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proposal: mailing list reorganization



Hi all!

Find below a proposal for a mailing list reorganization the board asked
me to work on. It can also be found in the wiki at
http://www.fedoraproject.org/wiki/ThorstenLeemhuis/MailingListReorganization
and until now was only discussed slightly on the semi-private on
fedora-advisory-board. This is the first public discussion. Happy flamefest!

CU
thl

P.S.: We want to create the fedora-qa list (without the "-list" postfix
-- see the end of the document) quite soon (early next week!). If you
really dislike that part yell *now*. The other stuff will at least get a
second public discussion.

###############################

= Mailing list reorganization =

A lot of people yelled "there are to many mailing lists; that is
contra-productive and leads to a lot of confusion" (this is the short
explanation without all the boring details). Thus the idea came up to
revisit the Fedora mailing lists that got created in the past years
since Fedora was born and do some adjustments. That means mainly: shut
some down and adjust the usage model of some others. That's needed in
parts for the Core and Extras merge in any case. This will be a really
complex task and we won't make everybody happy with it, but we hope to
improve the situations.

The Fedora Board asked me, ThorstenLeemhuis (thl), to drive this task.
You can find my proposal below, comments 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 them all, 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).

----

= Main end Goal =

The details how this goal is going to achieved can be found below, but
here is a quick summary for those that don#t care about the details.

The other goal is to get rid of those lists:

 * fedora-devel-list

 * fedora-maintainers

 * fedora-extras-list

 * fedora-test-list

 * fedora-triage-list

 * fedora-extras-commits

 * fedora-desktop-list

 * fedora-extras-steering

 * fedora-dsco-list

In parallel we create some new:

 * fedora-devel -- For devel discussion. The "old" fedora-devel-list
became quite noise and we want to avoid that with the new list. Thus the
plan is to restrict it to well known open-source or project contributors
and make it moderated for the rest of the world. Support questions
regarding devel stuff are off topic here.

 * fedora-devel-discuss -- We need an open devel list for users as
fedora-devel is restricted. Support questions regarding devel stuff are
on topic here, too.

 * fedora-qa -- for wwoods and the QA group

 * fedora-project -- for discussions about the project as a whole that
in the past often happend on the moderated/semi-closed
fedora-advisory-board list (that will stay for now and hopefully gets
removed in the long term).

= Details how to achieve that end-goal =

Some lists get renamed (users thus don't have to care about
re-subscribing) and sone get closed.

== Shut down ==

Meaning: Send a EOL message with some informations to the list and
disallow further postings. Archieves remain accessible. Users get
pointed to the new lists.

=== fedora-extras-list ===

Well, the "Core packages gets merged into the Extras framework" is
official. The name "Extras" get obsolete by that and thus this list
becomes obsolete. Users get pointed to two different lists instead:

 * topics regarding maintaining packages in the repo go to fedora-devel

 * questions regarding packaging and the guidlines around it shall be
send to fedora-packaging in the future

=== fedora-test-list ===

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 users asked again and again). And
the topics for -devel and -test are to similar; sometimes the same
things get discussed in parallel on both lists. Users get pointed to
fedora-devel-discuss instead.

=== fedora-triage-list ===

Not used much anymore. Users ge pointed to fedora-qa-list instead (see
below).

=== fedora-extras-commits ===

No difference between core and extras anymore. Send the stuff to
fedora-cvs-commits in the future. (see below)

=== fedora-extras-steering ===

No FESCo anymore in the future, no private list for it anymore. An new
list will be create for the FESCo successor when that got decided.

=== fedora-desktop-list ===

Not much traffic, seems the project has not much need for a dedicated
list atm. If that changes again in the future create
fedora-devel-desktop, to make its usage more obvious.

=== fedora-dsco-list ===

Not much traffic and it seems the Fedora Documentation Steering
Committee agreeds to close this list.

----

== Create ==

We need some new lists, too.

=== fedora-qa ===

Create a fedora-qa to be used by wwoods efforts and his recruits. Will
be created quite soon, probably before this discussion is finished,
because the QA group asked for it quite some time ago already. Will get
a seperate "topic" on the list where the qa-reports will get send; users
then can subscribe to the qa-list, but can choose if they want to get
the automatic reports..

