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PICList Thread
'2nd RFD: comp.arch.hobbyist moderated'
1998\05\04@222520 by Theo Markettos

                    REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
                 moderated group comp.arch.hobbyist

This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) for the creation of a
world-wide moderated Usenet newsgroup comp.arch.hobbyist.
This is not a Call for Votes (CFV); you cannot vote at this time.
Procedural details are below.

CHANGES from previous RFD:

Changed name from comp.arch.home-designed to comp.arch.hobbyist.
Removed statement about moderators cancellation of posts.
Modified charter and moderation policy with respect to binary posting.

Newsgroup line:
comp.arch.hobbyist      Homebrew digital electronics design. (Moderated)

RATIONALE: comp.arch.hobbyist

The topic of designing computers and peripheral devices at home is
discussed on the newsgroup alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt. While there is
a great deal of interest in this topic, many people avoid the above
newsgroup due to the fact that it is not moderated, and due to similar
terminology, the newsgroup gets flooded with off topic IBM PC clone
assembly questions. Measures taken to alleviate this problem have
failed to eliminate the off topic noise. It is therefore proposed that
a moderated forum be created, which will allow the topic to be
discussed in a noise free environment.

CHARTER: comp.arch.hobbyist

A moderated forum to exchange ideas, techniques, problems, solutions,
and other information concerning the hobby of electronics design and
construction, specifically related to digital machines and their

Commercial advertisements (except when non-repetitive and directly
relevant to the topic of the group) are expressly forbidden; it is up
to the moderation group to make individual exceptions.

Binary postings in this group are unwelcome.  No postings containing
10K or more of binary content will be accepted.  Postings containing
less than 10K of binary content should only be used where no other
reasonable method is available to convey the information they contain.
All postings containing binary content of more than 10 lines or 300
bytes, whichever is the smaller, shall be forwarded to the daily
moderators for inspection in the same manner as articles from unknown

Posters wishing to post binaries that do not fit the above criteria
should upload this data to an FTP or WWW site and instead post a
pointer to that site.  The binary regulations do not apply to the
posting of ASCII schematics.


MODERATOR INFO: comp.arch.hobbyist

Moderation group alias:     <>
Bot-master: Jan-Derk Bakker <>

Daily moderators:
Moderator: Jan-Derk Bakker <>
Moderator: Ales Hvezda     <>
Moderator: Ian Stirling    <>

Moderation group:
Moderator: Jan-Derk Bakker <>
Moderator: Randy Gardner   <>
Moderator: Darren Guiden   <>
Moderator: Leon Heller     <>
Moderator: Ales Hvezda     <>
Moderator: Theo Markettos  <>
Moderator: Mark Sokos      <>
Moderator: Ian Stirling    <>

A 'bot moderator will be used, which will reject articles by authors
who have not read the posting guidelines. Articles rejected by the
'bot will be forwarded to a group of three daily moderators for
review. These daily moderators will be appointed by a moderation group
of at least eight and at most twelve members who will decide on
moderation policy in general and the workings of the 'bot in
particular. Moderation will follow the scheme outlined below:

The 'bot:

- auto-approves articles that match all of these:
 - known author
   OR keyword/phrase in article
   OR reply to approved article to the same set of newsgroups
 - article with less than 300 bytes or 10 lines of binary
   content, whichever is the smaller
 - plain text, without markup encoding
- mails notification of non-approval to original authors,
 without an attempt to circumvent spamblocks
 - notification message explains moderation system,
   and points poster to relevant posting guidelines
- sends non-approved articles to the daily moderators
- uploads non-approved articles to a WWW site, and
 regularly posts a pointer to them
- scans for forged approvals and cancels

The daily moderators:
- individually check articles the 'bot rejected;
 - if at least one of the daily moderators think the
   article is on-topic, it gets posted
 - if it is reposted, the original author is notified

The moderation group:
- appoints the daily moderators
- deals with group abuse that's not caught by the 'bot
 - it has the power to bar persistent abusers by
   unanimous decision for a period of up to
   30 days at a time
- deals with long-term moderation policy
- is obliged to post details of all moderation group
 decisions to the newsgroup
- if a moderation group member does not express an opinion
 on a matter, then their silence shall not be taken as
 supporting either side of a decision

Moderators of news.announce.newgroups and successor groups are allowed
blanket crossposting at their discretion.



This is a request for discussion, not a call for votes.  In this
phase of the process, any potential problems with the proposed
newsgroup should be raised and resolved.  The discussion period
will continue for a minimum of 21 days (starting from when the
first RFD for this proposal is posted to news.announce.newgroups),
after which a Call For Votes (CFV) may be posted by a neutral vote
taker if the discussion warrants it.  Please do not attempt to vote
until this happens.

All discussion of this proposal should be posted to news.groups.

This RFD attempts to comply fully with the Usenet newsgroup creation
guidelines outlined in "How to Create a New Usenet Newsgroup" and
"How to Format and Submit a New Group Proposal". Please refer to
these documents (available in news.announce.newgroups) if you have
any questions about the process.


This RFD has been posted to the following newsgroups:

 news.announce.newgroups, news.groups,
 comp.arch.embedded, comp.home.automation,, sci.electronics.misc

and the following mailing lists: (pic microcontroller discussion list)
     subscribe via: (homebuilt processor discussion)
     subscribe via:

After the RFD has been officially posted to news.announce.newgroups
it will be reposted to:


Proponent: Mark Sokos     <>
Proponent: Theo Markettos <>
Mentor:    Simon Lyall    <>

1998\05\05@133809 by Theo Markettos

Theo Markettos wrote:
>                      REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
>                   moderated group comp.arch.hobbyist

To follow up my own RFD, I'd like to make it clear that this is not an
attempt to convert the PICLIST to a newsgroup or set up a gateway, as has
been discussed recently - it is a completely separate group about digital
electronics in general, to replace the badly named
alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt that already serves this purpose.

It is proposed that it is moderated, with the aim of only allowing on-topic
articles to be posted, which should remove the spam problems seen by many
newsgroups, which were cited as one of the reasons not to gateway the PICLIST
(see the RFD and news.groups FAQs for more details on moderation).  It is
intended to complement, not replace, this list.

I fully agree with the points made previously regarding not gatewaying the
PICLIST, but there are benefits from the newsgroup format as opposed to a
mailing list.  In particular, it is possible to drop in and out of discussion
when you want it rather than have all messages forced on you, a major benefit
if you are on a modem line and/or pay per byte of traffic.  There is also a
full archiving facility available with search (Dejanews), and the group is
(IMHO) easier to find.

I will quite happily refrain from posting anything else regarding the
proposed new group if that is the list's consensus, but would be interested
to hear of others opinions.


Theo Markettos        
Interactive Systems Group
Philips Research Laboratories
Redhill, Surrey, UK

1998\05\06@192935 by Ron Kreymborg

I'll be voting for this group and checking it out when it's up. I would
also be happy to see a moderated pic newsgroup. However, moderated is the
key word and as a job it's a considerable workload. As most of the
regulars on this list who would be ideal moderators have given it the
thumbs down, I guess that's that.


On Tue, 5 May 1998, Theo Markettos wrote:

> Theo Markettos wrote:
> >
> >                      REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
> >                   moderated group comp.arch.hobbyist
> >
(snippety snip)
{Quote hidden}

Ron Kreymborg                   Computer Systems Manager
Monash University               CRC for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology
Wellington Road
Clayton, VIC 3168               Phone     : 061-3-9905-9671
Australia                       Fax       : 061-3-9905-9689

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