EXTENDING PHOTOSYN AS A USENET NEWSGROUP
The "Photosynthesis Researchers' List" was set up in August 1990.
This is a mail distribution system operating on
LISTSERV at TAUNIVM.TAU.AC.IL i.e. the way to participate is to
subscribe personally, and receive all output as electronic mail.
During its existence, the list has grown steadily, and now includes
some 270 subscribers.
I have indicated my personal opinion that the interests of the
photosynthesis research community would be better served if
PHOTOSYN is also distributed as a newsgroup in the international
Usenet news system. I should warn that this will WIDEN the circle
of people who read PHOTOSYN and post items i.e. possible increase
in junkmail. (However, junkmail is less of a problem if you use a
newsreader to read Usenet news).
I propose the following two (alternative) options which need to be
discussed (see end of this posting):-
1. PHOTOSYN should become part of the "Bionet" and would form a
new newsgroup alongside others such as "bionet.plants",
"bionet.genome.arabidosis","bionet.general" etc. This option would
remove operation of PHOTOSYN from the present list owners (Larry
Orr, Jonathan Marder) and David Kristofferson (bionet manager)
would become responsible. The actual distribution list would move
from TAUNIVM. Users wishing to continue (or initiate) subscription
via email would be able to do so on request. (Of course, I hope
that many will choose to switch to accessing the same information
in the newsgroup). Under Bionet, all items posted are archived
and accessible via certain database servers. In order for this
option to be adopted, we should announce a "Call for discussion" in
one of the existing bionet newgroups. The discussion would address
the proposed group charter, the group name etc. Following
discussion, Kristofferson would conduct a vote - the requirement is
80 YES votes with YES exceeding NO by at least 40.
N.B. Bionet is run by a commercial concern under contract from
the US government. Services to the academic community are free.
2. PHOTOSYN would join other LISTSERV lists which are released into Usenet
via a gateway e.g. bit.listserv.biosph-l is the newsgroup mirroring the
BIOSPH-L. We would become bit.listserv.photosyn. Anyone could use either
email with PHOTOSYN at TAUNIVM or a news program to access or post
information - items would be automatically cross-posted between the two
systems. The present distribution list would stay at TAUNIVM under full
control of the present listowners. In order to create the gateway, I need
to check that there are no objections among PHOTOSYN members (if there
are, a vote may be necessary). (I also need to check for possible
objections from certain other parties). Once these criteria are met, we
can ask for bit.listserv.photosyn to be set up. If we want our postings
archived, this would need to be organised seperately.
N.B. Listserv -> usenet gateways are operated voluntarily as a
non-commercial free service to the academic community.
Before proceeding further, I wish to initiate a discussion on the
topic. I would request that the main discussion be held in
newsgroup "bionet.plants" (email to plantbio at net.bio.net). I will
forward relevent items to PHOTOSYN (and to bionet.plants if
necessary). If you have a preference between options 1 and 2, or
if you object to both, or have something else to suggest, now is
' Jonathan B. Marder
Internet: MARDER at AGRI.HUJI.AC.IL | Department of Agricultural Botany
Bitnet: MARDER at HUJIAGRI | /\/ The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Phone: (08 or +9728) 481918 |/ \ Faculty of Agriculture
Fax: (08 or +9728) 467763 / P.O.Box 12, Rehovot 76100, ISRAEL