Re: comp.lang.tcl blocked on Google Groups

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Colin Macleod

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Jun 1, 2021, 1:22:45 PMJun 1
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It just came back!

Rich

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Jun 1, 2021, 2:14:20 PMJun 1
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Colin Macleod <c...@erehwon.gro> wrote:
> Rich <ri...@example.invalid> wrote in news:s95j53$chf$1...@dont-email.me:
>
>>
>> HN discussion:
>>
>> https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27352325
>>
>> Note, for anyone not using the simply awful google groups interface,
>> this issue simply does not exist. The group is still here, and still
>> receiving postings.
>
> This is all true, but...
>
> I started reading comp.lang.tcl etc. via Google Groups because I
> wanted access from work, and nntp would not go through the company
> firewall, I expect many others are in a similar situation.

That is, possibly, fixable via a workaround:

1) if ssh will go through the company firewall, then a tiny server
running Linux and a text mode news reader (rn, tin, etc.) would allow
access "from work"

> These days unfortunately, usenet is no longer mainstream, and if you
> want your group to be accessible to casual users and not just the
> dedicated elite, it is very helpful to have a web interface.

A small search for a web based nntp reader turned up this:

http://web-news.sourceforge.net/webnews.html

So this could be another workaround - again, tiny server on the
internet, this provides the "web interface" - and http passes through
the company firewall.

Also, this article implies that the paid provider Easynews provides a
web interface to read Usenet:

https://www.newsgroupreviews.com/easynews-review.html

Still a few $/month for "bypass of the firewall" but this way one does
not also need to know how to run their own server on the internet (not
hard, but well beyond the knowledge of far too many).

Uwe Klein

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Jun 2, 2021, 2:59:04 AMJun 2
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Am 02.06.21 um 08:19 schrieb EL:
> Colin Macleod <c...@erehwon.gro> wrote:
>
>>> Note, for anyone not using the simply awful google groups interface,
>>> this issue simply does not exist. The group is still here, and still
>>> receiving postings.
>>
>> This is all true, but...
>>
>> I started reading comp.lang.tcl etc. via Google Groups because I wanted
>> access from work, and nntp would not go through the company firewall, I
>> expect many others are in a similar situation.
>>
>> These days unfortunately, usenet is no longer mainstream,
>
>
> Given all that I wondered, not for the first time, whether there is a web
> forum for Tcl as substitute for c.l.t. And I searched one on the net
> (starting of course from tcl.tk) but nothing showed up :(.
> Instead I figured out that tcl.tk has not really been modernized in the
> last decade or two…
>
> That’s not good, I think. Compare that situation to python.org - a modern
> entrypoint for all resources around python, including web forums. I‘d love
> to have tcl.tk be like that.. a little at least.
>
>
NNTP actually is pretty "modern". ( as a world wide distributor for
group conversations and usefull to boot )

What you tag "modernized" is "made available for commercialization."
( that requires that you funnel as much traffic as possible through one
profiteering joint.)

Internet stuff was intentionally designed for separation of transport
and visualization. ( that is why you had MTAs vs. MUAs, http as
transport for structured information and a browser to render that in a
way to fit the user specifics.
But the endlessly greedy got their grubby fingers into it. Fail!

Uwe

Colin Macleod

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Jun 2, 2021, 3:45:34 AMJun 2
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Colin Macleod <c...@erehwon.gro> wrote in
news:XnsAD3CBAF365CDEco...@81.171.92.201:

> It just came back!

I eventually got a remarkably illiterate and unprofessional response in
the Google support forum:
__________________________________________________

Colin Macleod 4477 Original Poster

I see that comp.lang.tcl is now accessible again. Can be sure that this
will continue? Can we please have an explanation of why it was blocked
and how we can avoid this happening again?
__________________________________________________

LMcKin51- G-Suite-Product Expert
Gold Product Expert

HI Colin Macleod 4477,
Welcome to Google Groups Community

there is not any way prevent a usenet newsgroup from getting ban or it
not anyway to get a usnet newsgroups unban since it does not have any
owners.

