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sci.virtual-worlds Introduction FAQ

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Archive-name: virtual-worlds/readfirst-faq
Posting-frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 1997/07/18

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sci.virtual-worlds Introduction Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The latest edition of this FAQ can always be retrieved from

or <>

This admin faq is meant to assist the new user is posting to
sci.virtual-worlds. Basic questions such as how to post, rejecting policy,
and how to subscribe and unsubscribe from virtu-l, the mailing list mirror
is covered.

This FAQ is written as an introduction to the newsgroup sci.virtual-worlds.
It is meant to be posted monthly on the 13th. It is therefore written to be
short and informative regarding subscribing and posting to this particular
newsgroup. If you are a newbie to Usenet, please take time to look at all
the wonderful FAQs posted on news.announce.newusers. There are FAQs posted
frequently there that should answer any basic USENET question you should
have. For a list of all USENET FAQs see the Usenet Info Center Launch Pad:


Questions, comments, or suggestions should be sent to:

Snail-mail may be sent to:

c/o Toni Emerson, HITLab
University of Washington
Human Interface Technology Laboratory
PO Box 352412
Seattle, WA, 98195-2412

Topics covered in this FAQ

  1. What does the newsgroup cover?
  2. How do I post?
  3. What is rejected?
  4. Is is okay to post commercial announcements?
  5. Can I submit to more than one newsgroup on sci. virtual-worlds?
  6. What are the subject tags?
  7. What are the digests?
  8. Is there a sci.virtual-worlds mailing list?
  9. Where are the sci.virtual-worlds posting archives?
 10. Where is the sci.virtual-worlds ftp site?
 11. Is there a sci.virtual-worlds WWW site?
 12. Credits

