[l/m 9/19/2002] news group dynamics comp.parallel (8/28) FAQ #2 1334347

Archive-Name: superpar-faq
Last-modified: 19 Sep 2002

8	comp.parallel group dynamics
10	Related news groups, archives and references
18	Supercomputing and Crayisms
20	IBM and Amdahl
22	Grand challenges and HPCC
24	Suggested (required) readings
26	Dead computer architecture society
28	Dedications
2	Introduction and Table of Contents and justification
4	Comp.parallel news group history
6	parlib

Why is this news group so quiet?

This is an interesting question.  It has several answers.  Shortest answer:
Because there are spies reading it.  Real ones.  Industrial and governmental.
No kidding.  Then, there is the Press....
People tend to be very quiet in this group, because there are some rather
sensitive economic stakes (and other kinds as well).  Many people asking
tend to be trolling for information.  Real information exchange tends to
be better done using email.

Confidential: The level of classification designated by Executive Order 12356
for "information, the unauthorized disclosure of which could be expected to
cause damage to the national security."

Secret: The level of classification designated by Executive Order 12356
for "information, the unauthorized disclosure of which could be expected to
cause serious damage to the national security" [such as in the disruption
of international relations, or the impairment of the effectiveness of
a program or policy of vital importance].

Top Secret: The level of classification designated by Executive Order 12356
for "information, the unauthorized disclosure of which could be expected to
cause extremely grave damage to the national security" [such as in
time of war or the breaking of diplomatic relations.]

HOMEWORK: (academic students, undergrad, grads, post-grads)

If you are a student, in particular US/Canadian, or have an instructor,
homework places a quandary on the knowledgeable people in this group.
Students are supposed to do exercises, not have the readers of this group
do exercises for them.  Where the line between a homework query ends and
a serious research query begins is sometimes hard to define.

Point the following out to your instructor (this is one of the reasons
why you should read and be aware of news.announce.newusers (or de.newusers
or similar groups))

The best canned answer from another FAQ is:

>1A.  What about "I've got a school assignment...."
>Recently, I've been made aware of a USENET policy about posting news
>articles requsting info for a school assignment.  Michael Chui at Indiana
>University sent me the following info, which I have included 
>verbatum and will try to stick to (since I agree with it)
>--------begin included text--------
>        From Michael Chui mchui@cs.indiana.edu
>Excerpt from the Usenet Primer published in the new.* groups
>      Please do not use Usenet as a resource for homework assignments
> Usenet is not a resource for homework or class assignments. A common
> new user reaction to learning of all these people out there holding
> discussions is to view them as a great resource for gathering
> information for reports and papers.  Trouble is, after seeing a few
> hundred such requests, most people get tired of them, and won't reply
> anyway. Certainly not in the expected or hoped-for numbers. Posting
> student questionnaires automatically brands you a "newbie" and does not
> usually garner much more than a tiny number of replies.  Further,
> some of those replies are likely to be incorrect.
> Instead, read the group of interest for a while, and find out what the
> main "threads" are - what are people discussing? Are there any themes
> you can discover?  Are there different schools of thought?
> Only post something after you've followed the group for a few weeks,
> after you have read the Frequently Asked Questions posting if the group
> has one, and if you still have a question or opinion that others will
> probably find interesting.  If you have something interesting to
> contribute, you'll find that you gain almost instant acceptance, and
> your posting will generate a large number of follow-up postings. Use
> these in your research; it is a far more efficient (and accepted) way
> to learn about the group than to follow that first instinct and post a
> simple questionnaire.
>        Actually, I'm not completely opposed to using the Net as a
>resource for academic research.  Being still in academia, I *am*
>irritated by people who want the Net to do their research for them
>(and not just because the results are often inaccurate).

>        On the other hand, I'd accept queries like, "I'm researching
>airship mine technology, and in General Napoleon SchwartzRommel's book
>_Boom, Der It Is!_, he makes reference to the GedankenSweeper.  I've
>searched my University of Podunk library, but can't find any references
>to the GedankenSweeper.  Could someone give some pointers to references
>about the propulsion system in the GedankenSweeper?"  I'd like the
>student to show that they've done some work themselves (like go to
>a library) before they send a message to thousands of people.
>        It all basically comes down to the oft-repeated Net-reminder
>that "the person on the other side of the message is human."  Think of
>the Net as being an expert on, in sci.military's case, military
>technology.  Would you walk into a military technology expert's
>office and ask him/her, "Gee, I have this homework assignment to do
>on X.  Can you tell me everything you know about this topic?"  Worse
>yet, would you do this to thousands of people?

Suggestions: you should point this out to your instructor.
Your instructor should either set guidelines for you or post
to the news group and lay out guidelines which a few of the
members of the news group will attempt to shoot down (or not).

It is general moderator policy to attempt to post anything you send us
RELEVANT to parallel computing (and to the maintenance of news group policy).

Why isn't there more traffic?

The experienced posters are tired.  They understand what's going on.
Part of the problem is you, if you are a new reader. 
Your timing is a little unfortunate, you should show that you have done
at least a little homework, etc.  They don't want to get flamed.
I speak with Second Degree experience myself.

It used to be possible to get posts/info from Alan Jay Smith about
cache memories from the net.arch group.  No more.  Those days are past.
Part of the problem is failure to understand and follow netiquette.

If you make a query: generally promise to summarize, AND get back
to the group after say a week: "No response" is an acceptable minimum
summary.  Next comes a mere concatenation of email.  Better is a real survey.
If you are interested in following up ("Me, too!") on a query: email that
to the poster, not the group.  That can be included in the summary.

This is part of the reason why I started experimenting with FAQs, and
why some of what you are reading will be a little disjointed; it's a camel,
a horse designed by committee.

Articles: comp.parallel
Administrative: eugene@cse.ucsc.edu.SNIP
Archive: http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&group=comp.parallel

eugene (428)
7/8/2003 1:02:58 PM
comp.parallel 2866 articles. 0 followers. Post Follow

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