FAQ's are kept here and at: John Riordan's Site

The charter and addresses of the FAQ sites will be posted about twice a month.

The current FAQ keeper is   Steve Ackman

This FAQ will hopefully be a dynamic and changing compendium of articles.   Please feel free to submit an article on any additional discipline of working glass, or if you feel that a particular FAQ has missed an important but basic aspect of its subject matter, please feel free to submit an addendum.

Individual authors and their email addresses (when available) are listed in the Table of Contents and at the beginning of each section.   If you have a question about something, please consider asking it in the newsgroup, rather than in private email, as this contributes to the newsgroup.   If you think your question is too basic, please consider that there's probably someone else out there wanting to know the same thing, who's also reluctant to ask.

The various sections of the FAQ's are maintained by individual authors who retain all copyright protection afforded any author.   These generous folks made contributions of time and effort, so please respect their copyrights.



  The newsgroup was created primarily 
for the purpose of discussion related to working with 
glass.  In order to improve the mechanism whereby we 
may do so without undue distraction, we, the netizens 
of, do hereby ratify the amendments 
incorporated into this charter.


The following topics, for example, clearly fall within 
the scope of our stated purpose:

        - the working of glass in any manner including
                stained glass 
                neon and other luminous tube
                kiln forming and fusing 
                flame-work and bead making
                jewelry making
        - equipment and tools
        - techniques
        - materials
        - safety
        - business issues
        - announcements of conferences, classes, and shows
  All discussions will be held in English.  Posting in
other languages is allowed provided an English translation 
is included.

  Commercial announcements(*) will be permitted as 
long as they are clearly marked as such in the subject
by the use of "FS:" "Ad:" or similar indication. 
Such announcements must address events, goods, or 
services specifically useful in one or more of the 
pursuits listed above.

(*)An announcement is defined as a post regarding a single 
event, or change.  It does not include ongoing advertising.


  Flame wars or personal attacks.  

  Posting articles in HTML.

  Excessively long signatures, i.e., longer than 4 
lines, per common usenet netiquette.


  Binary content.  (Instead, posts should contain
links to relevant binary content)

  Articles cross-posted to a non-relevant group or to 
more than three groups total.

  Articles which contain less than 10% original content.

  Posts which consist primarily of a signature file.

  Announcements for events, or advertisements for 
services or goods which have no relevance to the 

  Articles of a prurient or obscene nature.

  Retromoderation in excess of usenet convention is 
allowed only to enforce the provisions of this section.


  FAQ articles will be maintained on two unrelated web 
servers.  The URLs of the topmost FAQ page will be 
posted to the group twice a month along with this 

This amended charter was ratified on 31 Dec 2000 in an attempt to clarify some grey areas not anticipated in the original proposal.


Enforcement on Usenet is pretty hit-or-miss.   The two methods which are somewhat effective are 1) complaining to offenders' ISPs, and 2) issuing a cancel message for the violating post.

Usenet is anarchical in nature, so enforcement is normally through peer pressure and self-policing.   The only people who enforce the rules are those who care enough to do so.   I find that many people who violate the rules do so unwittingly.   A simple e-mail pointing out which part of the charter has been violated is often all it takes to make someone aware of his indiscretion.

For those who refuse to respect the charter with a polite request, a complaint to their ISPs often does the trick.   Be sure to include the entire message (including headers) with your complaint.   As a rule, I include the charter as well.

A complaint can therefore be as simple as a forward of the post, with an attachment of the charter, and a simple statement/request such as, "This was posted in violation of the charter for this group.   Please take whatever action is consistent with your TOS or membership agreement to insure this doesn't happen again."

This action has varying results.   Sometimes the offender's ISP will warn him not to do it again or require him to post an apology.   Sometimes the offender's account will be canceled.   Sometimes nothing at all will be done.

Almost all ISPs have Terms Of Service or membership agreements which prohibit the posting to newsgroups in contravention to the groups' charters, so this approach is fruitful more often than not.

Now... for those who are serious enough to put in some time learning about the format of usenet headers and what it takes to properly cancel an article, that has more predictable, if not completely satisfactory, results.(*)

When canceling posts because of non-compliance with a charter, the process is generally known as retromoderation.

> Can you explain the above please?   What is retromoderation,
> and who is doing it, and by what authority?

A moderated newsgroup is one in which all posts are sent to a single person and, based on content, rejected or posted.   The moderator has sole discretion as to what is posted or rejected.   While some people would like to see changed to a moderated group, that's a lot of work, both to change an existing unmoderated group to moderated, as well as the actual day-in and day-out moderation itself.   In practice, if an unmoderated group gets out of hand, a moderated one is started in addition to the original rather than attempting to change the unmoderated group to a moderated one.

Retromoderation is a less drastic measure, and simply means that when a group's charter restricts content more stringently than the usenet-wide criteria, those posts are allowed to be canceled.

As Usenet convention stands now, cancels are allowed by anyone in any unmoderated group for a very limited number of transgressions.   The MMF (make money fast) post is one such, binaries (over a certain size) in a non-binary group is another, and then there are complicated formulas for determining what constitutes "spam," which are completely content-neutral, and based solely on the number of substantially identical articles posted and how many groups they're cross-posted to in a given period of time.   There are a few others, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind.

Anyone canceling messages outside these very narrowly defined parameters is labelled a "rogue canceler" and will be forced to stop... one way or another.   Most cancel messages are actually issued by "cancel-bots."   (I should maybe point out that there may even be legal consequences for rogue cancelers)

Retromoderation is a completely voluntary activity, and also one which must be carefully considered, (imagine making a mistake and wiping out all posts from a certain ISP rather than just the single one you wanted to cancel -- it's happened) so just because binaries in a non-binary group, for instance, are *allowed* to be canceled, that doesn't necessarily mean that anyone will actually get around to doing it.   (As we saw with the recent chandelier picture... though I never looked at the picture myself, I'm assuming it wasn't done away with by a cancel-bot since I saw replies.   I did ask the author to cancel it himself, but he apparently ignored my request... or maybe didn't cancel it for several days.)   I should probably also point out that anyone is allowed to cancel any of his own posts, and that most browser-type newsreaders make that process point'n'click easy.

If canceling is something you'd like to investigate further, check out the Cancel FAQ, part 1/4.
Parts 2 and 3, and the appendix are also there, linked to from
(*) Cancel messages aren't honored by all ISP's, so even if you send a properly formatted cancel message, some servers will ignore it anyway.

Outside a fully moderated newsgroup, there's no way to prevent anyone from posting whatever he wants (at least once).   As long as there are a few people who are willing to e-mail offenders (don't respond in the group), then when/if that fails, e-mail the offenders' ISPs, and one or two people willing and able to cancel the most egregious offenses, any group can remain relatively free of those things which give usenet a bad name.

(Rather than removing some of the obsolete material, I've just "muted" that text - you never know, it might be interesting from a historical perspective)

 Glass FAQ Index Metamorphosis Home Page

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updated 10 Jan '06