preRFD for comp.programming.reviews 
Author Message
 preRFD for comp.programming.reviews

I propose that a newsgroup which reviews application sources would
be useful.  I elaborate:

1.  "I propose":  We need a preRFD.  In this case, for
    example, I am requesting discussion, but this is
    no Request For Discussion (I've filed those before,
    successfully, and understand what's involved).  In
    any case, comp.*.reviews is something I think could
    work out well, and I'm curious to learn how it sounds
    to others.
2.  "... newsgroup ...":  I have a number of reasons for
    favoring Usenet as a protocol for this forum over a
    mailing list.  The most relevant one at this point
    is that comp.*.sources will offer great opportunities
    for productive cross-posting.  Some reviews will inter-
    est the comp.lang.fortran and sci.math.num-analysis
    crowds; some will beg for comment by the comp.software-
    eng-ineers and comp.client-servers students.
3.  "... which reviews ...":  reviews are a distinctive
    literary form.  Usenet (et al.) already support(s)
    thriving forums of commentary such as rec.music.reviews,
    rec.arts.books.reviews (new; high-quality),
    news.groups.reviews (neglected but interesting),
    alt.cd-rom.reviews, ...  I claim the same critical
    faculties would flourish when applied to source
    code.
4.  "... application ...":  one of my pet hypotheses is
    that the genre of reviews owes much of its success to
    the fact that a review is always *about* something:
    a particular book, the fall opera schedule, or a Sun-
    day double-header.  In a post-modernist world, definite
    anchors of this sort are fixed points which a reviewer
    and his or her readers share, and on which they can
    build.  Thus, my idea for comp.*.reviews is that each
    post have an identifiable subject:  a particular pro-
    gram from the EXAMPLES directory of the OpenVMS6.1
    release, or the BLAS library at ORNL, or a public-domain
    1-2-3 script that plays checkers.
5.  "... sources ...":  it's good to look at sources, it's
    good to critique them, it's good to re-use and decode
    and analyze and re-arrange and study and *frolic* in
    them.  I don't know how to explain briefly what a change
    this is from even one or two decades ago, when source
    code was *private*.  In any case, there is now a LOT of
    source code (GNU project; tons of scientific applications;
    mountains of OS and language experiments; CD-ROMs of
    examples ...) that's publicly-available and edifying, both
    for its virtues and vices.  Let's look at it together.
6.  "... useful.":  I have strong beliefs in the benefits of
    review, which I've expressed before in some of these
    newsgroups.  I'll touch lightly on just a couple of aspects
    for now:
    a.  Part of the charm of comp.lang.misc and, to a lesser
        extent, alt.folklore.computers, is that the partici-
        pants there offer up real code to illustrate their
        points.  c.l.m discussants, in particular, do a good
        job of tying their arguments to specific examples of
        implementation ("Continuations?!  Heck, I can model
        continuations in TCL in seven fewer characters than
        that:  ...").
    b.  Practice and exercise are important, and the program-
        ming community is notorious for its late nights and
        self motivation.  Good targets and right standards
        also matter.  Literary authors profit from reading
        Shakespeare and Hamsun and{*filter*}inson along with traffic
        signals and bread wrappers.  As programmers and software
        engineers, we cheat ourselves if we read only the
        mediocre source code that pays the bills; we also need
        the inspiration of Knuth and Djikstra and Torvald and
        Stallman and others.

What should we call such a group?  I'm thinking of something like

        comp.software-eng.sources.reviews
        comp.programmming.reviews
        comp.programmming.sources.reviews

Should it be moderated?  Should there be a *.reviews.d?  What do
you think?

I've narrowed follow-ups slightly.
--

Cameron Laird           ftp://ftp.neosoft.com/pub/users/claird/home.html




Sat, 24 May 1997 08:24:15 GMT  
 preRFD for comp.programming.reviews

Quote:

>I propose that a newsgroup which reviews application sources would
>be useful.  I elaborate:

Be careful that you don't reinvent comp.sources.reviewed.
This (perhaps little-known) group has been around since 1991.

Richard.
--

Department of Computer Science            Aust:  (06) 249 5689
The Australian National University        Intl: +61 6 249 5689
Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia             Fax:  +61 6 249 0010



Sat, 24 May 1997 14:20:21 GMT  
 preRFD for comp.programming.reviews

: I propose that a newsgroup which reviews application sources would
: be useful.  I elaborate: [...]

There already exists a newsgroup comp.sources.reviewed...  Is this what
you mean?  I haven't seen any traffic in it recently, though.  It is
archived at the usual usenet archives (I think).

Or did you want a group that is different in some way?  I agree
wholeheartedly with your PreRFD comments, and I would love to see a group
of this sort.  I think moderation is the way to go, for my $0.02...

--



Sun, 25 May 1997 02:59:16 GMT  
 preRFD for comp.programming.reviews

    > I propose that a newsgroup which reviews application sources would
    > be useful.  I elaborate...

I have read this posting twice now, and the idea sounded better each
time.   As far as names go, `comp.programmming.reviews' would keep the
group close to `comp.programmming.literate' in the Usenet namespace, which
is probably a good thing.  Light moderation would also be a good idea
(hell, this is true for *all* newsgroups!), but c.p.r.d shouldn't be
necessary.

