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Date: -- (:)
From: Xavier Leroy <Xavier.Leroy@i...>
Subject: Re: Newsgroup for Caml?
> Don't you think that we should create a newsgroup for Caml? There is a lot
> of messages in this mailing list, and perhaps it could be a way to make Caml
> known? Do you have an opinion about that?

As Dave Berry said, there is already a newsgroup for Caml: it's called
comp.lang.ml and, according to its charter, covers all ML dialects,
including SML and Caml.

Given this, we can't create a newsgroup comp.lang.caml.  First,
the traffic on comp.lang.ml isn't sufficient to justify a split into e.g.
.caml and .sml.  Second, I think it's better to present a "unified ML view"
(SML and Caml as dialects of ML) to the outside world rather than a
split view.  (Similarly, there's comp.lang.functional, but not
comp.lang.haskell, comp.lang.clean, comp.lang.miranda, etc.)

So, anyone who'd like to discuss Caml on the News is welcome to do it
on comp.lang.ml.  (The Caml Web pages as well as the README in the
distrib mention this newsgroup.)

The fact that there is so little discussion of Caml on comp.lang.ml,
and actually so little discussion at all on comp.lang.ml, simply means
that few persons want to have Caml-related discussions on the News.
This is not a contradiction with the relatively high traffic on the
Caml list: mailing lists and newsgroups have different profiles, both
in terms of who posts where, and in terms of the kind of discussions
that take place.

Being an old timer, I remember what happened when the SML mailing list
was turned into the comp.lang.ml newsgroup: a number of regular
posters on the mailing list (e.g. Robin Milner himself) stopped
posting, and the level of discussions dropped significantly.  (This,
despite the installation of a mailing-list/newsgroup gateway.)

I'd rather not see the same thing happen with the Caml list.  Even if
it's a bit noisy at times, the discussions on the list are of a much
higher quality than what you find on newsgroups, even moderated comp.*
newsgroups.

I'm conscious the volume on the Caml list is a bit too high for some
tastes.  A solution we've considered and almost implemented is to have
two extra mailing lists:

- a "digest" version of the Caml list, with e.g. one big message per week
  (for "silent lurkers" who'd like to follow the discussions, but don't
   post often, and don't want their mailbox flooded);

- an "announce" list reserved for announcing releases, new software,
  and major events, i.e. with very low traffic
  (for those who don't want to follow the discussions).

I believe this would work much better than going through the News.

- Xavier Leroy