Summaries please! (RE: We gotta break up these digests)

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at
Tue Sep 21 18:15:46 BST 1999

At 11:58 AM 9/21/99 +0100, Leigh Dodds wrote:
>> Is there any way we could break these digets up a bit? 
>Regular summaries on behalf of the participants involved in 
>some of the um, more heated and lengthy discussions would 
>be useful as well (perhaps these could go to a separate 
>list for those who want digests?).
>I've completely lost track of this list lately because 
>of the sudden spike in traffic. I *know* I'm missing useful 
>stuff, I just haven't got the time to dig through all 
>the posts to find the jewels amongst all the pushing and 
>I doubt anyone is going to offer to summarise the whole list, 
>but perhaps one or more participants from the major threads 
>could take a time out occasionally? Please?!

Writing summaries might well turn into essays, given the scope of the
discussion on this list.  I'm not sure people who find ten minutes five
times a day to churn out email could spend fifty consecutive minutes
dedicated to summaries.  It's a good idea, though.  Might even lead to some
useful books!

I really like the Slashdot approach, in which moderators annotate the
discussion, assigning points to commentators who regularly produce jewels
and letting readers filter out the Anonymous Cowards if they like by
setting a threshold.  They also have the advantage of a more threaded
discussion, with separate forums for each topic, which makes it a lot
easier to get to just the information you want.

About two years ago, someone (Peter Murray-Rust?) posted an 'XML-dev
Jewels' page.  That page was enormously helpful to me in figuring out a lot
of what was going on with XML, and getting started.  It was just some key
messages from the archive, but they were great!  I'd love to see more
resources like that, where someone could take the time to look over the
list and find its brightest patches.  Even a simple list of 'bright
patches' with links to the archives would help a lot of folks.  Similarly,
more third-party reporting, by people who can survive the archives (CNET
did) might make it easier for newcomers to figure out just what everyone's
talking about.  Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who has the time, money,
and patience to do that on a regular basis.

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer (2nd Ed - September)
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
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