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Comp.std.c++ moderation policy

This is a tentative moderation policy for the newsgroup comp.std.c++: the intent is for it to be slightly more specific than is the charter. Initially, at least, we plan to err on the side of inclusion.

These policies will undoubtedly evolve once we have some more experience with what works. We will try to be responsive to what the comp.std.c++ readers want; if you want to discuss moderation policy with the moderators, please send mail to std-c++-request@ncar.ucar.edu.

We will reject articles that have no real content, or that consist solely of personal attacks, or that are so poorly written that it's impossible to tell what the author meant. In some cases we may request that the author of an article rewrite it; we won't edit articles ourselves, though. The main criterion we will use in determining whether to accept or reject an article is simply whether or not it is related in a substantive way to the design and standardization of the C++ language.

Note that this group is not intended for everything that relates to C++. Many subjects belong more appropriately in other newsgroups even if they do have something to do with C++.

Crossposting to moderated newsgroups presents technical problems, especially if more than one of the groups is moderated. We realize that crossposting is sometimes necessary, but we discourage it in general. Don't crosspost your article unless there really is a very good reason for it to be posted to more than one group.

RFC 1855 (Netiquette Guidelines, by Sally Hambridge) describes generally accepted standards that apply to comp.std.c++ as well as to other Usenet newsgroups.


Which subjects belong in comp.std.c++?

These are a few examples of subjects that, in our opinion, are and aren't appropriate for comp.std.c++. This list is not intended to be exhaustive: it is mainly intended as a guide to how we interpret the charter.

Announcements about the progress of the ANSI/ISO standardization process.

Definitely appropriate, at least so long as the information is factual and non-repetitive.

Announcements about related standards.

Whether or not articles like this are appropriate depends on just how closely related those standards are. Things like C, Posix, NCEG, and CORBA are probably appropriate.

"I've found a situation where I can't tell from the standard just what my code is supposed to do. The standard seems to be contradictory or incomplete."

Almost certainly appropriate: finding omissions and inconsistencies in the standard is very important.

Discussion about whether or not the behavior of a particular compiler is standard conforming.

Probably appropriate. Make sure, though, that this isn't a documented incompatibility: at this point, not all compiler vendors are actually trying to implement the full standard.

Discussion about features that have recently been added to the draft standard.

Probably appropriate, but the list of features have been "recently added" changes with time! At this moment there are still a few features that are largely unsupported by compiler vendors and largely undocumented in C++ books, and and that still have genuine standardization issues. Features that have been part of C++ for five years, though, and that are in common use, are less appropriate for comp.std.c++.

"I don't understand why C++ was designed the way it was. I can see how it's supposed to work in this case, but the language definition seems wrong."

Probably appropriate: issues of language design are certainly within the scope of the charter. You should read Bjarne Stroustrup's book The Design and Evolution of C++ before posting things like this, though: it gives a lot of insight into why C++ was designed the way it is.

"C++ seems to be missing an important feature. I'd like to propose an extension."

Probably appropriate, so long as the discussion isn't repetitive. Again, though, you should read The Design and Evolution of C++ before you propose an extension: there's a good chance that your idea has already been considered and rejected. Note that everyone (including C++'s designer) agrees that there are some features missing from C++; no language can have everything.

"I've got something to sell."

Commercial postings will be judged the same way as noncommercial postings: they must be related in a substantive way to the design and standardization of the C++ language. There aren't really all that many commercial announcements that do meet that criterion, but there certainly are some---copies of the C++ Standard for sale, for example.

"Here is why C++ is better/worse than the language Foobar."

Probably inappropriate for comp.std.c++. This newsgroup is for discussing the design and standardization of C++, not for discussing whose language is better. You should use a different newsgroup.

"Anyone who uses C++ must be an idiot."

Inappropriate. Articles with personal attacks will be rejected.

"How do I do such-and-such in Eiffel, or Smalltalk, or Objective C, or Ada?"

Probably inappropriate: this group is for C++, not for other languages. Articles about Eiffel, Smalltalk, Objective C, and Ada should go in those languages' newsgroups, not in comp.std.c++. ("Probably", rather than "definitely", because the design of other languages is sometimes relevant to the design of C++. C++'s templates, for example, were motivated in part by Ada's generics.)

"How do I do such-and-such in C?"

C isn't C++! This, too, is inappropriate unless it's related to C++ design or standardization.

"How do I implement a reference counted class in C++?"

Probably inappropriate. Questions about C++ programming technique should go in comp.lang.c++.moderated or comp.lang.c++, unless they have some direct relevance to C++ design or standardization.

"Where can I find some C++ programming style standards?"

This is a question about C++ programming methodology, not a question about the standardization of the language itself. It is better suited to comp.lang.c++.moderated or comp.lang.c++ than to this newsgroup.

"What's the best way to write a heap sort?"

Inappropriate for comp.std.c++, and probably inappropriate for comp.lang.c++ as well. This is a question about algorithms, not about C++ programming. It's certainly not about C++ standardization.

"What sorts of designs lend themselves best to the Visitor pattern?"

An interesting question, but not one that's appropriate for comp.std.c++. This is a question about object-oriented design, not about C++ standardization. The newsgroup for discussing object-oriented design is comp.object.

"How do I make my PC speaker beep using C?"

Inappropriate. This isn't a C or C++ question at all, it's a question about programming a specific hardware platform. This sort of discussion belongs in a platform-specific group.


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Contact address: std-c++-request@ncar.ucar.edu

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