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[comp.lang.perl.moderated] Welcome - read this first!

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Archive-Name: perl-faq/moderated/welcome
Comp-lang-perl-moderated-archive-name: welcome
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Version: $Id: FAQ,v 1.55 2008/03/03 15:47:27 gbacon Exp $
URL: http://perl.plover.com/clpm/FAQ
Maintainer: Greg Bacon <gbacon@hiwaay.net>
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Subject: 0. What is this document? This document contains information for everyone interested in posting to or simply reading the comp.lang.perl.moderated Usenet newsgroup. This document DOES NOT answer any questions you might have about Perl. For a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Perl language itself, please see <URL:http://www.cpan.org/doc/FAQs/FAQ/html/> In the interest of brevity, `clpmod' will be used throughout the rest of this document to refer to the comp.lang.perl.moderated Usenet newsgroup. Similarly, `clpmisc' will be used throughout the rest of this document to refer to the comp.lang.perl.misc Usenet newsgroup. CONTENTS Welcome to clpmod! 1. Do we really need a moderated Perl newsgroup? 2. What topics are appropriate for clpmod? 3. Are there any resources I should consult before posting? 4. How do I post to clpmod? 5. What about crossposting to other moderated groups? 6. Will I receive a rejection notice if my submission is rejected? 7. Why do I have to register to post? 8. Won't registering make me an easy target for spammers? 9. How can I register a munged address? 10. Isn't header munging prohibited by the RFCs? 11. If I've already registered, can I post from another address? 12. Is there a mailing list mirror of clpmod? 13. Who are the moderators? 14. About this posting
Subject: Welcome to clpmod! =========================== The following is a list of questions that you may have or that may arise as you participate in clpmod. We the clpmod moderators hope to make this document as useful as possible for everyone. Please assist us in achieving this goal by mailing the maintainer of this FAQ if there are subjects you feel should be covered but aren't or if coverage of some subjects is not adequate.
Subject: 1. Do we really need a moderated Perl newsgroup? ========================================================= This is the rationale Mark-Jason Dominus provided for the creation of clpmod: The comp.lang.perl.misc group presently has very high traffic: typically about 250 articles per day. Much of this traffic is given over to people asking off-topic questions, and questions answered in the FAQ. In these circumstances, a number of regular posters to the group have stopped reading comp.lang.perl.misc, while new readers can find it difficult to find relevant posts. The result is reduced usefulness of the existing comp.lang.perl.misc newsgroup. This comp.lang.perl.moderated group is proposed as high signal-to-noise group where readers will not be subjected to the types of articles described above. The intention is to provide a useful resource for inexperienced Perl programmers and to attract and retain experienced programmers who can make a substantial contribution to the group. comp.lang.perl.misc would still be left in place for more general discussion, and for those topics that no one seems to agree on a place for. However, if you're asking this question or don't buy the above rationale, there is no reason for you not to continue using clpmisc. The existence of clpmod has no bearing on clpmisc.
Subject: 2. What topics are appropriate for clpmod? =================================================== This is outlined in the group's charter, which you can read at <URL:http://perl.plover.com/clpm/charter> If you're unsure about a submission's appropriateness, you can either post it and wait for a moderator's decision or you can contact the moderation panel's policy discussion mailing list at <mjd-clpm-policy@plover.com>
Subject: 3. Are there any resources I should consult before posting? ==================================================================== Yes. Thanks to the hard work of many, a myriad of excellent information about Perl is available free of charge! Consider this list compiled by Nathan Torkington <gnat@frii.com>: 1. comp.lang.perl.moderated is for questions on the Perl language. If you're interested in reading the group's charter, please go to <URL:http://perl.plover.com/clpm/charter> Don't forget that there is also an unmoderated group for discussion of the Perl language, comp.lang.perl.misc, for topics that do not fall within the bounds of clpmod's charter. Try comp.infosystems.www.authoring.cgi for questions on the CGI part of CGI scripts. The two leading blocks of reusable code for CGI purposes are CGI.pm, at <URL:ftp://genome.wi.mit.edu/pub/software/WWW/> <URL:http://www.cpan.org/modules/by-module/CGI/> and cgi-lib.pl, at <URL:http://cgi-lib.berkeley.edu/> You might also want to check out libwww-perl at <URL:http://www.linpro.no/lwp/> <URL:http://www.cpan.org/modules/by-module/LWP/> 2. Are you using the following? #!/usr/bin/perl -w use diagnostics; use strict; "-w" turns on all sorts of warnings about probable errors (see the perldiag manpage), "use diagnostics" causes the "-w" warnings to be explained in greater detail (with the explanations from the perldiag manpage), and "use strict" generates compile and run-time errors for certain unsafe variable, reference and subroutine constructs (see the strict manpage) 3. Have you read the Perl FAQ? Many questions on sockets programming, an important and common problem with Solaris, text manipulation and the jargon of perl are answered in the FAQ. As well as being posted regularly to comp.lang.perl.misc, the FAQ is on the web at: <URL:http://www.cpan.org/doc/FAQs/FAQ/html/> 4. Have you read the man pages? Here are some subjects and the man pages to look in: Objects perltoot, perlref, perlmod, perlobj, perltie Data Structures perlreftut, perlref, perllol, perldsc Modules perlmod, perlsub, perlmodlib Regexps perlre, perlfunc, perlop <URL:http://www.cpan.org/doc/FMTEYEWTK/> (not a man-page but still useful) Moving to perl5 perltrap, perl Linking w/C perlxstut, perlxs, perlcall, perlguts, perlembed The man page for "perltoc" provides a crude table of contents for the perl man page set. 5. Have you tried archives of Usenet? Google Groups, available on the web at <URL:http://groups.google.com/>, offers an archive of postings to Usenet that reaches further back than Larry Wall's initial public release of Perl in December 1987. Be sure to include "Perl" in your search. 