

If you're interested in discussions on Perl and Unix, go read a newsgroup  
about Perl and/or Unix.  Don't look for those discussions in the Java  
newsgroup, and don't get comfy reading the thread in the Java newsgroup  
should you happen across it.  They don't belong, and they should be  
terminated within the Java newsgroup ASAP.  Go follow the thread where  
it's on-topic.


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