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Please let me help:
-From: ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/pc/ts/tsfaqn45.zip Frequently Asked Questions
-Subject: Do not post binaries directly
Q: May I just go ahead and post binaries to discussion newsgroups?
A: Let me offer some hopefully useful information about
distributing material as binary postings on the Usenet news.
First of all this should not be taken as a recrimination against
any individual poster of binaries to a discussion newsgroup, but
rather as a reminder to all of us of the potential problems
involved. Because this information is at the same time intended to
help the well-meaning posters of binaries, there are pointers at the
end of this item on how to make your binary available in the proper
If someone sees these things differently, ok, but please note
that I would rather not get flaming, indignant arguments crashing in
over this issue. I'd prefer not to waste the time with the
bickering. All civilized views are naturally always welcome. The
Also please note that it does not make a decisive difference
whether these posting in fact just contains sources and no
executables. The problems are similar whatever (binary posting or
something else) we decide call this method of distribution. The same
applies whether the binary posting is a short or a long one. This is
not just a simple question of "bandwidth" (a term some users are so
in love with :-).
I know and understand that most of who do this mean well, and
wish to contribute to the general usefulness of the Usenet news. We
all appreciate that. Nevertheless, I would strongly advise against
posting binaries to unmoderated discussion newsgroups. On top of
that the net rules don't allow it, let's look at this from a purely
practical point of view. If other netters follow suit and start
posting binaries to discussion newsgroups not meant for this
purpose, there are several potential problems:
1) The traffic will soon explode, since it is bound to be more
or less haphazard. This is bound to invoke action sooner or
later from the systems along the feed and/or net
2) There are no guarantees against trojans and other nasties.
(This does not mean that the other methods are absolutely
safe, but the likelihood is smaller by far.)
3) The probability of commercial material being posted over the
net increases, with all the consequent repercussions.
4) The idea is very wasteful of net resources. Remember that
there are over 80000 readers in e.g. comp.binaries.ibm.pc.d.
Much better to put/get stuff into/from the orderly moderated
groups, or use anonymous ftp, mail servers, or good BBSes.
5) Even should the binary posting be just a short minor one, it
may easily snowball by invoking others. Even if a single
binary posting need not be harmful in any way per se, the
danger of the snowballing effect must be kept in mind.
Now what to do if you have a useful binary you want to distribute. A
much better avenue than posting it, is telling where the utility is
available. Or if it is not yet available anywhere on the net, first
upload it to a suitable ftp site, or send it to the relevant
moderator of the binary postings (provided there is a suitable
binary group on the net). If you wish to have the instructions for
submitting material to the garbo.uwasa.fi MS-DOS & Windows archives
I'll be happy to send you our upload instructions if you email me
for them. Or if you wish to FTP the instructions directly, they are
available as ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/pc/UPLOAD.INF and the submission
formula as ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/pc/UPTEXT.INF.
A2: It is quite usual that some users facing this information tend
to counter with something along the lines "But that was a very
useful binary". This is missing the actual point. These postings
often include per se useful material. But this does _not_ exempt any
binary posting, however useful, from the problems listed above.
Furthermore, the "ban" on posting binaries to discussion newsgroups
is an established net code of conduct. It is not just my view, even
if I happen to concur. I am just providing the information for the
point. "Many sites are connected via uucp using 2400bps modems over
LD links. They generally don't take binaries groups because of the
cost involved in getting them and/or a lack of hard drive space.
Posting a binary to a discussion group directly costs them a
considerable amount of money and may cause their disks to overflow."
A4: When I post this (or similar information) as a followup to a
misplaced binary posting on the Usenet news, it often elicits what I
call "the bandwidth myth". It usually goes, somewhat aggressively,
like this. "Isn't your followup posting as much a waste of bandwidth
as the original posting?" This is a fallacy. The comparison is
mismatched. The comparison should be not only with the original,
misplaced posting but also with all the potential others it helps to
redirect to the proper channels. Besides, the purpose is to help
users to find their way, not to complain.
All the best, Timo
Moderating at ftp:// & http://garbo.uwasa.fi archives 188.8.131.52
Department of Accounting and Business Finance ; University of Vaasa