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How to bounce a post

P: n/a

One myth about USENET is that each group has a charter; some "official" list
of on-topic concepts. When a post arrives "violating" this myth, the replies
that support the myth can in fact damage a newsgroup's health.

This post is a seasonal feature on behalf of the bouncier regulars here.

news:comp.lang.c++ discusses an advanced language often thrust upon
neophytes. They frequently misunderstand the relationships between their
language, their libraries, their platforms, their tools, and USENET.
Unchecked, freely rambling discussions of all topics raised here would clog
this newsgroup and drown out our core topic. Regular posters increase the
odds of discussing C++ here as they learn to politely, responsibly, and
gently guide our new members towards better USENET participation.

Following these rules will help one avoid a flame-back on one's bounce

- Always try to help. If you can't, don't bounce. Others who can
will help and bounce. Include a brief hint at the answer, to
provide direction, and provide an alternative forum.

- Post more on-topic answers than you bounce. "Policing" the group
may feel fun, but it starts a bad mentality. Anyone seen Paul
Lutus around recently?

- If a question is marginal, it's up to you to make the >reply<
on-topic. Example: "how does strdup() work?" Don't be a jerk
and pretend you don't know just because 'strdup()' is not in
The Standard Library. The correct answer is "strdup() works
worse than std::string::operator=()".

- Put OT: in the Subject if you can't follow the last rule. This
helps C++ purists filter their listings and see more on-topic

- Do not flame someone for providing an off-topic answer. In a
debate, referring to topicality will not get you points.

- Read the danged post. It's innocent until proven guilty. Did you
know that some posts have been bounced here just because they
mentioned VC++ in the header? The >entire post< has to be
off-topic, not just a few words.

- All posters to technical newsgroups should read an entire post
before replying to any of it. Reply to the whole argument, not
just to line-items.

- Bounce messages should reinforce topicality is in the poster's best
interest. Do not say, "You are an idiot and we don't want you in
our exclusive club." Say instead, "You will get the best answer in

- For the newbies: The topic of the group is portable C++ concepts.
This means we attract regulars who like to answer platform-neutral
questions. POSIX is also platform-neutral, so the odds someone here
knows the answer to a question about _open() is very high. But there
are still better newsgroups for such questions.

- For the regulars: Telling a newbie that their post is off-topic
because the topic of the newsgroup is "Standard C++" is a useless
tautology. Invite discussions of platform-neutral topics, theory,
design patterns, etc. The ISO C++ Standard does not define any of
those things; they are still of interest to all C++ programmers.
These guidelines help our critical mass of regulars A> not get
bored, and B> proof others' answers, regardless of the platform.

- Part of learning C++, specifically, is memorizing its elegant and
wonderfully comprehensible Standard, and applying this
knowledge in ones work. C++ users are correct and wise to pride
themselves in fingertip master of C++'s rules and guidelines.
However, a thread screaming that some post introduced off-topic
concepts, or used some trivial verbiage in a way not sanctioned by
the International Standards Organization's member committees,
does not improve the quality of this newsgroup, or foster useful
conversations here.

- An on-topic thread is a conversation. Healthy conversations are
the on-topic goal of every newsgroup ( with the obvious exception
of news:alt.flame ). A healthy conversation may bring in marginal
and off-topic concepts. These do not damage newsgroup health
when the combatants^W participants _know_ they are off-topic,
and when the thread adds value and informs people.

- "What portable library should I use to" is on-topic. If you sent them
to a MS newsgroup, and a Borland library were better, wouldn't you
feel guilty?

- The question "how does library X do Y?" will get the best answer
on X's forum. Answers to such questions here can easily include
on-topic and Standard C++ concepts. Example: Trait and Policy
templates. Yet the questioner should not be encouraged to learn
about library X here.

- Technical fora include newsgroups, Web fora, list servers, Wikis,
chat rooms, Web source code repositories, Web snippet sites, Web
tutorial sites, vendor Web sites, and Web search engines. Don't
send some other newsgroup what they'l consider a FAQ if you can
suggest the newbie locate the FAQ itself.

- Help newsreaders make URLs clickable. Use the http: or news:
protocol prefix.

- Some posters are unaware of . It will find
either the answer or the correct newsgroup.

- Refer to Shiva's excellent Welcome message, at least, in a bounce

Phlip <-- NOT a blog!!!
Apr 13 '06 #1
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2 Replies

P: n/a
One myth about USENET is that each group has a charter; some "official" list
of on-topic concepts. When a post arrives "violating" this myth, the replies
that support the myth can in fact damage a newsgroup's health.

Most groups have a charter and/or FAQ. All new posters should read
both, if available, before posting.

Apr 13 '06 #2

P: n/a
Phlip wrote:

One myth about USENET is [...]

You have too much time on your hands, pal. If you want this to be at all
helpful, massage it and ask Marshall Cline to add it to the online FAQ,
section 5.

Please remove capital 'A's when replying by e-mail
I do not respond to top-posted replies, please don't ask
Apr 13 '06 #3

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