Eleven FAQ's About comp.databases.informix and informix-list@iiug.org

Eleven FAQ's About comp.databases.informix and informix-list@iiug.org

Post by Jonathan Leffle » Mon, 02 Jun 2003 09:25:42

Eleven FAQ's About comp.databases.informix and informix-l...@iiug.org

Last Update $Date: 2003/03/03 17:58:59 $

The comp.databases.informix news group is intended to be the primary
news group for discussing how to use the IBM Informix database products.

FAQ 1 - What is the informix-l...@iiug.org mailing list?

The informix-l...@iiug.org mailing list is a bi-directional gateway to
the comp.databases.informix (c.d.i) UseNet news group.  Messages posted
to the newsgroup are forwarded by mail to subscribers of the mailing
list, responses sent to the informix-l...@iiug.org email address are
posted to comp.databases.informix, and the gateway manages to keep track
of things so that postings do not repeat themselves.

The service is provided by the International Informix User Group, IIUG,
with the web site http://www.iiug.org.  The IIUG web site also has a
software repository with a lot of useful information in it -- check it
out.  The IIUG also provides a number of other mailing list services to
IIUG members; details are available at the IIUG web site.

The official home of the Informix FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) list
is at http://www.smooth1.demon.co.uk/informix.htm.  The FAQ list is
maintained by David Williams, d...@smooth1.demon.co.uk.

FAQ 2 - How Can I Subscribe To comp.databases.informix by Email

In order to subscribe to the Informix List (informix-l...@iiug.org), you
must be a member of IIUG.  Membership is free.  Go to the IIUG web site,
http://www.iiug.org, to join and subscribe.

If you are already a member of IIUG, you need your membership number,
name and email address to log into the member area.  Go to the web site
and click on "Update Your Member Profile".  If you don't know your
membership number, there is a link on the login screen to have it
emailed to you.  Finally, if you can't obtain your member information,
send an email to webmas...@iiug.org.

Once in the member area, click on the "Subscribe" button.  There will be
a lists of email discussion groups including informix-list.  Also visit
http://www.iiug.org/ver1/resources/forums_top.html for more information.

You can no longer subscribe (or unsubscribe) by sending email to

FAQ 3 - How Can I Unsubscribe From informix-l...@iiug.org

Visit the IIUG web site once more, login to the the member area as
above, and use the Subscribe button.  This will show you the list of
email discussion groups that are available, and you can unsubscribe
yourself by removing the check-mark against the "informix-list" entry.

FAQ 4 - What else do I need to know about this?

When you subscribe to c.d.i, you should expect to receive 50-150 emails
per day from the news group.

Currently, there is no digest service.  A digest service would
accumulate the messages over the course of a day (or part of a day) and
then send out a single large email message to the digest subscribers.

FAQ 5 - What Rules Exist Regarding Format, Content, Flame Wars, etc.

None; this is a news group!  That is, there are no rules enforced by the
software.  There are periodically discussions on c.d.i about what should
and should not be said.  This is my FAQ, so it gets my spin on the rules
that should be followed.

*   Format: HTML postings are strongly discouraged; so are MIME
    postings.  Both cause problems with many frequently used news
    readers.  That means that attachments aren't encouraged either.
    Also, sending the same information twice, once in HTML and once in
    plain text is downright wasteful.

*   Content: straight technical answers to questions don't need any
    special treatment.  When the subject under discussion changes
    sufficiently that the subject is no longer accurate, it is courteous
    to change the subject.  The standard, time-honoured NetNews
    technique is "New Subject (was: Old Subject)".  There is a strong
    tendency for discussions in c.d.i to veer from the technical into
    jocular commentary, often about the participants.  It is courteous
    to change the thread subject when you do this, and the standard
    method used in most news groups is to add 'OT' to indicate
    'off-topic' content.  Marking off-topic messages makes it easier for
    those who don't want to read the banter to avoid it.  If you feel
    compelled to put technical content into a thread currently marked
    off-topic, remove the tag.

