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Results of Poll by Email No. 7

From:Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>
Date:Saturday, April 20, 2002, 17:52
        First, please note the new address. Since Yahoo is going to be charging for
POP mail access, and since Yahoo is definitely not worth the money
(considering all the spam I've been getting), I have decided to switch over
to this address. I'll still keep my Yahoo address, but I won't check it as
        Also, Doug Ball noted that "There's no need to name the poll "The Chistophe
Grandsire _Memorial_ Poll with Christophe still merrily alive (plus, one has
to be careful what one wishes for)." Well, I thought Padraic's choice of
words a little odd myself, but I guess that's between Padraic and Christophe,
now isn't it? (Although is Christophe suddenly disappears, we'll know who to
blame, right? :)
        Right, then. Last week's question, "What lever of interest do you have in a
Conlang journal?" resulted in 28 replies. The breakdown is as follows:
        A. I would like to submit articles to it. (10 responses, 36%)
        B. I would probably not submit articles, but I would still read it. (17
responses, 61%)
        C. I'm not really interested in a journal. (1 responses, 3%)
        D. Other. (0 responses, 0%)

        The (A) group was mostly enthusiastic, although some hedged their answers
with the issue of time permitting. Michael Poxon said, "I think a paper
version is out of the question. We then enter the world of filthy lucre
(Printing costs, distribution costs and so on...then an annual subscription,
treasurer, secretary, hired goons... aaargh!) With a web publication you can
have inter- and intra-publication links and references, graphics, use of
invented scripts (by the simple method of writing your script in a graphics
package and saving as a .gif) and many other things besides. Most of the
graphics I can conceive of will be of such a small file size that download
times will be far from excessive."
        Christopher Wright answered, "I would submit articles to said publication if
a) I did not have to learn a special file format and b) I had a topic to
write on." I think, however, that this was covered later on the list, with
the final concensus being that RTF and HTML being valid alternatives to
LaTeX. (Since both Word and WordPerfect can save in RTF format, this should
not create a problem for users of those word processors.) Of course, you are
on your own for topics.
        Wesley Parish asked, "Just how long do you expect articles to be?  And how
much training/info/whatever do you expect article writers to have?  I mean,
you can't have people with absolutely no idea writing your articles, can you,
yet you don't want the entrance bar so high that nobody writes them." This
will probably have to be the next issue dealt with, once the name is decided.

        Several in the (B) group suggested that they would be interested in
submitting articles, if their level of knowledge/ability/time was higher.
Mathias answered: "i would like to submit articles to such a journal but i
know my expertise would likely not be good enough re linguistics and/or
others' conlangs that i could write anything interesting... although
comparing conlangs has convinced me that some conlanging "écoles"
are slowly forming and already influence each other. i find this phenomenon
very interesting and would definitely try to write about it. i also think
that a journal would inform of achievements such as detailed grammars, neat
webpages and fully fledged concultures which in turn would prompt emulation
among conlangers and raise awareness about the fact that all of us mostly
confront the same issues: "how shall i express X or Y?". i would really enjoy
reading others' articles. now, i'd rather this journal to be a website like
the Babel one. but being a computer zero i'll leave pros decide and shall bah
them after." Bah? Have you become a sheep? :)
        And Rosta took a more "wait-and-see" approach: "It would be great if the
journal could actually be sustained, though I am skeptical that it would be."

        Andreas Johansson was the only person to unequivocably answer (C), although
several others vacillated between (B) and (C) for reasons of time, which was
the reason he gave as well.

        Well, there you have it. Stay tuned for Poll by Email No. 8!


Padraic Brown <agricola@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>