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Mailing list reorganization summer 07, round 1

Hi all!

Now that F7 is out, the new Board is elected and the new FESCo ready
soon as well I'd like to restart the mailing list reorganization
discussion that the Board asked me to handle months ago, but was first
delayed (for the plan to have a dedicated fedora mail(man) server, which
was dropped in between) and then not driven further by me as "the merge"
seemed more pressing in recent months.

Find the proposal below. It can be found in the wiki at
as well.

Comments appreciated.



## restarted discussion summer 07, round 1

= Mailing list reorganization =


A lot of contributors in the past yelled "there are to many mailing
lists; that is contra-productive and leads to a lot of cross-posing and
confusion " (this is the short explanation without all the boring
details). Thus the idea came up to revisit some of the mailing lists
that got created in the past years since Fedora was born and do some
adjustments here and there.

That means mainly: shut some down and adjust the usage model/name of
some of the others. This will be a really complex task and we likely
can't make everybody happy with it, but we at least hope to improve the

The Fedora Board asked me, ThorstenLeemhuis (knurd), to drive this task
months ago -- I stopped working further on it as the Core and Extras
merge was more important; then there were the Board and FESCo elections
due -- those are finished now or will be finished soon, so I thought it
would be wise to either do it now (or never).

You can find my proposal below; comments much appreciated. Feel free to
write a counter proposal if you think I did stuff (totally) wrong or if
you think I ignored your comments (I read all those from the earlier
discussion, but as I wrote: we can't make everyone happy -- but I'm
trying my best to find a compromise thats better that what we have today
and is acceptable for most of us).


== Quick overview ==

The details how do to the mailing list reorganization can be found
below, but here is a quick summary for those that don't care about them.

=== List adjustments ===

The goal is to touch these lists:

 * fedora-extras-commits

 * fedora-extras-steering

 * fedora-maintainers

 * fedora-qa-list

 * fedora-test-list

 * fedora-triage-list

And have these in the end:

 * fedora-devel-users

 * fedora-pkgs-commits

 * fedora-fesco

=== Other adjustments ===

Short term: create a alias @lists.fedoraproject.org under which the
current and all the new lists are accessible.

Long term: have a own mailman frontpage on lists.fedoraproject.org that
lists only mailing lists used by the Fedora Project.

== Details how to achieve that end-goal ==

Some lists get renamed
(http://www.python.org/cgi-bin/faqw-mm.py?req=all#4.70 ; users thus
don't have to care about re-subscribing) and some get closed, with the
old users invited (not subscribed) to another list.

=== fedora-extras-commits ===

 * Background: get rid of the term "extras"

 * Successor: fedora-pkgs-commits

 * Adjustment strategy: rename list to fedora-pkgs-commits directly
under the hood of mailman

=== fedora-extras-steering ===

 * Background: get rid of the term "extras"

 * Successor: fedora-fesco (or just fesco? but we have the fedora-prefix
everywhere else, so better not)

 * Adjustment strategy: rename list

=== fedora-maintainers ===

 * Background: not that different from fedora-devel in topics these
days; closed list for contributors, but has seen flamewars and noise

 * Successor: fedora-devel-list

 * Adjustment strategy: invite people to successor-list (most are likely
subscribed there already)

=== fedora-qa-list ===

 * Background: Not much traffic. We further should be able to assume
that all users on fedora-devel-users are kind of testers/qa, so why not
use that list for the QA discussions as well?

 * Successor: fedora-devel-users

 * Adjustment strategy: close list, invite users to successor

=== fedora-test-list ===

 * Background: A lot of people never got the difference between
fedora-devel and fedora-test list and ask users support questions on
fedora-devel. One of the reasons for this is that it was not obvious
what "testing" means. Another reason: we answered those users question
on fedora-devel, even if they were not on topic (and thus those and
other users thought it was on topic there).