6. Are you checking the return values from the functions built in to perl? Most of the file and system functions set $! and have return values that you can test thus: open(PASSWD, "</etc/passwd") or die "error opening /etc/passwd: $!\n"; $! will contain an error message that will give you more information on where your program is going wrong. The perlfunc man page will give you more information on the return values from functions. 7. Have you looked at <URL:http://www.perl.com>? This is a great online reference, with documentation, pointers to modules in the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN), articles on the inner workings of many bits of Perl, and more. 7.5. Have you checked to see if a Perl module satisfies your needs? Many reusable modules are available for immediate download and use. See <URL:http://www.cpan.org/modules/00modlist.long.html> for details. 8. The latest version of the "Camel Book" ("Programming Perl"), updated for version 5.6, is available from your bookstore or from <URL:http://www.ora.com/>. Another excellent dead tree resource is the first and only periodical devoted to Perl, The Perl Journal. In fact, several moderators have even contributed to TPJ. Find it on the web at <URL:http://www.tpj.com/> Check out (free!) example code from past issues at <URL:http://www.tpj.com/tpj/programs/> 9. To find the source code for the latest releases of all supported branches of Perl, visit <URL:http://www.cpan.org/src/README.html> (Look in <URL:http://www.cpan.org/SITES.html> for a list of FTP-based mirrors.) 10. Remember, USENET newsgroups are based on the idea of mutual aid. USENET only works if we put as much into it as we get out of it. Good luck with your Perl work.
Subject: 4. How do I post to clpmod? ==================================== Posting to moderated newsgroups should be no different than posting to unmoderated newsgroups. In case the configuration at your site is broken, you may email your submission directly to <mjd-clpm-submit@plover.com> If you're not sure whether the moderation panel has received your post, feel free to contact the moderation panel's administrative address: <mjd-clpm-admin@plover.com> New posters will automatically receive a list of Perl resources and a registration form to fill out and return. All submissions from a new or unregistered poster will be held in escrow until their registration form has been returned and accepted, after which all articles will be distributed to members of the moderation team for consideration.
Subject: 5. What about crossposting to other moderated groups? ============================================================== Crossposting to multiple moderated newsgroups is a headache for everyone involved. From posters' perspective, posting to multiple moderated newsgroups requires at least one more fascist to declare a fiat and, hence, delays the injection of their posts into Usenet. From moderators' perspective, it's an administrative hassle because the moderators of all moderated groups in the Newsgroups: header must approve each article, so moderators must shuffle paperwork among themselves for a while before the article will appear in the newsgroups. (This is why most moderated groups automatically reject articles crossposted to multiple moderated groups.) Before crossposting to clpmod and another moderated newsgroup, please consider whether it's worth all the headaches and delays. The moderator of comp.lang.perl.announce, for instance, has indicated that he'll rarely approve an article crossposted to clpmod and comp.lang.perl.announce. If you feel that your article absolutely must appear in multiple moderated groups, please trim the Followup-To: header so that followups will appear in at most one moderated group.
Subject: 6. Will I receive a rejection notice if my submission is rejected? =========================================================================== Absolutely. Always. Without fail. Yes. In case this isn't clear: POSTS ARE NEVER REJECTED SILENTLY. If your post hasn't shown up in the newsgroup and you haven't received a rejection notice within a day or two of posting, it is almost certain that the moderation panel has not received your submission. If you would like to verify that your post is, in fact, in the hands of the moderation panel, contact the panel administrator at <mjd-clpm-admin@plover.com>
Subject: 7. Why do I have to register to post? ============================================== Since the recent Internet explosion, the typical Usenet poster has changed somewhat. For example, many sites used to require people to read the periodic posts in news.announce.newusers before they could post to Usenet at all. These days, it seems like no one even knows what the purpose of news.announce.newusers is. People didn't always think of Usenet as their free helpdesk to which they should send their urgent questions. This isn't the fault of the new users, but their sheer volume makes it very difficult to educate them. The registration system has a few advantages. One of which is new posters receive a nice list of Perl resources. This is good because it increases their chances of finding an answer as well as increases the quality of the answers they'll find. Some weeks on clpmisc feature a set of posters of whom half have never posted to the group before. This suggests that they probably haven't browsed through many Perl resources. Holding posts in escrow also makes the lives of the volunteer moderation panel a little easier.
