Hierarchies

Zen and the Art of the Internet

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Hierarchies
Newsgroups are organized according to their specific areas of
concentration.  Since the groups are in a tree structure, the
various areas are called hierarchies.  There are seven major categories:
 
 
comp
Topics of interest to both computer professionals and
hobbyists, including topics in computer science, software sources, and
information on hardware and software systems.
 
misc
Group addressing themes not easily classified into any of the other
headings or which incorporate themes from multiple categories.
Subjects include fitness, job-hunting, law, and investments.
 
sci
Discussions marked by special knowledge relating to research in or
application of the established sciences.
 
 soc
Groups primarily addressing social issues and socializing.  Included
are discussions related to many different world cultures.
 
 talk
Groups largely debate-oriented and tending to feature long
discussions without resolution and without appreciable amounts of
generally useful information.
 
 news
Groups concerned with the news network, group maintenance, and software.
 
 rec
Groups oriented towards hobbies and recreational activities
 
These ``world'' newsgroups are (usually) circulated around the entire
Usenet---this implies world-wide distribution.  Not all groups
actually enjoy such wide distribution, however.  The European Usenet
and Eunet sites take only a selected subset of the more ``technical''
groups, and controversial ``noise'' groups are often not carried by many
sites in the U.S. and Canada (these groups are primarily under the talk
and soc classifications).  Many sites do not carry some or all of
the comp.binaries groups because of the typically large size of
the posts in them (being actual executable programs).
 
Also available are a number of ``alternative'' hierarchies:
 
 
 alt
True anarchy; anything and everything can and does appear;
subjects include sex, the Simpsons, and privacy.
 
 gnu
Groups concentrating on interests and software with the GNU
Project of the Free Software Foundation. For further info on what the
FSF is, FSF.
 
 biz
Business-related groups.