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Newsgroup comp.lang.c++.moderated

 

Introduction

The newsgroup comp.lang.c++.moderated is moderated, which means that it enforces certain policies through having human moderators approve articles submitted to the newsgroup. Please be sure to read at least the following documents before submitting contributions to the forum:

Other useful links:

 

A Guide to Posting to comp.lang.c++.moderated

This section aims at making this newsgroup a more enjoyable forum for the serious discussion of programming using the C++ language by clarifying how posting works and what can be considered "good posting behavio(u)r".

The posting process

Posting an article is usually done using a newsreader. Besides browsing Usenet articles, a newsreader also allows you to "follow-up" to an existing article or "start a new thread" by posting an independent message.

If you post to an unmoderated group, your posted article will usually reappear in your newsreader after a few minutes. This is not the case with this moderated group, because submitted articles are examined by a human moderator before they are made available on the public forum. Hence:

Do not post an article more than once on comp.lang.c++.moderated

Your newsreader will automatically send your article by e-mail to the Computer Science department of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York (USA) where it will be placed by software in a queue of articles. The volunteer moderators more or less regularly poll that queue for articles and examine them for form and contents. Assuming your article is appropriate for this group, it will eventually be approved by one of these moderators and made public with suitable authentication.

If your newsreader is misconfigured, it may not e-mail your submissions to the correct address. You or your news-administrator should preferably fix this situation. In the mean time you can e-mail your submissions to comp-lang-c++-moderated@moderators.isc.org where it will be treated as any other submission to this group. E-mail submission is not as convenient for following up on previously posted articles unfortunately.

If your article "disappears"

The moderators do their best to handle submission to the group in a timely manner. Usually articles are handled within a few hours of submission and often even within a matter of minutes. Occasionally, however, articles get lost. This may be due to a processing error of the moderator, a bug in the queueing software, a network failure and so forth.

If you think this happened to your article, please wait at least 36 hours to make sure it did not simply require some extra time to process. If after such time your article still did not appear in the group, send e-mail to lang-cpp-request@vandevoorde.com describing the apparent problem and including a copy of your post, including the tracking number. Do not re-post your article.

Other problems, gripes, comments, ...

The e-mail address lang-cpp-request@vandevoorde.com  is forwarded to all the moderators. Feel welcome to send us reports of other problems you perceive with the moderation activity.

Rejected articles

A significant fraction of articles submitted to the group are never really posted publicly. Normally, such an article will be sent back to the poster with a note describing why the article was not posted. General guidelines followed by the moderators in this process can be found in this moderation guide.

Sometimes, a moderator may decide not to post an article for reasons not explicitly stated in the document referenced above; in those rare cases, a more extensive note explaining the reason for rejection will be attached.

Please, do not take a rejected article as a personal offense. Article rejection is what makes comp.lang.c++.moderation a quality forum; it is not a vehicle for moderators to express personal distaste for a C++ topic or poster. The moderators are nevertheless human and may sometimes decide to approve or reject an article where someone else might have chosen the contrary. Due to technical glitches, certain articles have in fact been examined by two different moderators; once or twice, only one of them decided to reject the article while the other posted the same article. By the same token, it has happened that one moderator submitted an article, but found it rejected by another moderator.

If you truly think your article was treated unfairly, you can complain at the usual address: lang-cpp-request@vandevoorde.com. If your gripes are still not addressed satisfactorily after that, you can proceed with public complaints in the unmoderated group news.groups.

Cross-posting

Sending the same article to multiple groups is in general discouraged on Usenet. For moderated groups, this applies doubly!

The approval process is harder by an order of magnitude when cross-posting is involved and therefore may incur considerably longer delays. Cross-posting to several moderated groups may in particular start a moderation procedure that can last several days (all the moderators must approve the article in turn and then gather to agree on a common posting protocol).

When following up to a cross-posted article, you may inadvertently repeat the pattern, even though your follow-up is more focused. For comp.lang.c++.moderated, the following groups are most often added for cross-posting:

alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++

comp.lang.c++

comp.std.c++

comp.lang.c, comp.lang.c.moderated

Quoting, signatures and netiquette

It is usually considered a breach of "netiquette" to post articles with inordinate quoting of previous contributions and exorbitant signatures. Remember that many readers and posters of this group must pay fees for this service that are roughly proportional to the cumulative length of the postings. Limit quoting to the minimum necessary to establish context.

