X-Last-Updated: 2004/2/2
Subject: / Rialto Frequently Asked Questions - part01/04
From: [email protected]
Summary: FAQs with Answers for the Rialto - and mailing
    list [email protected].  The Society for Creative Anachronism is
    an organization that studies the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and
    recreates those parts we find most interesting.
Date: 17 Apr 2004 11:23:46 GMT

Archive-name: sca-faq/part01
Last-modified: 2002-3-8

         and [email protected] FAQ


                 Questions Frequently Asked on the Rialto

Certain topics come up again and again on the Rialto. They are good
questions, but each time they recur much net bandwidth and reader time
is spent on repetitive responses and corrections to incorrect or
incomplete answers.

This article, which is posted in several parts on a regular basis,
attempts to cover these common topics definitively and succinctly, so
that discussion doesn't get bogged down in the repetition. The
complete Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list is available in several
formats. The most current version is always the one available at or An archive
of the most recent posted version is available via FTP from in
directory /pub/usenet/ Those without FTP access should send e-mail
to [email protected] with "send usenet/news.answers/finding-sources"
in the body of the message to find out how to do FTP by e-mail.

For more complete introductions to the SCA, see the recurring postings
"Come on in -- the water's fine" (by Hal Ravn  )
and "Life in the Current Middle Ages." (by Arval Benicour  ).

Table of Contents

Section 1: The Rialto.

   * 1.1 What is the Rialto? What's it for?
   * 1.2 Why is it called the Rialto?
   * 1.3 How do I post to the Rialto?
   * 1.4 What is the SCA Digest? How do I get on/off it?
   * 1.5 Where can I get back issues of the Digest?
   * 1.6 Why do I see the answers before the questions?
   * 1.7 Am I allowed to publish Rialto postings in our newsletter?

Section 2: Other SCA electronic sources.

   * 2.1 Are there other SCA mailing lists?
   * 2.1.1 What other mailing lists of interest are there?
   * 2.2 Are there archives of SCA information?
   * 2.2.1 Archives via FTP?
   * 2.2.2 Archives via Gopher?
   * 2.2.3 Archives via WWW?
   * 2.3 Does anyone have a contact in...?
   * 2.4 What are the Rolls Ethereal?
   * 2.5 What's this I found?
   * 2.6 Where can I get songs and lyrics?

Section 3: Miscellaneous questions.

   * 3.1 What does AS stand for?
   * 3.2 Other abbreviations.
   * 3.3 Why don't we have a badge for all the Rialto people...?
   * 3.4 What is Period?
   * 3.5 What is the Grand Council?

Section 4: Recurring events.

   * 4.1 What is Pennsic? When is Pennsic?
   * 4.2 What is Estrella? When is Estrella?
   * 4.3 What is Lilies? When is Lilies?
   * 4.4 What is Gulf War? When is Gulf War?

Section 5: Difficult Topics.

   * 5.0.5 How do I write the Board of Directors?
   * 5.1 Same-Sex Consorts.
   * 5.2 Selecting the Crown.

Section 6: How do you join the SCA?

Guide to Posting Style.


Section 1: The Rialto. 

1.1 What is the Rialto? What's it for?

The Rialto consists of a Usenet newsgroup, ( which is
propagated to thousands of machines world-wide, and an electronic mail
digest (the SCA Digest), which is produced on a badly overworked
machine at MIT, and mailed directly to hundreds of people, also
world-wide. We are also connected to Fidonet and other BBS networks. 

The Rialto exists to discuss topics of interest to the Society for
Creative Anachronism. The SCA is a non-profit, educational
organization of people that study the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and
recreate those parts we find most interesting. 

1.2 Why is it called the Rialto? 

The Rialto is named for a marketplace in Venice in the vicinity of the
Rialto bridge. As people gathered there to gossip and exchange ideas,
so do we gather here. 

1.3 How do I post to the Rialto? 

Check with your local system administrator or sysop for instructions
for your exact machine and software. Generally, you either post a
message to the newsgroup, or send mail to
[email protected]. See elsewhere in this FAQ for guidelines to
posting style. 

1.4 What is the SCA Digest? How do I get on/off it? 

The SCA Digest is the electronic mail version of the Rialto. One can
subscribe and unsubscribe by sending email to
[email protected], requesting your addition to or deletion
from the list. Expect this to take up to a week - the people running
the Digest are volunteers with other work to do. If you read, there is no need for you to subscribe to SCA-Request, as
messages are gatewayed in both directions. 

1.5 Where can I get back issues of the Digest? 

You may ask for back issues of any digests by writing to
[email protected] and specifying the date(s)/number(s) of the
issue you want mailed to you. That address is serviced by overworked
humans so expect any request to take up to a week to process. Please
be reasonable about the number of back issues you request.
("Everything up to now" is *not* reasonable :-) 

You can also check Stefan's Rialto Archive at
by Stefan li Rous ([email protected]) or Archives of the very early
Rialto are available from Justin du Coeur, [email protected].

1.6 Why do I see the answers before the questions? 

The short answer is that messages propagate from one system to another
at varying speeds, and therefore an answer posted on a well-connected
machine may arrive at a less-well-connected machine before the
question does. The longer answer requires paying attention to the fact
that the Rialto is both a Usenet newsgroup and a mailing list, and the
gateway between them is another place where the ordering of messages
can be scrambled. There is nothing that can easily (read
cost-effectively) be done about the scrambling of message order (it
would require a complete redesign of the Usenet newsgroups, just to
start with) so please don't ask. This message scrambling, by the way,
is a good reason to paraphrase or quote just enough of the message you
are answering to make clear what you are talking about. 

1.7 Am I allowed to publish Rialto postings in our newsletter? 

The legalities of copyright ownership in an electronic medium are
currently murky. In countries that are signatories to the Berne
Convention (which includes the USA and Canada), text is copyrighted
from the moment of creation. However, text submitted to newsgroups and
digests _may_ be different, as it is intended for a wide distribution.
There is no clear answer in the USA at the present time. The polite
thing to do, regardless of whether a lawyer would tell you it is
necessary, is contact the author(s) of the article(s) in question, and
ask for permission to publish. Abide by their wishes. Assuming
permission is given, you (or your chronicler) probably want to save a
hardcopy of the message giving you permission. 

                  ---------- End of Rialto FAQ part01 ----------

Thanks to all who have contributed to this article.

This article is a work in progress.  If you have other topics you'd like to
see included, send me email with the question(s) and your suggested
answer(s).  If you have comment on the items included, please send me
(polite) email.


The whole point of this effort is to reduce traffic.  I will summarize
comments sent to me, if it seems necessary.
A special thanks goes out to Robyyan Torr d'Elandris/Dennis R. Sherman
for all the work he has put into this FAQ. Without his work, this would
not exist.
Phelim "Pug" Gervase                        Richard "Pug" Bainter
Barony of Bryn Gwlad, Ansteorra             Austin, TX
                               [email protected]