Incorrect. A threaded newsreader allows people to pick and choose
which threads they wish to read. That is what I use, and it allows
me to quickly scan high-volume newsgroups for anything I may find
of use. Thus, I can skip elementary questions, flame wars, what have
you. And all of this much more efficient than a mailing list; no
clogging up the mbox.
> In addition, the ease of joining the group seems to produce really
> dumb questions.
Well, I like questions. "Dumb"? I'd rather skip any question I find
"dumb" rather than have the Benevolent Moderator do it for me.
And just because a question is dumb doesn't mean it shouldn't be
answered, or that the question should never be seen.
I've no doubt asked questions that other people considered "dumb"
in the past. The way to educate them is to ANSWER that question,
not chide them for not RTFMing. That smacks of elitism. I've been
turned off by professors who take that kind of attitude.
> Presumably, one of the functions of a moderator would
> be to periodically post an FAQ, or pointer to one.
This doesn't require a moderator.
> A nice moderator might also respond to information requests
> reflexively without involving the entire readership.
But as I stated, for every person who asks a question there are bound
to be others interested in the answer, no matter how elementary it may
seem. I have learned an awful lot this way about a multitude of subjects,
ranging from operating systems to programming languages to topics not
related to computers at all.
And I would be surprised if any moderator would enjoy answering
questions in this manner. You seem to underestimate the amount of
work involved in moderating a newsgroup.
> > Second, it would make the language look less popular, and may turn
> > off people. If you joined comp.os.foobar and saw 3 or 5 messages,
> > would you think it was any good?
> Personally, I think that losing people who would be turned off by such a
> superficial indicator is a Good Thing.
It's not superficial at all - if there isn't that much traffic on
a particular piece of software, I would conclude that 1) it isn't
"alive" (i.e. expanding, growing, etc.) 2) not many people are using
> I fail to understand the popular modern sentiment that correlates
> popularity and virtue. I'd prefer to see few postings, with interesting
> topics or questions.
The proposed comp.lang.python will *not* be a group solely for experts
or developers. It will also cater to the person who wants to learn
Python, something necessary if we want to let the world discover
And that means letting people ask questions. Yes, not all of them will
be up to your level of knowledge. Some will no doubt be answered in
the FAQ. So what? I find it hard to believe that your precious time
will be wasted away by pressing the "n" key a few times a day.
All IMHO, of course.