Signatures should, as a rule, not exceed 4 lines; more than 8 lines is a definite no-go (some newsreaders will not append a signature if longer than 4 lines). Do not quote signatures.

It is generally also considered unsocial to ask for e-mail answer: a newsgroup is a place for multilateral discussions and trying to route answers to a personal e-mail address defeats this principle. Do not ask for e-mail responses.

Novice questions welcome...

comp.lang.c++.moderated is a forum where beginning C++ programmers and "C++ veterans" not only co-exist, but also co-operate. Many contributors have remarked that some of the best threads started with inoffensive looking novice questions.

The group is however not meant as a tutorial. Posters are still expected to do their "homework" and learn basic syntax and concepts using more traditional means (books, magazines, classes, etc.; see also alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++). Questions such as "What does 'const' mean?" and "What is the difference between a static and non-static member function?" would fall in this category of "basic syntax and concepts". Remember also to check the FAQ for frequently answered (not necessarily "novice") questions.

Formatting

Moderators may reformat your submission by breaking lines when they are too long. However, this is often a tedious task. Remember that quoting typically adds one to three characters to each line. If possible, fit your text in 70 columns.

Be aware that much software is not too friendly towards national character encoding systems. The result is often an unesthetic, hard to read posting. If it is under your control, you may want to ensure a standard ASCII encoding scheme is used.

Cancelling

Once in a while, you might decide that you'd rather not see your article stay on the forum. In your newsreader, just issue a 'cancel' command as usual. Note, however, that most major news server providers ignore cancels and so attempting to cancel an article will not do much good.

Communication

Three key strings are recognized by the moderation software if they appear anywhere in the article at the beginning of a line. The line will be removed prior to posting. Since they look like headers, they may be used with ": yes" as headers. They may also be placed elsewhere including in the sig. The strings are case insensitive.

  • X-No-Acknowledgement: For those who find the acknowledgement of the article reaching the moderation queue uninteresting, X-No-Acknowledgement will suppress the ACK upon arrival at the moderation queue.

  • X-Replace-Address: For those who would like communication from the moderation script upon receipt of an article and rejection notices, but would not like their address posted, X-Replace-Address will cause a standard non-address to replace the actual address in the From: and Reply-To: headers prior to posting. jdoe@aol.com (John Doe) becomes clcppm-poster@this.is.invalid (John Doe) John Doe <jdoe@aol.com> becomes John Doe <clcppm-poster@this.is.invalid>

  • X-No-Reject-Notice: For those who would like to continue using munged addresses and would also like to help reduce our bounced ACK/NAKs, X-No-Reject-Notice will suppress both ACK and NAK.

If you use our "@this.is.invalid" service, please either make it clear that you do not wish replies or provide an address in some form which interested parties may decipher. If you use a whitelist such as dejanews which responds with a "you are not welcome" message, please make it clear that you do not wish replies. Also please either enable the addresses for this group or use X-No-Reject-Notice.

Something like:

John Doe
I do not want replies, please followup to the group.

or

Replies may be sent to jdoe at aol dot com.

 

Moderators and Moderation Policy

Moderators

The moderators for comp.lang.c++.moderated are:

Introduction

This section contains the policy that the moderators of comp.lang.c++.moderated have agreed to follow. It describes the criteria by which articles are accepted or rejected; the responsibilities that the moderators have to the posters and readers of the newsgroup; and the procedures that the moderators will use to fulfill those responsibilities.

Accepting or Rejecting Articles

Each article will be assigned to a moderator for acceptance or rejection. The moderator will accept the article unless it violates one of the following criteria beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. [Off Topic] The article must primarily concern itself with some issue related to the C++ language, and be pertinent to the global C++ Community. Topics include the syntax and semantics of the language, discussion of tricks and techniques, case studies and example programs, issues of software engineering related to C++, issues of software management related to C++, issue of design philosophy related to C++, design patterns related to C++, etc. In particular, articles pertaining solely to the C subset of the C++ language are off-topic and belong in C newsgroups, such as comp.lang.c.moderated.