Subject: 8. Won't registering make me an easy target for spammers? ================================================================== Many potential readers raised this concern during the process of creating clpmod. It is our desire to make clpmod as useful as possible to as many people as possible, and the threat of spam outweighs the potential usefulness for some people. We promised to support header munging until a better solution to the spam problem comes along. After posting to the group for the first time, the response you receive will outline exactly how to go about arranging to munge your From: header. To register a munged address before posting, bug a moderator.
Subject: 9. How can I register a munged address? ================================================ Before registering a munged address, please read the Address Munging FAQ at <URL:http://www.faqs.org/faqs/net-abuse-faq/munging-address/>. If you would like to munge your From: header (e.g., luser@NOSPAM-foo.com), send a message to mjd-clpm-register@plover.com with a line in the body of your message that looks like this: Address: luser@NOSPAM-foo.com where the bits after the colon form the address that will appear in the From: headers of your posts. NOTE: doing this will cause `X-Unverified-Address: yes' to be included in the headers of each of your posts from that address.
Subject: 10. Isn't header munging prohibited by the RFCs? ========================================================= Though some readings of the RFCs (RFC stands for Request for Comment-- these documents serve as Internet Standards; see <URL:http://info.internet.isi.edu/7c/in-notes/rfc/.cache> to search for RFCs on a certain subject) prohibit spam blocking or header munging, the desire to avoid spam is legitimate. We realize that there are many positions on this sometimes controversial topic. In fact, if you do not wish to see posts with a munged From: header, feel free to killfile those posts. All posters who register under a munged address will have the following header included in all approved articles: X-Unverified-Address: yes Newsreaders with decent killfile functionality will allow people who don't want to read articles with unrepliable addresses to avoid hair pulling. Keep in mind, however, that an article that does not contain the X-Unverified-Address: header is not necessarily automatically repliable. People's addresses do change and configuration errors do occur. If an article does not have the X-Unverified-Address: header, that means we were able to send mail to it once--the address may no longer be valid. An easy rule of thumb is the X-Unverified-Address: header (or lack thereof) is merely an indication and not a definitive statement.
Subject: 11. If I've already registered, can I post from another address? ======================================================================== If you want to post from an address that you haven't registered for whatever reason, you can put the address you *have* registered in an X-Real-Address header of your message, like: X-Real-Address: foo@example.com If foo@example.com has been registered, a post with the above header will be treated like it was from a registered address, except that it will have `X-Unverified-Address: yes' added to the headers.
Subject: 12. Is there a mailing list mirror of clpmod? ====================================================== It is possible to subscribe to comp.lang.perl.moderated as a mailing list. This is provided as a general service for those people who cannot receive the newsgroup for whatever reason or who just prefer to receive messages via email. To receive clpmod via email (or to change your mind later), send a message to <clpm-request@lists.eyrie.org> with subscribe or unsubscribe in the *Subject*. Another way is to use the form at the following URL: <URL:http://lists.eyrie.org/mailman/listinfo/clpm> The traffic on the mailing list will be the same as what is posted to the newsgroup, and the submission address for the mailing list goes to the submission address for the newsgroup. This mailing list is therefore in essence moderated via the same mechanism and with the same policies as the newsgroup. If there are any questions or problems, feel free to contact Russ Allbery.
Subject: 13. Who are the moderators? =================================== The moderators are Mark Jason Dominus, Russ Allbery, Greg Bacon, Hildo Biersma, and Tad McClellan.
Subject: 14. About this posting ============================== (c) Copyright 1998-2001 by the clpmod moderators, all rights reserved. Redistribution of this document is hereby freely granted so long as the document is redistributed in its entirety (here interpreted as all text which were not automated generated by software as part of the distribution process); in particular, with attributions and this copyright notice. We would appreciate hearing about any interesting redistributions. Comments about, suggestions about or corrections to this posting are welcomed. If you would like to ask us to change this posting in some way, the method we appreciate most is for you to actually make the desired modifications to a copy of the posting, and then to send us the modified posting, or a context diff between the posted version and your modified version (if you do the latter, make sure to include in your mail the "Version:" line from the posted version). Submitting changes in this way makes dealing with them easier for us and helps to avoid misunderstandings about what you are suggesting. Many people have in the past provided feedback and corrections; we thank them for their input. Remaining ambiguities, errors, and difficult-to-read passages are not their fault. :) -- The clpmod moderation panel ------------------------------------ ---------------------- -------------------------

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