From: Axel Kohlmeyer (
Date: Sat Aug 11 2007 - 11:33:51 CDT

On Sat, 11 Aug 2007, Cojocaru,Vlad wrote:

dear vlad,

and everybody else who is wondering why people
get offended by cross-posting to the namd and
vmd mailing lists. i thought it might be helpful
to add a few words that help understanding
what is going on.

VC> Dear Olaf,
VC> I am sorry ... but I thought that people on the vmd list might have
VC> experience with this as well ... There may be people who have done
VC> lipid simulations with other MD software and still use VMD for the
VC> visualization of their results...

given that reasoning, you should have cross-posted to the amber,
pymol, charmm, computational chemistry, etc. mailing lists as well.
that would have, at least from the statistical point of view,
increased your chances of finding somebody.

you see, there is a very thin line between asking for help and 'spamming'.

VC> That was the only reason I posted this email to the VMD list as well ..
VC> I appologize if I was wrong ...

nobody would have minded, if you had worded it accordingly
and sent two different mails. the problem with cross-posting
is that it is annoying for people who respond to posts on
mailing lists, that they have to edit the address line to
avoid getting bounced on the mailing list they are not subscribed.
this can easily double the effort of answering and if you
get a lot of mail, you get annoyed.

cross-posting also has the problem, that people tend to
understand it as 'gee, i don't want to spend the time to
think about it, so i just send it to all of them. there
may be a sucker somewhere that can figure it out for me'.
while i am convinced you didn't mean it like that, it is
easily perceived as thus and people should be aware of it.

writing takes away a lot from communication and people
try to read the missing parts between the lines, and
one always has to be aware of how easily this can go wrong.

finally, since people answering on mailing lists are not
getting any money for it, they expect to be at least 'paid'
with respect for what they do, and spending the effort to
write a specific mail addressed to a forum is one way.

with best regards,

VC> Cheers
VC> vlad
VC> -----Original Message-----
VC> From: Olaf Lenz []
VC> Sent: Fri 8/10/2007 6:42 PM
VC> To: Cojocaru,Vlad
VC> Subject: Re: vmd-l: bilayer thickness in simulation of POPC membranes
VC> Hash: RIPEMD160
VC> Hello!
VC> I do not see what this question has to do with VMD. I would ask you to
VC> please not cross-post this kind of questions to both lists, but to
VC> choose one instead.
VC> Olaf
VC> Version: GnuPG v1.4.2 (GNU/Linux)
VC> Comment: Using GnuPG with SUSE -
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VC> =3XsY

Axel Kohlmeyer
   Center for Molecular Modeling   --   University of Pennsylvania
Department of Chemistry, 231 S.34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6323
tel: 1-215-898-1582,  fax: 1-215-573-6233,  office-tel: 1-215-898-5425
If you make something idiot-proof, the universe creates a better idiot.