From: AFPA Moderators <>
Subject: [FAQ] FAQ
Summary: This FAQ documents the guidelines for posting to the moderated
        announcement newsgroup
Followup-To: poster
Organization: AFPA Moderators
Keywords: Pratchett Discworld FAQ
X-Autoposter: This FAQ was autoposted by <>
X-Archive-name: pratchett/afpa-faq
X-Posting-Frequency: monthly (on the 7th)
X-Last-modified: 17 August 1999
X-Version: 1.46
X-URL: <>

Archive-name: pratchett/afpa-faq
Posting-Frequency: monthly (on the 7th)
Last-modified: 17 August 1999
Version: 1.46
URL: <>

  Frequently Asked Questions for, with answers
  Version 1.46, last modified August 17th 1999
  Plagiarised from mpk's original

1) What's AFPA for?
What you'd expect it to be for. Vaguely importantish announcements
concerning Terry Pratchett and his works, happenings, book releases,
tours, important happenings, pissups, anything as long as it's
Pratchettish and not answered in the FAQ.

2) When was this group created?
November 1994, after the usual alt.config discussions (no objections,
it was a normal pregnancy and birth). The readership of AFP felt that
there was a need for a moderated, low-traffic (well, lower than AFP)
group for important stuff. Mike was forced to obey...

3) Who moderates it?
Andy Fawcett <>, and Robert Collier <> do,
bless'em.  In case of dispute, Darrell Ottery <>
acts as comoderator. If they are all indisposed, they drag Mike K
<> out of retirement!
Disputes don't happen very often, though, as few spammers are dumb enough
to complain.
Correspondence to the moderators should be addressed to
<>, although submissions should go to

4) Dear Friend, My name is Dave Rhodes. In 1991 my car was...
No thanks. Unsolicited advertising will only be posted if it's
Pratchett-related. Clarecraft, CMOT and their kin are Allowed.
MAKE.MONEY.FAST, Green Card spams, Skinny Dip and so on are not. A
particularly dim view will be taken of those mass-posters who bypass the
moderation system. Spammers WILL be reported to postmaster@site, or as

5) Does anyone have the words to A Wizards Staff Has A Knob On The
   End'? Or The Hedgehog Can Never Be Buggered At All?
Yes. Lots of people do. The answer can be found in the
FAQ, which pops up with mysterious regularity in both AFP and AFPA.

6) Anyone got the rules to Cripple Mr Onion?
See (5). If we're in a benevolent mood then you'll get a pointer to
the FAQ.  If we're not then your article will probably get dropped
unceremoneously in the bit bucket. In summary, if you're new to the
group then please, please read the AFP FAQ before asking questions,
especially in the .announce group.  There's a large possibility that
it's been answered in the past.

7) Has anyone noticed that in Mort, Mort is Death in French?
Quite probably. If you have a great new annotation which everyone just
has to know about immediately, first take a look at the Annotated
Pratchett File (AFP), maintained by the excessively spare time-endowed
Leo Breebaart, and available from the L-Space Web, at If you find that your annotation isn't in
there, we'd love to hear about it.

8) My site doesn't carry AFPA, sigh. I feel deprived.
Quite a lot of sites have become, quite sensibly, choosy about
creating new alt groups. AFPA was discussed and newgrouped following
all the rules, so most sites should have it. If yours doesn't, send a
*polite* message to your sysadmins asking if there's any chance they
could carry it. It's a low traffic group, and most people will happily
create it on their systems if requested. In the case of more drastic
problems (leaf sites not being able to carry it as their upstream feed
doesn't have it) this will need a little more negotiation. Talk very
nicely indeed to your sysadmins. Ply them with drink.

9) Hey! I submitted my article a whole TWELVE HOURS ago and it
    hasn't been posted, you useless git!
Chill. We do this as a particularly warped hobby. We're not in front of
our computers all the time, (it just seems like it!) and approving articles
takes time. If we're in a hurry, it might just have to wait. Still, this
doesn't mean we can't get a decent turnround - most articles should be
turned round in <24 hours. Your articles are generally approved quicker
if you're nice to us, format your submissions properly (see 10) and
don't send us messages like the one above (it has happened). If you're
*really* nice to us and ply us with drink, then your articles may move
faster. Free drink, expensive scotch (Islay malt particularly
appreciated), money, whatever.(*)

10) How should my postings be formatted?

