This is the second edition of the FAQ for the news group. It retains much of what was originally written by Paul Wilson, but has been updated by Steve Ackman.

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

Alternately a copy of any section may be requested at any time by email from the current keeper who will reply by email, not in the newsgroup, so the newsgroup isn't filled with a lot of repeat messages, though the 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, and though all the sections listed in the Table of Contents have been completed, please feel free to submit an article on any other 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 kind folks made contributions of time and effort to improve this newsgroup, so please respect their copyrights.


  The scope of the proposed newsgroup
should include but not be limited to:

        - the working of glass in any manner such as
                stained glass
                neon and other luminous tube
                bead making
                jewelry making
        - equipment
        - techniques
        - materials
        - safety
        - business issues
        - announcements of classes and shows
        - announcements of conferences

  The discussions will be held in English. FAQs should be developed
  for specific areas of interest and will be posted to the group on a
  periodic basis. Reasonable commercial announcements will be permitted
  as long as they are clearly marked as such in the subject of the message.
  This newsgroup is not intended to be a marketplace.

Many people read the Charter and come away with different understandings of what it means. Where a common sense reading has failed, there have been long discussions on the group which have pretty much hammered out what the boundaries of those grey areas are. I'll attempt to convey the essence of many, many kilobytes of discourse on these areas:

  1. The area which has sparked the most heated and voluminous discussion has been the "commerce clause," that is, the last two sentences. Where is the line drawn between "reasonable commercial announcements" and "not intended to be a market place?"
    1. First, those things which have been deemed acceptable:
      • One-time sale of glass-related equipment or supplies
      • Response to a question of "Where can I buy...?"
      • Announcement of a show where you'll be selling your goods
      • Announcement of classes you're giving
      • Announcement that you just got your glass site up, and/or a request for feedback on it.

    2. Those things which have drawn (at times) heavy fire:
      • Obviously, anything totally unrelated to working with glass
      • Links or announcements of goods for sale on auction, such as E-bay
      • Unsolicited ad for your business
      • Frequently repeated equipment-for-sale notices
      • Someone whose only contribution to the group is answering the "Where can I buy..." questions, with the answer always being, "At my store..."
      • "I just found this neat site! Once, fine, but week after week it becomes rather transparent.
      • "Free Gift!" is always a come-on to get people to your site, isn't it...

  2. It should go without saying that, per usenet convention, no binaries are to be posted in non-binary groups. Since the word "binary" or "binaries" doesn't appear in the newsgroup name, and since binaries are not specifically allowed in the charter, they are prohibited.
  3. HTML vs. plaintext... the custom of the group is to use plain text, and whether you decide to include HTML or not is really probably more a matter of politeness or following convention than anything else. Some people use text-only newsreaders, so if you want your question/information to reach as many people as possible, turn the html off.
  4. It's inevitable that there will be differences of opinion. Please keep the discussion to the issues, and refrain from personal attacks. Our primary purpose here is to share what we know, and learn what we don't.
  5. Any other issues should be able to be answered by re-reading the charter and applying common sense, but for those things which fail even that, discussion in the group is always welcome.


This is an unmoderated group, which means enforcement is through peer pressure and self-policing. The only people who can enforce the rules are the members of the group. I find that many people who violate the rules do so unwittingly. A simple e-mail containing the charter is often all it takes to make someone aware of his indiscretion.

For those who refuse to respect the charter with a polite request, it's easy enough to look at the message headers and complain to their ISPs. Be sure to include the entire message (including headers) with your complaint, and as a rule, I include the charter as well.

So a complaint can be as simple 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."

Almost all ISPs have terms of service or membership agreements which prohibit the posting of newsgroup messages which are in contravention to the groups' charters.


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