Maillists And Newsgroups And Wikis Oh My

Somehow, Toto, i don't think we're in Kansas any more ...


There are three maillists:

Well, we've always had Ox Clubs OUSFG, there's an OUSFG Yahoo Group (i think) we've now got OUSFG Wiki, and there's now even OUSFG Chat and an OUSFG Live Journal Community. What's going on? What are their roles? How are they complementary, and how are they competitive? Opinions? Thoughts?

Newsgroups are technically better than mailing lists for a number of reasons. Firstly, they more explicitly support threaded discussion; the tools are better. Secondly, they are open to easy discovery by interested third parties, without any need to subscribe or anything. Thirdly, they don't clutter your inbox! Of course, wikis kick both of their asses, but hey. -- Tom Anderson

But wikis are pull-technology. You need push to get a decent number of people involved. Such as sitting in your inbox. People who get a lot of this can figure out procmail. Maybe a daily "this is what is new/changed today" email from the wiki might encourage repeat useage. - DS

The LJ community has the pull only bug as well as the wiki, and requires you to get an evil lj account. News is good, and can be gated to/from mailing lists automagically.

Ah, but only people in Ox Ac Uk and with either the right software or a unix account (and the right setup) can read Ox Clubs OUSFG, which makes it little use, now that so few of us are students. -- Toms Sock Puppet

Besides which, how many people (Apple Mac? users possibly excepted) know the first thing about Unix? --TL

A few; computer geeks might, and anyone doing computer science or (possibly) engineering, physics or maths will soon learn. There's a strong unix subculture in academia, and Oxford is no exception. Apple Mac? users probably won't, as the traditional Mac OS? is not unix-based, and the new Mac OSX? does a good job of hiding the fact that it is from the user. On the gripping hand, many people who deserve access to OUSFG cyberspace are neither Comp Scis? or any allied species of geek, so depending on unix would be a Bad Thing?.

How about this new GNU/Lin Ux thing supposedly superceding some of the things you could do thru Ermine? Info via a hyperlink on the Herald page. You can even access this with your Herald username and password... if you have one... --TL

Raven And Crow do indeed provide easy access to UNIX for the Oxford masses, but it's still UNIX (Lin Ux, to be precise). Perhaps someone could write a quick howto for reading news on linux? Please --TL



  1. Log in to (aka Raven And Crow), using your herald username and password
  2. type 'rtin' and press return; watch the screen dance briefly
  3. type 'y/ousfg' and press return; type 's' and press return; press tab twice
  4. and that's magic!

If someone actually tries this, could they let me know how it goes? I suspect that the fact that i have a .newsrc file would make it go differently for me. - TA

It occurs to me that the various Live Journals would be more accessible to the non-blogging rebel scum if there were some equivalent of Live Journal's vaunted 'friends page'. Basically, this would be a webpage which would display (say) the last day's or week's posts on the set of Live Journals considered relevant. Since Live Journal exports its innards as an RSS feed, this would be laughably simple to do. In fact, there are probably already online services we could use to do it. If not, time to brush up on my XML. -- TA

Category Wiki

Sat, 22 Mar 2003 22:42:30 GMT Front Page Recent Changes Message Of The Day