There's been a bit of an increase recently in badly formatted
postings. We don't have the time to tidy up people's spolling mistooks,
line lengths, etc, for them, so please read the following hints on
"how to not get your article returned for being messy". We *will* start
bouncing people's articles soon if they don't conform at least vaguely
these guidelines.

   a) Postings should be less than 80 characters wide, and preferably around
      72-74. The following device, known as a clueler, gives some idea of the
      acceptable page width for usenet articles.
      Thanks to Wolfgang Schelongowski <>.

 |                                                                       |
          1         2         3         4         5         6         7

   b) Use a fixed-width font (i.e. Courier) for composing articles, rather
      than a proportional one like Times. In particular, do NOT try and
      do ASCII art like maps in a proportional font - it will come out as
      a complete mess on most people's screens. In short, don't assume
      anybody's using the same font as you are.

   c) Provide a meaningful Subject: header - for instance, "Oxford Meet
      17 August - Details" is *much* more meaningful than "Announcement",
      which still appears on a depressing proportion of submissions.

   d) Don't put important information like dates of meets *only* in the
      subject line of an article -- put it prominently in the body as
      well. If it's hard to find, some people (like this moderator) might
      get confused and start sending you mail.

   e) Articles with no valid return email address will NOT be posted. This
      is because i) it's a violation of the RFC, and ii) I don't like it.

   f) It sounds petty, but please check your spelling, grammar and
      punctuation to be at least legible. It makes your article look that
      much nicer..

   g) Try to avoid the use of high-bit characters (also known as 8-bit)
      where possible. Believe it or not, there are still people out there
      who cannot see them! The most common one we see is the symbol for
      'Pounds Sterling', and a suggested alternative for this is 'UKP'

11) I don't want junk email! I'm going to mangle my email address so
    spammers can't get at me!
Articles submitted with a mangled email address in an attempt to foil
spammers will be fixed before posting, or rejected if we can't work out
how to fix them. Posting mangled headers is not the solution to the
spam problem, it's giving in to the spammers. See 10(e) as well.
Anyone wishing to discuss this should take it up with us via email.

12) What is the charter of this crappy group, anyway?
See below.

(*) For the humourless, this is a joke. You _don't_ have to bribe the
moderator. (I wouldn't say no, though..)

    ---------------------- cut out 'n'keep... ------------------------

                         v0.35, 17th August 1999
             Mike Knell, AFPA moderator.

a) The name of the Newsgroup shall be

b) The Newsgroup shall be moderated to keep bandwidth down, and to
   redirect followups into Moderation is not
   intended to be a restriction on subject matter.

c) Suitable subjects for posting on include:
        i)   Book announcements.
        ii)  Plays and stuff.
        iii) Anything Terry cares to post. [1]
        iv)  Signing tours.
        v)   Important results of a.f.p. research projects (merkins,
             bread products, but only the important stuff, no really)
        vi)  Anything else announcementish. [2]

d) Postings that the Moderator deems unsuitable will be returned to the
   sender with an explanation as to why and suggestions as to how it
   could be made suitable. Submitters who feel their articles have been
   unjustly rejected may ask for the article to be reviewed by a
   co-moderator, who will make a final decision as to whether the article
   should be posted or not. The Moderator shall be bound by this

e) The Moderator shall apply a light moderation policy, just to stop the
   signal-noise ratio and keep things fairly announce-ish. Followups shall
   be set to

f) Martin Bridges is a silly sausage. [3]

g) The moderation address shall be <>.

h) Please Keep Off The Grass.

i) Books MUST be returned before the date stamped on the card. A fine shall
   be payable for books which are returned late.

j) You have won first prize in a beauty contest. Collect fifty pounds.

k) In the event of the Moderator being uncertain about whether something's
   announceish or not, {s}he will pass the article to a co-moderator for
   their decision.

l) Anyone concerned about forged postings in their name is encouraged to
   PGP-authenticate their articles using the AFPA public key, available
   below. All posted articles will also be signed, with the same public key.

m) The Moderator shall be responsible to the readership of a.f.p and a.b.p.
   This Charter may be modified by general concensus of the readership of
   a.f.p, who may also replace the Moderator if they think {s}he is doing a
   bad job.

n) Go to gaol. Go directly to gaol. Do not pass go. Do not collect 200

o) That's all, folks.


[1] The general idea is that Terry should know what's relevant..
[2] This is a bit of a catch-all, really. As long as it seems relatively
    interesting and announcementish, we'll post it. Null problemo.
[3] I have no idea where this came from..

The AFPA PGP Public Key

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