Re: Just FYI

Subject: Re: Just FYI
From: Mike Bygrave <bygravem -at- INTUITIVE -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 11:57:03 +-100

Before I start, this is not an attack on Iain; I'm using one of his
comments as a launch pad for my own views. Oh, and it's a long message
too, so feel free to delete me!

Iain wrote:
>Get real. Some people actually write for a living, and the tools
>they use are important to them. Where else would you actually find
>people who are knowledgeable about workarounds for Word's Master/sub
>document deficiencies?

While I agree with most of your points, you've just done what you mildly
accuse others of doing: there are many members of the list who are simply
not interested in posts about Word, or other tools.

You may be interested in them - fine. However, like the rest of us ( but
unlike Eric) you are not in a position to decide what is and is not
off-topic. Only Eric is in a position to do this and, (and this is only my
opinion) he does so too often. The way I see it, there have been very few
postings to the list recently which I would consider to be off-topic, but
there have been stacks which are of no interest to me. So I delete them.

Those who complain regularly about off-topic postings are, IMHO, being
blinkered by their specific interests and, most probably, by their
schedules too. If they feel so strongly about this that they leave - fine;
it's a loss to the list, but the greatest loss is to them. It's all very
well complaining about this and that but, unless you've got the body of
opinion behind you, nothing should be done. The pro-restriction lobby is a
minority on this issue - therefore their requests (and in some cases,
demands) shouldn't be followed at the risk of alienating the majority.
Rather than moaning that the list doesn't come up to their expectations,
have they ever considered the point that it is their expectations which are
out of synch? The list is there, we should fit it rather than it fitting
us. And if they do feel SO strongly about it, start a new list which
discusses what they want it to. I am part of a group (which arose from
this list) which was started because we felt that this list was too
restrictive: the 'on-topic group' could quite openly initiate a list of
their own which focuses on what they want.

>I don't usually complain about what I consider to be off-topic
>posts. I can look at the headers and not read them. Why can't other
>people do the same?

Exactly. It's been said over and over again - use the delete key. I know
that some list members get the digest, and therefore can't select
individual messages, but there's nothing that can be done about that.
Perhaps removing the standard list footer which appears on every message
would be a better way of shortening the digests.

>Are we returning to the era of the witchhunt? Is Senator McCarthy
>back with us?

Not yet - it may come though. I wouldn't mind betting that - at some point
- someone complains about the plethora of 'on- or off-topic' discussions,
on the grounds that these are themselves off-topic. After all, if you have
a debate, someone will always try to stifle it.

So, there you go - let the flaming commence!



Mike Bygrave (bygravem -at- intuitive -dot- co -dot- uk)

Standard disclaimer: please don't sue me.
"1966 was a great year for English football...
Cantona was born."


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