*   Quoting Posts: when you respond to a post, please trim as much of
    the quoted material as possible.  However, do include enough of the
    question to ensure that your answer is comprehensible.  Leave out
    the signature blocks (especially the obnoxiously irrelevant ones
    about how you should not abuse this message if it was sent to you in
    error) and any superfluous content.  Be careful about misattributing
    information to the wrong poster.

*   OCR - original content ratio.  Dr Pablo has taken to posting a
    summary once a month of who has posted what in the news group.  One
    of the statistics is the OCR.  Don't worry too much about the
    statistic, but in general, the higher the OCR of your postings, the
    better.  An OCR of 100% probably means that you are either only
    asking questions (which is OK), or you are not quoting any of the
    question in your answer (which is not such a good idea unless your
    answers indicate clearly what the questions said).  An OCR under
    about 10% means you should be trimming the original content a lot
    more than you are.  Anywhere in the middle and you are unlikely show
    up in the statistics at the end of the month.

*   Versions: it is often helpful to include platform and version
    information for the software you are using.  For example: Sun
    Solaris 7, IDS 9.30.UC1, CSDK 2.70.UC1.  With Linux, both the
    version of the kernel and the version of the GLIBC library are
    relevant.  It is often helpful to identify 64-bit hardware.

*   Flame Wars: Don't!  For the most part, the c.d.i group manages to
    maintain a civilized discourse (even with the contributors who work
    for Oracle) and ad hominem flame wars are strongly discouraged.

*   Banter: largely covered under content.  Banter cannot be prevented.
    Once you've been reading c.d.i for a week or two, it will be obvious
    that banter figures quite prominently in the content (and usually
    without any off-topic tag).  Banter should be limited - more limited
    than it is (there speaks The Curmudgeon who is not entirely in tune
    with the regular posters of banter).  Do it judiciously.  If you do
    indulge, make sure you trim the quoted content of messages to the
    minimum and add the OT marker; someone passing two lines of jocular
    remarks on a posting of several hundred lines of quoted material is
    being discourteous to the other users of both c.d.i and the Internet
    in general.

*   Cross-posting: is not encouraged.  Cross-posting outside the
    comp.databases news group hierarchy is very seldom acceptable.

*   Spam: don't do it.  When spam postings arrive (they do), ignore
    them.  There isn't anything else that is truly effective.  Do not
    use the services or buy the products of companies that spam.  From
    July 2002 onwards, there has been an outbreak of the Nigeria bank
    scam - lots of money for you if you allow them to use your bank
    account to transfer money through it.  Do not give them your bank
    account information; you will (probably) lose lots of money.

FAQ 6 - Can I ask about Universe, Unidata, Cloudscape, Red Brick?

You are welcome to ask questions about Universe and Unidata databases,
which are collectively known as U2, on the comp.databases.informix news
group -- they are Informix databases.  However, it is realistic to note
that most people who read the news group are more familiar with the
traditional Informix databases than with the multi-valued, Pick-based U2
systems.  There are other places where you can also ask questions about
these products:

*   Multi-Value News Group:
    Point your news reader at comp.databases.pick or Browse to

*   U2 External Mailing List:
    To subscribe send an empty mail to: informix-mv-subscr...@oliver.com

*   SB Solutions External Mailing List:
    Browse to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sbsolutions

You may also ask questions about Red Brick and Cloudscape, but again,
most people who read the news group are more familiar with the
traditional Informix databases.

FAQ 7 - Can I ask about Perl, DBI and DBD::Informix?  Other products?

You may ask questions about Perl, DBI and DBD::Informix, but only if an
IBM or Informix database is involved, somehow -- it is not a general
forum for arbitrary questions about Perl.  However, there are
alternative forums that you should also use, described in the product.
However, those locations have changed in the last year, so you should be
aware of the official home, http://dbi.perl.org/, which contains
pointers to how to subscribe to the dbi-us...@perl.org mailing list.

Similar comments apply to other products which use Informix databases
but are not supplied by IBM/Informix.  For example, Informix Dynamic 4GL
(also known as 4J's Universal Compiler, and its heirs and successors)
can be discussed on an unmoderated but monitored mailing list run by
4J's; see http://www.4js.com/ for information on how to join the
fourjs-us...@4js.com mailing list.  The Aubit4GL open source project has
its own discussion mailing list, aubit4gl-disc...@lists.sourceforge.net;
you can find out how to subscribe at http://aubit4gl.sourceforge.net.

