RFD: comp.multimedia.cu-seeme.* (try #2)

Michael Sattler, San Francisco (msattler@jungle.com)
Thu, 13 Oct 1994 00:54:53 -0400

Thank you all for your comments (to me directly and to the list). The only
group I've heard neither hide nor hair from is the CU-SeeMe team itself.
Dick? Tim? Anyone?

Let me try to summarize what I've heard:

CU-SeeMe has the potential to wreak havoc on the net. Some are for hiding
it. Some note the incredible amount of public press that CU-SeeMe has been
getting and think the right thing to do now is educate, educate, educate.
Others want to add limits to the code itself, to limit any backlash caused
by immature people frying whole sections of the net. A few noticed some

I've added context to the RFD, fixed my typos, and would like y'all to look
at the new-and-improved RFD version 1.1.

In related news, I've had suggestions that a more appropriate use of
bandwidth as CU-SeeMe gets more widespread is to break the mailing list at
Cornell (and by reflection, the USENET newsgroups) into the following

(1) announcements - the CU-SeeMe-Announce-L as is

Split the CU-SeeMe-L into the following:

(2) mac-related issues
(3) PC-related issues
(4) reflector-related issues

Of course, splitting the list to keep a high signal to noise ratio would
require the consent, interest, and commitment of the CU-SeeMe team. (I'm
proceeding on the assumption that the right thing to do is to gateway the
mailing list into the USENET group and vice versa. If the CU-SeeMe would
like to go to all-USENET...)





(moderated) comp.multimedia.conferencing.cu-seeme.announce

(unmoderated) comp.multimedia.conferencing.cu-seeme.mac
(unmoderated) comp.multimedia.conferencing.cu-seeme.pc
(unmoderated) comp.multimedia.conferencing.cu-seeme.reflectors

Distribution : world
Summary : For users of Cornell University's SeeMe desktop
videoconferencing software (CU-SeeMe)
Proponent : Michael Sattler <msattler@jungle.com>

This is a formal Request For Discussion on the creation of several
newsgroups relating to Cornell University's SeeMe desktop videoconferencing
software (CU-SeeMe).

This RFD has been posted in accordance with the Guidelines for Newsgroup
Creation. It's language is based on previously submitted RFDs. The RFD is
being cross-posted to the following relevant newsgroups:


It is also being posted to the existing CU-SeeMe discussion list:



CU-SeeMe is an Internet desktop videoconferencing system for the Macintosh
and PC that (currently) uses public "reflector" sites to allow net.denizens
to interact with each other across platforms. CU-SeeMe is available from

There are currently two mailing lists (maintained at Cornell University)
that deal with CU-SeeMe: an announcements-only list and a technical
discussion list. The former is used to tell users about newly released
versions, etc. The latter hosts an active discussion on the installation
and use of CU-SeeMe and supporting system software.

* Group 1: (moderated) comp.multimedia.conferencing.cu-seeme.announce

This would be a moderated newsgroup carrying announcements from the CU-SeeMe
development staff regarding new versions, work-arounds, and the like. It's
expected that this group would show very light traffic (as the mailing list
currently does). For the purposes of discussion, the proposed newsgroup
moderator is the current list moderator, R.Cogger@cornell.edu (Richard
Cogger). Having the announcement list and this newsgroup gated would be a
good thing.

* Group 2: (unmoderated) comp.multimedia.conferencing.cu-seeme.mac
* Group 3: (unmoderated) comp.multimedia.conferencing.cu-seeme.pc

These would be platform-specific newsgroups open to all topics relating to the
installation and use of CU-SeeMe. Included are germane discussions of:

+ computer and audio/video hardware (eg. video capture boards
and video cameras) and system software (eg. Winsock and MacTCP)

+ conflicts with other software

+ performance analysis of particular configurations

+ other technical topics as they relate to CU-SeeMe (eg.
multicasting, Maven audio teleconferencing software)

* Group 4: (unmoderated) comp.multimedia.conferencing.cu-seeme.reflectors

+ policy (eg. the merits of setting a maximum transmission cap
to prevent flooding the Internet) and operation (eg. using
the reflector software to enforce a cap) of public reflectors

+ announcements of "events" (eg. broadcast of the Burning Man
extravaganza) and public exhibition use of CU-SeeMe (eg. in
museums (eg. the Exploratorium in San Francisco) and
conferences (the Rotterdam School of Management)))

+ distribution of lists of public reflectors (eg. NASA Select)

+ moral, ethical, and philosophical issues surrounding the use
of desktop videoconferencing, broadcasting events, and
responsible use of the Internet bandwidth by CU-SeeMe.


CU-SeeMe (available for the Macintosh (audio/video) and PC (video-only))
has recently recieved coverage in the American press of late as an on-ramp
to the "information superhighway". With the impending availability of
Connectix's sub-US$100 video camera (for the Macintosh) and the
ever-lessening cost of video cards and camera (for the Macintosh and the
PC), the target audience for CU-SeeMe is expected to grow (explode?).

CU-SeeMe, which offers audio (currently on selected platforms), video,
scrolling text, and the future possibility of plug-in modules for
specialized applications, firmly belongs in the comp.multimedia hierachy.

(Concern: the current CU-SeeMe discussion list covers all these topics, and
it's unclear how a two-way gating could occur.)


After a discussion period of 21-30 days, if there are not overwhelming
objections to any of the proposed groups, there will be a Call For Votes
(CFV) posted to the groups as this RFD has been. The voting period will be
at least 21 days. Each group that passes, by receiving 100 more YES votes
than NO votes *and* twice as many YES votes as NO votes, will be created.

_/ Michael Sattler <msattler@jungle.com> Don't try to teach _/
_/ FTP Software, West Coast Operations a pig to sing; _/
_/ Quality Assurance Manager it's a waste of time _/
_/ http://www.wco.ftp.com/~msattler/ and it annoys the pig. _/