comp.lang.perl is a very dead newsgroup, yet people still continue to post there.
In an attempt to direct these people on the right path, I've started posting this weekly.
I've just included it verbatim.
Subject: [comp.lang.perl] FAQ -- Read this first Version: 0.2 Last-Modified: April 22nd, 1999 0) What is this document? Many people post to comp.lang.perl hoping to get their questions answered. However, most of these posts never receive replies, leaving the original poster wondering. This FAQ is an attempt to explain what is happening, and direct people in the right direction. It will be posted every Sunday night to comp.lang.perl. 1) So, why aren't my questions being answered? Back when Perl was young, the newsgroup comp.lang.perl was formed. In the beginning, there was very little traffic, and the people were happy. After some time, comp.lang.perl had become crowded. Several new groups were formed, and comp.lang.perl was destroyed. 2) If the newsgroup was destroyed, why do I still see it? Usenet is and always has been about cooperation. For more information you really need to just read up on how Usenet works (which news.newusers.announce explains a little). As a brief explanation, comp.lang.perl exists because people have poorly configured newsservers. Enough servers still think it exists to allow it to propagate (albeit very poorly). As more and more servers are updated, comp.lang.perl will slowly dissapear. 3) So, where do I need to post? Right now there are at least 6 Perl related newsgroups: comp.lang.perl.misc comp.lang.perl.moderated comp.lang.perl.tk comp.lang.perl.modules comp.lang.perl.announce alt.perl Where you post depends on your subject matter. For the most part you'll want to stick to either comp.lang.perl.misc or comp.lang.perl.moderated. If your question is directly related to pTk (that is, the Perl Tk library) your post should go to comp.lang.perl.tk. If your question is directly related to Perl's modules (either a specific module, or the module interface), you should post to comp.lang.perl.modules. comp.lang.perl.announce is for announcements only. Keep in mind that it is a moderated group, and your post may not appear for a few days. alt.perl (and any other similar group) is really worthless. Fewer people read those groups, and many of those that do will give poor advice. You'll find most seasoned people avoid alt.perl like they do Microsoft. 4) Ok, I know where my post needs to go, can I just go ahead and post now? Not quite. If you're new to Usenet, you should first read news.newusers.announce to understand the Usenet conventions. Also, before posting to any newsgroup, you should be sure to: a) Read the group for at least a week (or read back a week's worth of articles) b) Read the FAQ for the group c) Search for your question using DejaNews. After you've completed all of these steps, you're ready to post to one of the groups. Make sure your post meets the following criteria: a) It has a good subject. Remember, people often choose to read a message by it's subject alone b) It's short and to the point. Don't include a lot of apologies, short stories about your mother, or anything that isn't really on topic. c) IT INCLUDES SOURCE CODE! Sorry to shout, but this is very important. If you're having trouble with some code, include it! The smaller the sample you can include the better. d) It's in text People will often pass your message by if your post isn't in text, if it includes HTML, or if your newsposter posts in mime. Make sure your poster has the 'Plain text only' option chosen. (Also, make sure Netscape doesn't include a 'vcard') e) It doesn't shout PEOPLE DON'T LIKE TO READ TEXT LIKE THIS, SO PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU DON'T HAVE THE CAPS LOCK ON! SEE HOW HARD THIS IS TO READ? TO MOST USENET USERS THIS IS THE EQUIVALENT OF SHOUTING, AND IS CONSIDERED TO BE _*VERY*_ RUDE! We are used to reading text like this -- all caps strains our eyes. f) The signature is short Quite frankly, most people don't care about your home page, occupation, email address, cat's first name, etc. The last thing most of us want to see is some hand holding a huge ASCII box with more information about you than the government has. Keep your signature short, and to the point. 5) Should I post to comp.lang.perl, comp.lang.perl.misc, and comp.lang.perl.moderated? There really isn't any reason to. A cross post between comp.lang.perl and comp.lang.perl.* is most likely going to be useless when someone replies. People who read comp.lang.perl.misc have a habit of not sending their replies to comp.lang.perl. 6) Which is better? comp.lang.perl.misc, or comp.lang.perl.moderated? Define better. If you despise moderated groups, then misc is better. If you want a better chance of your post being seen, moderated is better (higher Signal/Noise ratio). If you are trolling, /dev/null is better. Most of the really good Perl people (Tom Christiansen, Abigail, etc) read both comp.lang.perl.misc and comp.lang.perl.moderated. A post in moderated is just all the more likely to stand out. 7) HEY! My newsserver doesn't have comp.lang.perl.moderated! See the explanation in section 2 for more information as to why this is. The only thing you can do is badger the newsguy until he gets moderated. (While you're at it, tell him about comp.lang.perl, too!) 8) So, who wrote this FAQ? The FAQ was written by Matthew Bafford (
). 9) Where can I get the latest version? If you really want such a thing (I can't see why you would, but to each his own), you can download a copy from my webpage: http://dragons.home.duesouth.net/clp_FAQ.html A) I have an addition to the FAQ, who do I send it to? All modifications, patches, additions, etc should be sent to the address above. I prefer patches. B) Is it Copyrighted? It is Copyright (C) 1999, by Matthew Bafford . You are free to distribute and modify this document as long as all modifications are reported to the original author, and the original copyright notice remains.