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[Pan-users] Re: Can I add a group to a post?

From: Duncan
Subject: [Pan-users] Re: Can I add a group to a post?
Date: Sat, 04 Mar 2006 09:16:33 -0700
User-agent: Pan/ (As She Crawled Across the Table)

Beartooth Duffer posted <address@hidden>,
excerpted below,  on Mon, 27 Feb 2006 14:51:42 -0500:

> In effect, I want to cross-post retroactively. (I found a group I hadn't
> thought of that looks like it might be interested in what I've just asked
> about on one I am familiar with.) 
> I realize I could just copy my whole text, and paste it into a new message
> to post to the second group. 
> But I'm wondering if Pan may offer a way, which I don't see, that would be
> both easier and more aboveboard -- and maybe even let me set a followup ...

If it's possible, it would be accomplished using the supersedes
functiionality (under articles).  However, I'm not sure supersedes can
change the groups posted to, and in any case, it's somewhat problematic.

Canceling the current post and posting a  new one would be similar, and
have similar problems.

The problems are this...  Both supersedes and cancels use control message
functionality to tell various servers to ignore the previous post, and
either cancel or replace it with a new one.  Two problems.  One, remember
that USENET is a loose network of cooperating servers.  The server you
post to is only one such server.  It shares posts it  has with other
servers, who share with other servers... etc.  The process of how a post
spreads, the non-zero time it takes to do so, and how well it spreads, is
called propagation.  Well connected servers tend to propagate posts, both
those made thru them, and those that get to them from other sources,
rather well, but some servers aren't so well connected and miss more posts
to a group than they get.  The first problem is that by necessity, a
cancel or supersedes message occurs sometime after the fact of the
original, and as such, could easily take an entirely different propagation
route.  Some servers that get the original message will never get the
cancel/supersede, and even if they do, many people will have already read
the original message.

The second problem has to do with weak authentication.  In theory, you can
and should only cancel/supersede your own posts.  In reality, it's quite
possible for those that know how, to cancel most posts, regardless of who
made them.  The ramifications aren't all bad, as there's a group of
dedicated spam cancelers that use this technique to cancel spam, thereby
helping keep the groups cleaner.  Some groups, in particular, the binary
no-spam groups, are retro-moderated.  That is, anyone can post whatever
they want, but if it's spam or otherwise not on topic, there are cancelers
patrolling that can and do issue cancels.  The bad side, other than the
possibility of someone simply attacking your posts, is that on many of the
binary groups, rogue canceler will just wreck havoc in general, canceling
(or superseding with junk) the first part of every multipart binary post,
for instance. The RIAA and MPAA, among others, are known to do this in the
music and movie groups. For this reason and because supersedes and cancels
are never all that reliable anyway, some servers choose to ignore them
altogether, and won't honor them.  Thus, even if they get a control
message canceling or superseding a post, they'll ignore it and the post
will remain until normal expiration.  Often but not always, they'll make
exceptions for certain specific groups, including the specifically
retromoderated nospam groups, or will only apply the no-cancel policy to
the multipart binary groups.  As always, policy  for a specific server
is entirely upto the newsmasters at that server.

Thus, all things considered, while you can try a supersede or cancel, many
consider it not worth the trouble.  

In any case, if it's posted, consider it posted and archived permanently. 
That means be sure you are willing to stand by what you post forever,
before posting it, as someone somewhere almost certainly has a record of
it.  It's not uncommon for companies to check out job candidates and see
just what sort of thing they post, and to pass up on someone just because
of that.  Personally, my feeling is that yes, if I post it, I'll stand by
it.  If I need to apologize or say I'm wrong, I will and do, but I take
responsibility for the original posting, or I wouldn't have posted it.  If
I lose a job or something because of that, well, I figure I wouldn't have
been happy working at a place that so tightly censors what their employees
say anyway, and I'm better of NOT having that job!

As you probably guessed, I'm one of those that doesn't normally consider a
cancel/supersede worth the trouble.  I don't believe I've ever tried one,
which is  why I'm not sure  if changing the groups in a supersede is
possible or not.  However, that's basically how you'd have to do it if you
wanted to and it allows it.  IMO, you are better off just reposting to the
other group, but you can always mention the first post, if desired. 
(Actually, if it's a group on a similar topic such that many regulars in
one may be regulars in both, a note of explanation as to why the
multi-post would be a good idea, since such multi-posts are ordinarily
considered rude and spammer-like, if there's not a good reason for them.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman in

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