_______

LMcKin51

Google Workspace Admin Community - Dimaond Products Expert ?
Google Groups Community- Gold Products Expert

This forum is mostly monitored and managed by Product Experts which are
not Google employees.

Arjen Markus

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Jun 2, 2021, 3:53:17 AMJun 2
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On Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 9:45:34 AM UTC+2, Colin Macleod wrote:
> Colin Macleod in
I got the same reply - I must say, it is an almost artistically fudged piece of text. Perhaps it is an apology in disguise from the same bot that caused the havoc in the first place?

Regards,

Arjen

EL

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Jun 2, 2021, 5:02:05 AMJun 2
to
On 02.06.2021 08:59, Uwe Klein wrote:

> NNTP actually is pretty "modern". ( as a world wide distributor for
> group conversations and usefull to boot )

Sure. But it has disadvantages. For instance you cannot search for older
posts in NNTP, when your NNTPserver doesn't store them. At all, try to
search for useful information in NNTP... its a pain. That is much easier
in a centralized web forum.

> What you tag "modernized" is "made available for commercialization."

No, I disagree. Modernization is just for better usage and better look,
not for commercialization. At least not in the first place. Secondly,
maybe there are more people attracted by modern websites, which might be
good for commercialization too, but even that is not necessarily the
main purpose. And especially it should not worry the Tcl community. The
Tcl community should be much more worried by the opposite.

BTW, there is good Forum Software and good CMS out there. It wouldn't be
necessary to "program" a new, modern website and a forum from scratch...
just customize and run a standard CMS/forum would be good to go, imho.

> ( that requires that you funnel as much traffic as possible through one
> profiteering joint.)

I don't think that tcl.tk is run for profit, or will ever be. Same for
python.org.


--
EL

Rich

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Jun 2, 2021, 8:34:10 AMJun 2
to
EL <elehm...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Colin Macleod <c...@erehwon.gro> wrote:
>
>>> Note, for anyone not using the simply awful google groups
>>> interface, this issue simply does not exist. The group is still
>>> here, and still receiving postings.
>>
>> This is all true, but...
>>
>> I started reading comp.lang.tcl etc. via Google Groups because I
>> wanted access from work, and nntp would not go through the company
>> firewall, I expect many others are in a similar situation.
>>
>> These days unfortunately, usenet is no longer mainstream,
>
>
> Given all that I wondered, not for the first time, whether there is a
> web forum for Tcl as substitute for c.l.t. And I searched one on the
> net (starting of course from tcl.tk) but nothing showed up :(.
> Instead I figured out that tcl.tk has not really been modernized in
> the last decade or two?
>
> That?s not good, I think. Compare that situation to python.org - a
> modern entrypoint for all resources around python, including web
> forums. I?d love to have tcl.tk be like that.. a little at least.

Are you volunteering to step up and invest the necessary time to
"modernize" things?

EL

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Jun 2, 2021, 12:22:05 PMJun 2
to
On 02.06.2021 14:34, Rich wrote:

> Are you volunteering to step up and invest the necessary time to
> "modernize" things?

If I had the time: yes ;). Unfortunately I am very bad at UI related
things, therefore I will probably always find a reason not to have the
time... but otherwise, yes.*

BTW, well the wiki has been modernized as the years have passed by. Nice :).


* but I think the more difficult challenge is to create and maintain an
online forum, which is moderated and frequently used by the community. I
suspect this is not so easy (compared to putting all the content of
tcl.tk into a new and stylish CMS) and it requires some regular attention.


--
EL

Rich

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Jun 2, 2021, 4:09:43 PMJun 2
to
EL <e...@noreply.spam> wrote:
> On 02.06.2021 14:34, Rich wrote:
>
>> Are you volunteering to step up and invest the necessary time to
>> "modernize" things?
>
> If I had the time: yes ;). Unfortunately I am very bad at UI related
> things, therefore I will probably always find a reason not to have the
> time... but otherwise, yes.*

That is, of course, partly my point. Most everything Tcl/Tk related is
volunteer maintained. Unless and until someone willing, and with the
time to do so, steps up, things will typically remain as they were.

