Re: Posting guidelines for SeeSat-L

Bart De Pontieu (BDP@MPEPL)
Wed, 03 Jul 1996 19:25:53 +0100 (CET)

Larry Klaes writes:

>On Tue, 2 Jul 1996, Bart De Pontieu wrote:
>> As SeeSat-L maintainer, I would like to remind you of one of the
>> 'unofficial' posting guidelines, which is that technical or background
>> information about payloads, rockets, etc... is only welcome on SeeSat-L
>> in as far as it is tied in with the broad theme 'visual observations'.
>> With 'tied in' I do not mean 'vaguely applicable to visual observations'.
>> Long texts with technical info should be avoided, instead a reference
>> to the source should be given (such as a URL, ftp-site, etc...).

First of all, let's take this discussion to UseSat-L. It's off-topic for
SeeSat-L. I'm not sure the 330 subscribers of SeeSat-L are interested in
discussing this. If they are, they can subscribe to UseSat-L, a list devoted
to discussion of this kind (we're discussing the FAQ there too). You can
subscribe to UseSat-L by sending a message with subject: subscribe 

But while I'm at it, I may as well reply to Larry Klaes' message:

>I hope this list will be more than a bunch of dry numbers and cryptic

And it is more than that. There is not rule that says you can't write
text in your messages. There is a rule that says those texts should be
about visual observing. That's all I said. If you find a text about
space flight in general that you think might interest observers, we
prefer it if you give a reference to it.

> I have often asked that satellites be identified as to their
>purpose, etc.  

And occasionally it happens. There are books and Net-resources to answer
those questions too. And it's also very clear that not all SeeSat-
subscribers have this same interest in knowing the missions of satellites.
I for one don't have as much interest in it as you do. It's up to the
authors of the messages to provide that info. If they don't, look it up

>I for one find reading what John Pike and others have
>to say about the spysats quite fascinating.  I

Me too. I've said before I'm not going to single out specific authors or
messages, but you're making it hard for me, Larry. Messages with just
radio observations or predictions do not belong on SeeSat-L. 

> also don't know of many
>other lists which record the latest in space news.  

We don't many, we just need one. And there is one, it's called fpspace
or something like that. And there's Jonathan's mailing list.
SeeSat-L is not a list for the latest in space news. It's for the latest
in visual observing. 

>I can't believe
>that taking the time to explain a few things or having text that goes
>beyond the latest orbital elements will drag SeeSta down.  

Nobody ever said that, this stems from your imagination. And there's plenty
of messages that go beyond that and yet *stick* with the theme of visual
observing !

>If anything, it will make it more valuable and useful.

Unlimited numbers of space news drive away dedicated observers. There are
other resources on the net for space news.

>Science - especially space science - are generally looked upon by the
>public as the realm of the asocial technonerds.  Let's try and dispel 
>that notion a bit via the net - even if it tends to be true. :^) :^)
>(note the 2 smileys.)
What do you care what other people think ? :-)
I hope Feynman will forgive me for abusing his lines.
>> On an another note, I've heard some comments by various newcomers (all
>> in private messages) that SeeSat-L isn't very responsive to newbies. We
>> *are* working on a FAQ for SeeSat-L (join us at UseSat-L if you want to
>> help us), but until it's finished, I would hope some of the 'old hands'
>> on SeeSat-L reply to  frequently asked beginners questions (by private
>> mail).
>No offense, but shouldn't a user-friendly guide have been the first
>thing done? 

Have a FAQ before there's a list? The list was 5 people in the beginning,
all of which were experienced observers. FAQ's grow gradually. And besides,
none of us are getting paid for this. Contributions are welcome.
And there's *always* been the Visual Satellite Observer's Home Page, which 
forms the basis of the FAQ anyway, and which is referenced to in our help-file.
Your point is moot, I think.

> Forgive me, but I have a background in both the humanities
>and sciences with a great deal of documentation writing.  
Sounds like you're an ideal candidate to help us out with the FAQ ;-)

>All I ask is that this list be vamped up a bit.  I don't want anyone's
>observations to be affected.

I disagree if 'vamping up' means sending messages about general space
news, radio observations, predictions, etc...

Let's take this to UseSat-L.

Bart De Pontieu --  Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, Garching  --
Join us at Eurosom 2, Oct 19/20 1996 --
BWGS-coordinator -- Flash editor -- SeeSat-L administrator -- would-be-observer
   "Life is like a jigsaw. You get the straight bits, but there's something"
       "missing in the middle." -- XTC, "All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late)"