FAQ 8 - Can I ask about DB2?

You may ask questions about DB2, but you may get a better informed
response if you ask the question on the comp.databases.ibm-db2 news
group.  Also, check out the International DB2 Users Group (IDUG) web
site at http://www.idug.org.

FAQ 9 - Can I make job postings, commercial announcements, etc?

This is a contentious subject, and there are about as many views as
there are readers of the news group.  In general, it is preferred that
you do not post job offers or other commercial announcements to the
c.d.i news group.  However, if you occasionally post a job offer, or
pointers to where Informix-related job offers can be found, this breach
of protocol will usually be ignored.  If you choose to post several such
messages in a week, expect to be inundated with objections.  A short
message, once a month, not on the first of the month, would probably be
OK.  Please ensure that the posting can be identified as a job offer,
perhaps using '[JOB]' at the start of the subject line.  Also, remember
this is an international news group; be specific about where the job is
(for example, saying 'the Bay Area' is not precise enough; it might be
Tampa, FL or San Francisco, CA or various locations outside the USA) and
list any visa requirements for people outside your country who might
wish to apply.  Similar comments apply to commercial announcements,
where the subject line should probably start '[ADV]'.

FAQ 10 - Which URLs Should I Know About?

    http://www.ibm.com/                 -- IBM Home Page
    http://www.ibm.com/informix         -- Short cut to...
                                        -- Informix Home Page at IBM
                                        -- Manuals
                                        -- Downloadable software

As of 2003-03-01, the old Informix web site (http://www.informix.com)
appears to be completely dead.

    http://www.iiug.org/                -- International Informix Users Group
    http://www.iiug.org/software        -- Software Archive

Other Informix-related sites:
    http://www.4js.com/                 -- BDL (Business Development Language,
                                           successor to Informix Dynamic 4GL
                                           aka 4J's Universal Compiler)
    http://www.artinsoft.com/           -- Conversion of 4GL to Java
    http://www.querix.co.uk/            -- Another alternative to I4GL
                                           (Open sourced in 2002-06)
    http://aubit4gl.sourceforge.net/    -- OpenSource alternative to I4GL

    http://www.gillani.com/             -- Owner of the FourGen trademark
    http://www.fourgen.com/             -- Another way to Gillani's web site.
    http://www.fourthgeneration.com/    -- One of several companies that bought
                                           some rights to Fourgen in 1997.

11. How do I notify Informix Technical Publications of errata?

In older manuals, the documented email address is d...@informix.com, and
this still works (unlike almost every other Informix email address).
However, in newer manuals, the email alias is doc...@us.ibm.com, and you
should now use this to report problems instead.

Thanks to Mark Gassis for the U2 information, James Edmiston for the
revised subscription information for the IIUG mailing list, and Jack
Parker, Paul Mosser, Walt Hultgren, Andrej Falout, Christopher Coleman,
Syed Kamal (for information about FourGen), Andrew Hamm, Stuart Litel
and probably others for editorial corrections and additions.
Let me know if I've missed you out.

All other things being equal, this message will be sent automatically
once a month on the first of the month, just as a reminder.

Send amendments and additions to me...

Jonathan Leffler                         #include <disclaimer.h>
Informix Database Engineering, IBM Data Management
Email: jleff...@us.ibm.com                Phone: +1 650-926-6921
Guardian of DBD::Informix v1.04.PC1 -- http://dbi.perl.org
     "I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it!"

PS: Yes, I am a member of the IIUG.  No, I am not an official spokesman
for the IIUG.  Yes, I work for IBM in the Informix Database Engineering
group, but I am not an official spokesman for IBM either.  Neither the
IIUG nor IBM controls the content of the comp.databases.informix news
group.  Nor do I -- I just wish I could, sometimes.  I control the
content of this message, but accept advice from others.

@(#)$Id: cdi.monthly.faq,v 2.18 2003/03/03 17:58:59 jleffler Exp $