An archive of reviews of PD software could be a valuable contribution from
this group.  Is there any way this could be set up from the start?


-- Dept. Computer Science  Phone: +64 9 3737 599 x8758
-- University of Auckland  Fax:   +64 9 3737 453
-- Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.



Sun, 25 May 1997 05:52:23 GMT  
 preRFD for comp.programming.reviews

Quote:


>>I propose that a newsgroup which reviews application sources would
>>be useful.  I elaborate:

>Be careful that you don't reinvent comp.sources.reviewed.
>This (perhaps little-known) group has been around since 1991.

                        .
                        .
                        .
I've had a couple of comments about that.  To my mind, there's no
question that they--the existing, if moribund, comp.sources.reviewed,
and the comp.*.reviews that I'm proposing--occupy quite distinct
niches.  I'll quote Version 1.4 of the "Guidelines for Submissions"
for the former (dated 9 July 1991):

        Comp.sources.reviewed (CSR) is a moderated news-
        group for the distribution of program sources
        that have been evaluated by peer review ...

comp.sources.reviewed posts a couple of articles a month.
comp.*.reviews would be a (moderated?  maybe yes) newsgroup for
distribution and study of reviews of source code that's already out
in the world.  I expect it would receive a few dozen articles each
month.

I recognize, however, that the names are close enough to distract.
I don't have a solution for that; does anyone else?
--

Cameron Laird           ftp://ftp.neosoft.com/pub/users/claird/home.html




Sun, 25 May 1997 07:07:54 GMT  
 preRFD for comp.programming.reviews
:       comp.software-eng.sources.reviews
:       comp.programmming.reviews
:       comp.programmming.sources.reviews

This can go a lot further.  For example:

        comp.os.*.reviews
        comp.sys.*.reviews

There is already a comp.sys.amiga.reviews.  It would be up the individual
groups to decide this.  IMHO, the concept of more review groups is a good
idea.

Later,
Steven Whatley

 _   _  _ _  __ : Steven Whatley              \ The opinions expressed are my
|_  |_|  |  |   : System Analyst/Programmer    \ own.  You may freely copy,

Scientific Applications International Corporation (An employee-owned company)



Sun, 25 May 1997 07:26:22 GMT  
 preRFD for comp.programming.reviews

Quote:

>:   comp.software-eng.sources.reviews
>:   comp.programmming.reviews
>:   comp.programmming.sources.reviews

>This can go a lot further.  For example:

>    comp.os.*.reviews
>    comp.sys.*.reviews

>There is already a comp.sys.amiga.reviews.  It would be up the individual
>groups to decide this.  IMHO, the concept of more review groups is a good
>idea.

I basically agree, if some way can be found to limit or segregate TYPES
of application code. I think some of the later follow-up postings are
dancing around this issue. Overlap and duplication could become a BIG
problem if this issue isn't properly thought out.

For example, Timo Salmi and his associates at the University of Waasa
(Finland) are already doing a pretty good job with ms-dos PD, freeware,
and shareware. In fact, they desparately need a moderator for Windows code,
otherwise they'll have to stop accepting new submissions.

A newsgroup and a FAQ review CASE tools, and the CM newsgroup does a decent
job of reviewing CM tools.

But there is still a decided need for a newsgroup to review application
software that doesn't fit the other niches -- the "leftovers."

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
Joe Cotellessa, Grumman Data Systems (in No. {*filter*}ia),  703-713-4147
                #include  <std_disclaimer.h>
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////



Sun, 25 May 1997 11:48:31 GMT  
 preRFD for comp.programming.reviews

                        .
                        .
                        .
Quote:
>I basically agree, if some way can be found to limit or segregate TYPES
>of application code. I think some of the later follow-up postings are
>dancing around this issue. Overlap and duplication could become a BIG

                        .
                        .
                        .
Quote:
>But there is still a decided need for a newsgroup to review application
>software that doesn't fit the other niches -- the "leftovers."

                        .
                        .
                        .
You and I definitely have different goals in mind.  I agree with
you on the desireability of "a newsgroup to review application
software ..."--but that's not what I'm proposing this week.  What
I'm working to define and analyze is a newsgroup for programmers--
software engineers--who want to study source code.  We might say,
for example,

        XXX is a weather-modelling application written
        in J, available at ftp://..., with a Danish-
        language interface.  Few people will ever use
        it, because of the paucity of Danish speakers
        in the world, but its source code is interesting
        for its inspired use of ...

The virtues of an application and its source are distinct.
--

Cameron Laird           ftp://ftp.neosoft.com/pub/users/claird/home.html




Tue, 27 May 1997 05:10:09 GMT  
 
 [ 8 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. comp.lang.misc review

2. mini review on BYTE mini review on J

3. Reviews and pointers to reviews about implementation

4. Book review review

5. Code review? - beginning Win32Forth programming

6. Books for review in the Journal of Functional Programming

7. Reviews for the Journal of Functional Programming

8. Review of Squeak as a programming language for children

9. Review of Squeak as a programming language forchildren

10. Review of Squeak as a programming language for children

11. Mini review: Programming Languages: An Interpreter-based Approach

12. Programming Ruby book review in DDJ

 

 
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software