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On Tue, 30 Jan 2001, Ramin Firoozye wrote:

> I'm glad this came up. I am a long-time lurker on this list and
> personally appreciate hearing about both commercial and open-source
> offerings. We are about to announce our own XML-based commercial
> product any day now and I was planning on posting a courtesy message
> on this list.
> My understanding was that as long as the message was clearly marked
> (say with 'ANN' or 'ANNOUNCE' in the subject line) it was OK.
> However, if this is something people are violently opposed to, we'll
> be good netizens and won't post anything.

I believe there's a spectrum here.  Factors which place an announcement
closer to the acceptable end of the spectrum include brevity, clarity,
and lack of marketing language.  All a useful announcement needs to do
is give:

 1. the name of the package, 
 2. its category (editor, repository, validating parser, etc.), 
 3. its availability (now vs. six months from now),
 4. whether it's free,
 5. whether it's open-source, and
 6. a URL pointing to a site with everything else you want to say.

Save the sales pitch ("Our editor is better than your editor") for your
own web site.  The further you drift toward the other end of the
spectrum, the likelier it is you will get more flames than customers
from an announcement on this list.

> I'm hoping there is a clear consensus (or even better, a directive
> from the list managers) on this.

It may well be that a directive from the list managers is more likely
than clear consensus from the list members, but I'm not sure I
understand why it would be better.

Bob Kline