[Note that this RFD was originally posted on 25-Jul-95. However, this repost
includes the following groups which were missed in the initial post:
A followup article will be posted explaining the current state of the proposal]
REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
unmoderated group comp.sys.powerpc.advocacy
unmoderated group comp.sys.powerpc.asm-level
unmoderated group comp.sys.powerpc.misc (replaces comp.sys.powerpc)
unmoderated group comp.sys.powerpc.system-design
This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) on the reorganisation of
the unmoderated newsgroup comp.sys.powerpc (referred to as c.s.p for
This message initiates a discussion period to consider the decomposition
of comp.sys.powerpc into four new unmoderated groups. Discussion will
take place on news.groups. If discussions are made in other newsgroups,
they should always be cross-posted to news.groups.
*** This is NOT a call for votes ***
Please do not attempt to vote now. Barring significant disagreement, a
call for votes (CFV) will be issued approximately four weeks after this
RFD. When the CFV is posted, there will be instructions on how to mail
your votes to the independent vote counter.
This RFD is in accordance with the Guidelines for Newsgroups Creation,
and has been cross-posted to the following relevant newsgroups:
The group comp.sys.powerpc is being consistently swamped by posts bearing
little relation to the PowerPC processor family (a recent survey of 913
articles found only 26 of relevance to the PowerPC). This has been an ongoing
phenomenon that shows no sign of abating. While some of these posts
are blatant violations of the group's charter, most are applicable under
that charter but are now deemed more appropriate for other existing groups.
This proposal recognises the fact that the original charter is too wide for a
single group, and attempts to balance the need for specialised forums against
the widespread general interest in the PowerPC family.
The main thrust of this proposal is to refocus the group upon the PowerPC
processors themselves, instead of specific hardware and software systems
based around those processors. Naturally the chips cannot be discussed in
isolation, and this is expressly allowed for in the charters of individual
groups (see below). However, groups already exist for users of, say, the
Macintosh or Windows NT, and these groups are preferrable to c.s.p
for topics relating only to those systems.
The original charter for comp.sys.powerpc follows, with an indication of
how it relates to the proposed new structure:
:: (1) To discuss the design, programming, and administration of systems
:: and applications which use the IBM/Apple/Motorola PowerPC RISC
:: based architecture.
:: (2) To share ideas, information, and specific experience regarding
:: design and programming of applications within the PowerPC
:: environment, including efficient system design and useful PowerPC
:: programming techniques;
Design of systems moves to c.s.p.systems-design. Assembly-level programming
may be discussed in c.s.p.asm-level. Other programming and administration
questions belong in groups specific to each operating system or machine.
:: (3) To discuss the development tools and documentation regarding the
:: PowerPC environment;
:: (4) To discuss porting issues for bringing established products to the
:: new PowerPC platforms;
Most of these belong in OS- or machine-specifc groups. However, processor
documentation may be discussed in c.s.p.misc, and OS-independent porting
issues in c.s.p.system-design.
:: (5) To discuss new products of interest to PowerPC developers and
:: users, including updates to PowerPC systems, new third party
:: products, their usage, advantages and drawbacks, and, where
:: shareware/freeware can be found for downloading;
These are not appropriate for the c.s.p hierachy, and should be posted to
OS- or machine-specific groups.
:: (6) To educate and inform others about the strengths, weaknesses, and
:: general usage of PowerPC, to solve real world problems;
:: (7) To discus the goals, objectives, decisions, and services of the
:: PowerOpen organization;
These move to c.s.p.advocacy. System design standards (such as PReP and CHRP)
supported by PowerOpen belong in c.s.p.system-design.
:: (8) To provide PowerPC developers and potential users who have Usenet
:: access to a common newsgroup to share with one another PowerPC
:: ideas, concerns, experiences, questions, and knowledge.
Where not covered by any other group, this may be carried out in c.s.p.misc.
The following [four] sections discuss the individual changes proposed in this
(1) NEW GROUP: comp.sys.powerpc.advocacy
Purpose: Discussion of the benefits of PowerPC-based systems
To discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the PowerPC architecture, and
specific implementations of that architecture. Such discussion may include
performance benchmarks, but advocacy of a specific PowerPC-based system
belongs in a group specific to that system.
(2) NEW GROUP: comp.sys.powerpc.asm-level
Purpose: Discussion of the architecture and low-level programming of
To discuss the technical issues surrounding the PowerPC architecture, and
the design of specific implementations of that architecture. This might
include assembly-language programming questions that are not tightly bound
to a specific OS or machine, discussion of differences between PowerPC
processors, and discussion of dedicated support devices such as cache
(3) NEW GROUP: comp.sys.powerpc.misc
Purpose: Discussion of PowerPC-related topics that otherwise lack a home
To discuss matters related to the PowerPC processor family that otherwise
do not belong in a specific group. Rules of thumb are that this group
should be an absolute last resort, and should not contain anything specific
to a particular machine or OS or be cross-posted to any such group. An
exception to the latter is that people wondering where to post a PowerPC-
related article are welcome to ask for advice here.
(4) NEW GROUP: comp.sys.powerpc.system-design
Purpose: Discussion of the architecture and design of PowerPC-based
To discuss technical issues involved in the design of computer systems
based on PowerPC processors. This specifically includes hardware standards
such as PReP and CHRP. This group takes a system-wide view, whereas
discussion of specific peripherals such as cache or bus controllers is
more appropriate in c.s.p.asm-level. Comparisons to systems based on
other processors belong in c.s.p.advocacy.
(5) REMOVE GROUP: comp.sys.powerpc
It is proposed that this be contingent on the passing of proposition (3).
The reason for a linked create/remove, instead of a rename, is that the
charter of c.s.p.misc is changed from that of c.s.p. Note that the proposed
contigency relationship is unidirectional - it is quite possible for (3) to
pass but (5) to fail, in which case c.s.p would remain (although many of
its chartered topics would be more appropriately posted to whichever new
groups had been created based on this RFD).
Dunedin, New Zealand