Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(December 1992)

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Subject: Listserv vs News
From: psrc @ pegasus . att . com (Paul S R Chisholm)
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 08:23 EST
To: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM

Latency is a funny thing.  I *could* have latency of less than an hour
on this list; but I strongly prefer getting one digest per day, rather
than each message as it's sent.  Of course, that means that I'm more
likely (than a per-message list reader) to send a redundant reply
(i.e., one that says the same thing others have already said).

When I post to Netnews, the biggest latency (for posted, rather than
e-mailed, replies) is typically how long it takes for me to read news
again.  (I've gotten trans-Atlantic e-mail replies to Netnews articles
within less than twenty-four hours.)

Some of the "threaded mail reader" comments make assumptions about how
we manage our e-mail messages.  My "in box" is pretty much a "to do"
box, and one that I clear ASAP.  Believe it or not, I try to keep my in
box *empty*; once a message has been read and acted upon (even if that
just means scheduling an activity), it's sent to a subject-oriented
file, or deleted.  (The files are kept in directories by month, e.g.,
this message might go to $HOME/mboxdir/9212/listmgrs.)  Bottom line:
all the messages I get on one subject *aren't* in one file; a "threaded
mail reader" would have trouble with that.

There's a more fundamental issue.  My e-mail is directed at *me*; some
of it's junk, but I need to at least scan it all.  Some of it is
urgent.  News is a collection of information and discussions; I can
lurk, or join in, or let it run on without me.  (I have use a "notify"
program, so I see whenever I get new e-mail; imagine doing that with

Paul S. R. Chisholm, AT&T Bell Laboratories/EasyLink Services,
att!pegasus!psrc, psrc @
 pegasus .
 att .
 com, AT&T Mail !psrchisholm
I'm not speaking for the company, I'm just speaking my mind.

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