Crossposting to RDF lists, chat(ter) and IRC

www-rdf-* listmembers,

summary: our mailing lists are overloaded; please crosspost less,
	 summarise more often, consider using IRC chat instead.

I notice an increasing number of messages are being cross-posted to both
www-rdf-interest and www-rdf-logic. On some occasions (eg. spec, mailing
list and tool announcements, invasion by aliens, perhaps conference
announcements) this might be justified and/or useful. But for general
discussion, please trim this down, chose the most appropriately scoped
list, or perhaps consider taking things to IRC chat instead
( Oh, and do try to keep the
'subject:' line for messages relevant and precise, to aid those who try to
keep up with RDF traffic by reading subject lines of messages.

One of the handy things about our IRC chat system is that the logging,
annotation and summarisation tools (see above URL for details) make it
cheap to expose real-time textbased discussions and their summaries in
the Web. I encourage listmembers to explore IRC as an alternative to long
www-rdf-* threads, since it provides a more fluid environment for
multi-party discussions (eg. it is cheaper to create a new, temporary,
channel than to create a new mailing list).

The RDF/SW mailing lists (
each have their own scope; long, crossposted threads rarely fall under them. for example defines a
pretty tight scope for www-rdf-logic, ie. "detailed technical discussion
of all approaches to the use of classical logic on the Web". To preserve
it as a forum for effectively discussing this topic, we need to watch our
tendency to wander into general threads.

I don't mean to discourage full, open or lengthy discussion by these
remarks; rather, I encourage list members to investigate more effective
ways of discussing RDF and related techology. We have a tendency on these
lists towards long threads that are rarely summarised; these are bad
influence on the size of all our email inboxes. Sometimes it is very
useful to "think out loud" with developers working on similar issues; how
and where we do this is and where we do this is a tough problem. I believe
IRC chat, while not perfect, may be part of the answer.

I have to agree with Dan Connolly in - we
need to be more careful with our use of these mailing lists if they are to
remain useful. To add to Dan's message, I suggest that anyone who sends
more than 3 messages to any given www-rdf-* thread also set aside the time
to summarise the thread and how it relates to concrete details of
rdf/xml/daml specs, tools or data. I know many people are finding it hard
to effectively track these lists due to the sheer volume of posts, so
please do bear this in mind when posting. BTW I should also mention the
excellent XMLHack site ( which offers a summary of
many announcments and discussions posted on these lists. The site also offers a view of our IRC channel(s),
where I suspect many of our recent crossposted threads might usefully be



RDF Interest Group chair, www-rdf-logic listowner etc.

Received on Saturday, 14 April 2001 16:03:47 UTC