  2. Articles that do not pertain directly to the issues listed above, or articles that target a particular geographic area (e.g. announcements for C++ classes in California), or a particular institution (e.g. C++ Compilers are available at a reduced rate to employees of XYZ Corp.), or any other limited segment of the C++ community are liable to rejection. Short announcements of new books and events are currently the only acceptable articles of a commercial nature.

  3. [FAQ] The article will not consist solely of issues which are covered in the FAQ document. Any article that simply asks a FAQ will be rejected immediately. Those articles which ask a FAQ in the midst of other conforming issues will be accepted, but a moderator's note will be inserted specifying the particular FAQ.

  4. [Intro] The article will not ask a trivial question or raise a trivial issue. "Trivial" in this sense is something that is not covered by the FAQ, but is nonetheless common knowledge. Example: "How do I write the hello world program in C++?", or "What is a virtual function?". Moderators should be liberal with this policy. When in doubt, accept.

  5. [Homework] Homework questions are off-topic for this newsgroup. See FAQs 5.2 and 5.3, in the FAQ.

  6. [Environment Specific] The article will not be related solely to the use of a particular commercial class library (with the exception of the C++ Standard Library which will be considered part of the language, and cross-platform publicly available libraries such as Boost and Loki), or compilation system, or operating system. Example: "How do I clear the screen in MFC?", or "Why does g++ do this?", or "How do I write a sockets application?" Newsgroups that are often better for environment-specific articles include comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.*, microsoft.public.vc.*, and borland.public.cpp*.

  7. [Already Stated] The article restates the contents of another article (or articles) already posted to the newsgroup. Such articles will only be rejected if in the opinion of the moderators nothing new is added to the discussion. If an article contains portions that are restatement, and other portions which are not. The moderator may elide the restated portions; replacing them with: {restatement elided -mod}. Articles that are repetitive to already-posted content and/or ask the original poster to repeat something they already clearly said will fall into this category.

  8. [Nothing New] The article adds no new technical C++ material to the article to which it responds.

  9. [Excessive Code] The article contains too much code. This includes articles asking other readers to wade through large amounts of code to answer a question, instead of providing suitable example code showing the problem in isolation. The moderator will reject the article and request that the poster resubmit an edited version with a short example sufficient to show his question in isolation.

  10. [Needs Example] The opposite of [Excessive Code], an article that asks a question that is too vague to be likely to elicit meaningful discussion (e.g., "why is my program producing no output?").

  11. [Flame] The article will not contain any pejorative personal comments or attacks. Period. There will be no flame wars in this newsgroup. Moderators should be very conservative in using this policy. When in doubt, reject. Do not let a flame pass through.

  12. [Argumentative], [Flamebait] Articles that appear to be trolls and/or are otherwise likely to provoke flame responses will be rejected.

  13. [Unjustified Complaint] The article will not contain "too many" unjustified complaints about any system or language. For example, "C++ Sucks" or "C++ beats Smalltalk all to Hell.". Moderators should be liberal with this policy. When in doubt, accept. For example: "I hate C++ because exceptions are hard." could be the beginning of a good article.

  14. [Jobs] Job postings are off-topic for this newsgroup. Instead, try one of the *.jobs.* newsgroups, many of which are regional and thus better-directed.

  15. [Thank You] Articles containing only thanks fall under [Nothing New], but we're sure that the author you wanted to respond to would appreciate a private email to that effect.

  16. [Thread Killed] In rare cases, threads may get out of control and end up consisting mostly of personal attacks, repetitive statements of dug-in positions, and other content that makes the thread as a whole consist largely of off-topic article submissions under one or more of the above criteria. In such cases moderators may decide to announce that they will severely restrict further postings in that thread (by interpreting the above criteria much more narrowly for that thread), or cut off the thread altogether as no longer productive.

Non-content Based Rejection

Some articles' content may satisfy all criteria above, but violate certain requirements on their form. The following are known causes for rejection:

  1. [Overquoted] Excessive quoting of an article being responded to is discouraged, in particular if only little content is added to the quoted text. Moderators may, but are not required to, manually elide quoting of closing greetings, signatures, and the moderation banner.