> BTW, well the wiki has been modernized as the years have passed by.
> Nice :).
>
>
> * but I think the more difficult challenge is to create and maintain
> an online forum, which is moderated and frequently used by the
> community. I suspect this is not so easy (compared to putting all
> the content of tcl.tk into a new and stylish CMS) and it requires
> some regular attention.

The 'regular attention' part is what typically ends up exhausting
volunteers. Either the volunteer's real-life time commitments
gradually increase, leaving little extra for the 'regular attention',
or the time required to be devoted to 'regular attention' itself
increases, swamping the free time available to be committed.

Both end in the same destination, just two divergent paths to arrive
there. And reality is often a mixture of both paths.

Keith Nash

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Jun 2, 2021, 6:50:04 PMJun 2
to
Has it got anything to do with the spam messages in Italian? Does every
newsgroup get them or is it just us?

Keith.


Colin Macleod wrote:

> Trying to access comp.lang.tcl via groups.google.com now shows no
> postings, just:
>
> Banned content warning
> comp.lang.tcl has been identified as containing spam, malware or
> other malicious content.
>
> The many links on the Tcl wiki to past discussions in this group via
> Google Groups are also disabled by this.
>
> It's not easy to see how to complain about this, but I have posted a
> complaint to their support forum:
> https://support.google.com/groups/thread/111934407/comp-lang-tcl-should-> not-be-banned?hl=en&msgid=111934407
>
> It may help if other people upvote this.
>
> Colin.

Rich

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Jun 2, 2021, 8:01:26 PMJun 2
to
Keith Nash <kj...@citizenearth.com> wrote:
> Colin Macleod wrote:
>> Trying to access comp.lang.tcl via groups.google.com now shows no
>> postings, just:
>>
>> Banned content warning
>> comp.lang.tcl has been identified as containing spam, malware or
>> other malicious content.
>>
>> The many links on the Tcl wiki to past discussions in this group via
>> Google Groups are also disabled by this.
>>
>> It's not easy to see how to complain about this, but I have posted a
>> complaint to their support forum:
>> https://support.google.com/groups/thread/111934407/comp-lang-tcl-should-> not-be-banned?hl=en&msgid=111934407
>>
>> It may help if other people upvote this.
>>
>> Colin.
>
> Has it got anything to do with the spam messages in Italian? Does every
> newsgroup get them or is it just us?

The HackerNews comments on the 'block' section felt the italian spammer
was possibly related.

And that same thread also stated that the italian spammer spams all the
comp.lang.* groups, so it is not just comp.lang.tcl that's impacted.

Rich

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Jun 3, 2021, 10:19:24 AMJun 3
to
EL <elehm...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Rich <ri...@example.invalid> wrote:
>
>> The 'regular attention' part is what typically ends up exhausting
>> volunteers. Either the volunteer's real-life time commitments
>> gradually increase, leaving little extra for the 'regular attention',
>> or the time required to be devoted to 'regular attention' itself
>> increases, swamping the free time available to be committed.
>>
>> Both end in the same destination, just two divergent paths to arrive
>> there. And reality is often a mixture of both paths.
>
> That?s why I think that such work is best done by some companies which use
> Tcl commercially and hasve therefore good reasons to do some marketing for
> the language (i.e. to keep the community and therewith a pipeline of Tcl
> developers vivid for future employment). Looking at ActiveState or
> Flightaware, for instance. They should also have the resources, much more
> if it?s not a full time job. Maybe even in a joint effort?

ActiveState was quite active for quite a long time.

Over the last few years they have considerably reduced their
involvement (at least to the extent that such can be seen by those of
us on the outside). The reduction almost looks like a complete pull
away.

Flightaware is active.

But in Flightaware's case, managing/running/supporting the community is
not their business angle. Yes, they would see return on investment in
investing in the tools they are themselves using to meet their actual
business needs. But someone would have to be able to convince them to
help. Do note they have helped some, with the bounties for additional
things to be written. So it is not like they are ignoring things. But
as Tcl improvements are not directly their "business" it probably
always takes second fiddle to their actual business.
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