=== fedora-project ===

We until now have no real list where Ambassadors, packagers,
programmers, art-people and other contributors can talk to each other
about general stuff that's important to the project as a whole without
getting lost in the noise or scared away with "this is off topic on this
list" calls. fedora-advisory-board somehow was this list until now in
parts, but it's moderated and thus even some project contributors that
were not subscribed feel excluded (bad).

Summaries from the project meetings (Ambassadors, Infrastructure, FESCo
successor) shall get send to the list so people know what's going on in
the project as a whole.

=== fedora-maintainers-announce ===

Created already, but not used until now. This is not a real mailing list
for discussion, it's rather meant as a way to get really important
information (policy changes, announcements for mass rebuilds, ...) out
to all maintainers -- e.g. low traffic, normally less then 3-5 mails a
months. The plan is to subscribe users semi-automatically from the
accounts system to make sure we reach everyone.

Some people question the use of this list; they want people subscribed
to fedora-maintainers instead. But important informations can get lost
there in the noise easily, and that would be bad. And some of our
maintainers (e.g. upstream maintainers that co-maintain the fedora
package) are not interested in all those discussions that happened on
fedora-maintainers in the past.

Reply-to of this list will be set to fedora-devel; that list will also
get subscribed to fedora-maintainers-announce. Users can't unsubscribe
manually from fedora-maintainers-announce list -- being on it is
mandatory for all package contributors.

----

== Change policy ==

=== fedora-advisory-board ===

The list remains for now, but we want to move most of the discussion
into the wider public. fedora-project should thus be used for most of
the stuff that got discussed on fedora-advisory-board in the past. But
the advisory-list will remain for the purpose it was created for: a
communication channel between important project contributors. We'll
close it later if we notice that this is not needed anymore (that what
some people hope)

=== fedora-cvs-commits ===

All commits should go here, but separated into topics  (web, docs, F7,
devel, ...), similar how we do it for how we do for
fedora-packaging-announce

----

== Rename ==

=== fedora-devel-list to fedora-devel-discuss ===

fedora-devel-discuss shall to a major part replace fedora-test-list an
fedora-devel.  Users can help each other here (and developers should
keep any eye on it his list, too) if they have problems with running
development or testing-channels. They can also discuss Fedora
development there freely.

=== fedora-maintainers to fedora-devel ===

Rename to fedora-devel. Free to post for all fedora contributors (being
in ambassadors, mentors, packagers, ...). Moderated for the rest of the
world (we need a whole team of moderators for it). Be liberal and allow
good-guys to post without being moderated, even if they are no
fedora-contributors; that includes:

 * people that are well know and active in open-source land somewhere

 * people who work on upstream apps we package

 * people that have shown to be constructive after their posts got
moderated for a while

Enforce the devel topics and never ever answer support questions on that
list -> those are on topic for fedora-devel-users.

=== fedora-laptop-list ===

Rename to fedora-hardware. Some people suggested to get rid of this
completely, but having a dedicated list for hardware issues might be
acceptable.

----

== Not sure ==

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

=== 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.

=== Others ===

Some people questioned the needs for these lists.

 * fedora-games-list

 * fedora-r-devel-list

 * fedora-art

 * fedora-xen

 * fedora-websites

Ask the list-maintainers if separate lists really make sense for these
topics. fedora-games-list for example

----

== Miscellaneous ==

=== Mailman guidelines ===

While at it let's define a standard look-and-feel for mailing lists,
too. (FIXME: some mailman experts around? Is this sane?). Mailing list
admins are strongly encouraged to follow this guidelines, but they don't
have to if there are good reason for it (no, "I don't like it" is not a
good reason!). Suggested setting (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> )

=== Legacy ===

Jesse will close fedora-legacy and fedora-legacy-announce in the near
future.

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

Some of our mailing lists have the "-list" postfix, other not. I think
all new lists should be created without it.

=== rawhide reports ===

We create another channel in fedora-package-announce where those kind of
reports get mailed to. Don't send them to any other lists.

Side note: A channel for the important packages might be helpful,
because the reports will get quite long in the future after the extras
and core merge. How about a channel that lists only changes in packages
that are part of our most important spins Gnome, KDE and Server?

== Notes ==

Ubuntu has similar problems; they splitted ubuntu-devel into
ubuntu-devel and ubuntu-devel-discuss:
https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2006-December/023022.html

EOF


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