Subject: -1- What does the newsgroup cover? sci.virtual-worlds is a USENET newsgroup dedicated to the discussion of virtual worlds discussion. The group is considered to be a top level discussion group on virtual reality. Discussions and announcements on hardware, software, human factors, computer graphics, online resources are all welcome. However, the boundary is that it must be VR related.
Subject: -2- How do I post? Postings should be submitted to They should contain information, discussion, announcement and replies regarding virtual reality technology. Basic information requestors should consult the FAQ, check our ftp site or submit the posting to Info Booth Digest (with the subject tag, INFO: (see SUBJECT: -9- What are the digests?).
Subject: -3- What is rejected? We will not post: * articles that are not coherently related to virtual reality * flames (any posting that directly attacks person and/or idea without objective, analytical content) * comments directed to the moderators * multiple postings expressing essentially the same idea (the first posting will be accepted the others will be rejected) * postings considered to be personal comments, not of group interest * short commentaries consisting of personal opinion (1-3 lines...this newsgroup is adverse to "one-liners", they add little to discussions and just clog up our readers) If a submission is rejected, a message will be sent to the author indicating why it is not being posted. Note: Another possible area for rejection is length. Because sci.virtual-worlds is mirrored by the list "VIRTU-L", lengthly postings are frowned upon. It is better to archive it at our site and then post an announcement of availability.
Subject: -4- Is it okay to post commercial announcements? Usenet newsgroups are _not_ to be used as advertising bulletin boards. Usenet is pretty firm on this issue. Up until this point, postings that are in the advertising vein are tagged with a disclaimer: [MODERATOR'S NOTE: Commercial postings are offered on this newsgroup as a public service. Their appearance here does not indicate endorsement by the moderators or by the USENET or its administrators.] Postings used as advertising, but phrased as "Re:" to discussion and/or announcements _will be rejected_. sci.virtual-worlds encourages _informative_ discussion regarding products (PROD:), new product announcements (NEW-PROD:), press releases (ANNOUNCE:), and information and software available online (ONLINE:) Submissions will be rejected on the following criteria: 1. Lacking _sufficient_, relevant information 2. Flames at competitors, etc. 3. blatant advertising 4. replies to "Announcement" postings
Subject: -5- Can I submit to more than one newsgroup on sci.virtual-worlds? No. Cross-posting between sci.virtual-worlds and other moderated newsgroups is not accepted (this is due to a limitation in the way the Usenet handles moderated newsgroups). Please do not cross-post copyrighted material (such as articles from the ClariNet News Services) or excerpts submitted to other newsgroups or mailing lists without proper permission. You may, however, submit a summary of, review of, or pointer to such material.
Subject: -6- What are the Subject-line Tags? Subject line tags make the postings easier to screen and read. The tags are broken up into two major categories: Announcements and Discussions. The announcement category is meant for informational postings, not to stimulate discussion. Therefore, replies are not necessary in this category. Discussion, on the other hand, is meant to advance newsgroup commentary and debate. Announcements ADMIN: Related to newsgroup administration. ANNOUNCE: Miscellaneous. CONF: Conference descriptions, dates, deadlines, etc. CFP: Call for papers (for conferences/journals). EDUC: Description of educational opportunity. EPUB: Electronic publications, reports, papers, etc. EVENT: Descriptions of various, non-conference events. JOB-OFFERED: Employment opportunities. JOB-WANTED: Shameless self-promotion. NEW-PROD: New product announcements (commercial ads). ONLINE: Online services, WWW and ftp sites, Electronic publications, reports, papers, etc. PUB: Books, journals, etc. Discussions APPS: Applications of virtual worlds in various domains. DESIGN: Human factors, standards, and other design issues. ENTERTAIN: Entertainment/game applications. HOME-BREW: Discussion of cheap VR, PC VR, Low-Cost VR. HUMAN-FACTORS: Discussion of human factors issues. INDUSTRY: Where the industry is, or is heading. MISC: Items that don't fit into any other category. PHIL: Philosophical musings about reality, etc. PROD: Discussion of products. REV-PROD: Non-commercial reviews and evaluations of products. REV-APPS: Review of experience with an application. REV-CONF: General review or report on a conference. REV-ENTERTAIN: Review of experience with an entertainment app. REV-EVENT: General review or report on an event. REV-ONLINE: Reviews of online services, publications, etc. REV-PUB: Review of books, journals, etc. RESEARCH: Discussion of current research projects and labs, methods, problems and areas of interest SCI: Scientific issues such as health, physics, etc. SOC: Social phenomena and culture. TECH: Hard technology, data, software, hardware, etc. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Subject:-7- What are the Digests? sci.virtual-worlds has two separate digests of postings: "Virtual Interface Marketplace" and "Virtual-worlds Info Booth," are weekly posts containing a collection of related messages (posted Monday and Wednesday respectively). A skipped issue means that there were no relevant postings for that particular week. The first part of each digest will include a list of the subject lines from the posts contained in the digest, allowing for a quick check to see if the digest contains anything of specific interest to you. These digests may be plodded through on your newsreader or you may use your mailreader to read each message in the digest separately (assuming your mailreader can read folders in 'mailbox format'). Digest Subject Tags are as follows: DIGEST: Weekly digests containing related messages. DIGEST: Virtual Interface Marketplace. FOR-SALE: Products/items for sale/re-sale. MARKETING: General marketing announcement. WANTED: Entities wanting to obtain hardware/software. DIGEST: Virtual-worlds Info Booth. INFO: General information requests/answers. TERMS: Questions and answers about terminology. WHO: Searching for people involved in the field. The digests are archived at our ftp site at <>
Subject: -8- Is there a sci.virtual-worlds mailing list? Yes, it's called VIRTU-L: VIRTU-L is the mailing list mirror of sci.virtual-worlds. Greg Newby <> is the administrator. He can be contacted if you experience problems with the automated system. To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail message to the automated list server <>, with the following text in the body of the message: subscribe listname Your Full Name (of course you need to replace "listname" with "virtu-l" and you need to replace "Your Full Name" with your actual name, do not use quotes and do not use your userid). For anyone out there who receives sci-vw by the e-mail listserver, and who prefers individual postings rather than the "digest" format, just send a note to with a blank subject line, and the following in the body: set virtu-l nodigests For more information consult the lists' FAQ in the sci.virtual-worlds ftp site: <> Note: VIRTU-L is NOT a moderated group, submissions mailed to <> are posted directly to that list. Sci.virtual-worlds _is_ moderated and does_not_ post automatically. Hence, posting to virtu-l is automatic and posting to sci.virtual-worlds might take longer (moderator must read and post). Also, sci.virtual-worlds' posting contain subject tags in the subject heading and might contain comments by the moderator. Submissions that are posted (in other words, accepted) to sci.virtual-worlds are also mailed to the VIRTU-L mailing list. However, VIRTU-L postings are not always accepted to sci.virtual-worlds.
Subject: -9- Where are the sci.virtual-worlds posting archives? The postings are archived in tarred and compressed files by year. You can ftp them at: <> A great way to find current postings is to use WWW search services for USENET like: Deja News Research Service <> (will allow you to choose database to search Forums, newsgroups, mailing lists)
Subject: -10- Where is the sci.virtual-worlds ftp site? Currently, the ftp site is at <> in the directory </pub/scivw/>. Since the advent of the WWW, our ftp archives haven't grown significantly. Papers now are made available at our, the sci.virtual-worlds' WWW site. The directories are: /pub/scivw/cheap-vr/ * cheap-vr directory contatins information on homebrew VR /pub/scivw/citations/ * citations directory contains bibliographies and citation lists on various topics /pub/scivw/conferences/ * conferences directory contains call for participations and conference programs and reviews /pub/scivw/papers/ * papers directory contains VR-related papers. /pub/scivw/postings/ * postings directory contains the sci.virtual-worlds postings archives /pub/scivw/pubs/ * pubs directory contatins reviews and information about VR-related books and periodicals.
Subject: -11- Is there a sci.virtual-worlds WWW? Because, the Knowledge Base Project at the Human Interface Technology Lab maintains the sci.virtual-worlds archive, the sci.virtual-worlds WWW site is at: This site is growing. We welcome submissions to the site, primary criteria is current information regarding virtual interface technology. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Subject:-12- Credits Comments about, suggestions about or corrections to this posting are welcomed. If you would like to ask me to change this posting in someway, the method I appreciate most is for you to email me the proposed change. Make sure to indicate the section; preferably attaching the original "text" that you propose to change as well. The following people assisted in the creation of this article: Aaron Pulkka for his work in writing the _MetaFAQ_. Mark DeLoura for his work on the original sci.virtual-worlds' FAQ, _TheRealFAQ_. This article was written by: Toni Emerson, <> <>

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