 * Successor: fedora-devel-users

 * Adjustment strategy: rename list

 * Other benefits: We can point users that come up with question on
devel to that list

=== fedora-triage-list ===

 * Background: Not used much anymore.

 * Successor: fedora-devel-users

 * Adjustment strategy: close list, invite users to fedora-devel-users


== Not sure ==

There are some list where I'm not sure if we still need them and/or need
to adjust their policy.

=== fedora-advisory-list / fedora-project ===

There was the idea to rename fedora-advisory-list to fedora-project
list. But fedora-advisory-list works well, so maybe it's better to not
touch it... Should we nevertheless create a fedora-project list as
discussion list for Fedora-wide things where different groups
(packagers, art, docs, EPEL, ...) can share informations -- we don't
have such a place currently and some people seem to miss it

=== fedora-desktop-list ===

Had not that much traffic months ago, but in the recent two months it
increased a bit again; but the stuff that got posted on this list was
not that much different from stuff discussed on other lists. The name is
confusing as well -- people using Fedora on their desktops now and then
thought this is the proper list for usage questions. We could redirect
users to fedora-devel-list and fedora-devel-users; or, if we want to
keep the list, consider to rename it to fedora-desktop-developers.

=== fedora-devel-list ===

There were some different ideas for it floating around. One round about
was: rename to something else (fedora-developers; that gets rid of the
-list postfix as well) and let only real "developers" (Fedora or other
distributions packagers; people participating in developing in software
we ship or is well known; well known people active in Linux or
Fedora-related projects) post freely to that list. Set the moderation
flag for all the others initially until they have shown to understand
the purpose of this list.

Whatever we do with fedora-devel: with fedora-devel-users in place we
should enforce its use and point users *and developers* that on
fedora-devel ask questions about using to fedora-devel-users in the

=== fedora-list ===

This is mostly a list where users help he other. fedora-users would thus
be a proper name that would make its use obvious. But would renaming be
worth the trouble? Maybe keep it in mind for the longer term

=== Other lists and misc stuff ===

Some other ideas floating around that I left out of the proposal for
now, as they are not yet thought until the end or quite complex.

 * Some people questioned the needs for these lists.

  * fedora-r-devel-list

  * fedora-art

  * fedora-xen

  * fedora-websites

 Ask the list-maintainers if separate lists really make sense for these
topics and let them decide how to move on

 * should we have a official mailing list coordinator that has to ACK
new mailing lists?

 * what about fedora-laptop-list? Rename it to fedora-hardware or get
rid of this completely (having a dedicated list for hardware issues
might be acceptable and the best compromise).


== Miscellaneous ==

=== Mailman guidelines ===

While at it let's define a standard look-and-feel for mailing lists as
well, to avoid that people that are subscribed to multiple Fedora
mailing lists get confused due to different setting on out lists (which
happens). the individual mailing list admins are *strongly* encouraged
to follow these guidelines, but they don't have to,  *if* there are good
reason for it (no, "I like foo better" is not a good reason!).

Suggested settings (can all be found on the first mailman settings page)

 * the reply-to should not be modified by mailman (first_strip_reply_to
= no)
 * the reply-to should point to the list (reply_goes_to_list = this list)
 * no explicit Reply-to-Address (reply_to_address = <empty> )
 * no tagging (subject_prefix = <empty> )

=== To -list or not to list ===

With lists.fedoraproject.org on the horizon the domainname will make it
obvious that one is posting to the list, thus the plan is to not have
the "-list" postfix in new lists.

=== rawhide reports ===

Send them only to one list -- fedora-devel-users.

=== updates-testing announcements ===

Create another channel in fedora-package-announce where those kind of
reports get mailed to. f13 and wwoods considered that already and are

== Notes ==

 * Ubuntu had "to much noise on the devel mailing list" problem; they
splitted ubuntu-devel into ubuntu-devel and ubuntu-devel-discuss:
https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2006-December/023022.html .
 * Renaming mailing lists in mailman:


Did I miss anything?

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