  2. [Excessive Cross-Post] Cross-posts are difficult to manage when moderated groups are involved. Any cross-post to more than three groups is automatically rejected. Furthermore, certain anti-spam measures further complicate the process to a point where even posting to two moderated groups may cause the article to be rejected or lost.

  3. [Non-English] Although it is somewhat of an unfair bias, comp.lang.c++.moderated only caters to English discussions. There are other C++ newsgroups for other languages.

  4. [Format], [Attachment] Only plain text articles without attachments will be posted. HTML, Mime, encoded binaries, etc. will be rejected. A minimum set of headers (subject, date, origin) should also exist and have a recognizable format.

  5. [Duplicate] A single articles may occasionally arrive multiple times at the moderation site. This is usually a consequence of misconfigured Usenet servers. The poster may or may not be notified of such situations by the moderators.

  6. [Excess] Articles that are excessively long (e.g., >50KB), or articles from authors that are posting excessively (e.g., more than 100 articles/day) may be rejected. The rejection may be automatic or at the discretion of the moderator.

Acceptance Procedure

Acceptable articles will be posted immediately. The wording of an acceptable article will not be changed in any way by the moderators. No part of the article will be removed, reworded, corrected, or otherwise edited; except as follows:

  1. The article may be reformatted to fit on an 80 column screen. This reformatting will involve the addition and/or removal of spaces and line breaks; generally through the use of an automated tool such as 'emacs' or the equivalent.

  2. A banner containing information about newsgroup information and usage will be added to the end of every posting.

  3. Any part of the article which is an FAQ can be answered by a moderator by adding a moderator note (see below) of the form {FAQ: 27 -mod}. This is an indication to other posters that they should not answer this question.

  4. Any part of the article that raises an issue for which the moderator knows of a published reference may include a moderator note which cites the publication. e.g. {see: Stroustrup, "The C++ Programming Language", 3rd. ed., p. 234. -mod}

  5. Any part of the article that is related to some other thread on this, or any other newsgroup can have a cross reference added by the moderator. e.g. {See "Why I like overloading operator&&" in comp.lang.c++. -mod}

  6. Occasionally, there may be some issue raised in an article that a moderator is extremely familiar with, or has unique knowledge of. The moderator may inject a comment, if and only if the comment is a statement of fact rather than the opinion of the moderator, is brief, and there are no more than two such comments in the article. e.g. {I tried this recently with similar results. -mod}

  7. Moderators may elide quoted banners and signatures (as well as "closing greetings").

Moderator Notes

Moderators may add a note to an article for the reasons and according to the policies stated above. The form of those notes will always be the same. They will composed of text in braces. The last four characters of the text in braces will be -mod or a similar form involving their initials (such as -mod/jk) if the article is accepted. Thus: {text of the note. -mod}. Moderators will be extremely conservative with their use of notes. Most articles should not have any notes. Those that do should have only one, or at the most two.

Rejection Procedure

When an article is rejected, it will usually be emailed back to the poster. The subject of the email message will be: Rejected: [reason list]. where reason list is a comma separated list of the codes specified in the acceptance criteria above. e.g. Rejected: [OFF TOPIC, FLAME].

The moderator may include moderator notes in the body of the article that explain why the article was rejected. The format of those notes should be as specified above, but they can be as brief or wordy as needed to get the point across. There also may be as many as needed.

Moderators will generally not go out of their way to reach the poster. For example, if the address of origin is munged to defeat e-mail address collectors, the moderators need not manually correct for this. Furthermore, if an article is abusive in the extreme (e.g., promotion of "Get Rich Quick" schemes), the moderators may opt not to notify the abuser at all.

Moderator Anonymity

Moderators act as a single body. Any rejection should be viewed as a rejection by the moderators and not by any particular moderator. As such, the identity of the rejecting moderator will not be exposed to the poster whose article was rejected (i.e. the moderator's signature will be stripped). Any questions that the poster may have can be referred to the lang-cpp-request@vandevoorde.com email address.

Moderator Posting Policy

Moderators do not moderate their own articles. No article written by a moderator is posted unless one of the other moderators accepts it.

 

Copyright 1995-2010 by the comp.lang.c++.moderated moderators.

Copyright 2011 Herb Sutter