News.groups.proposals FAQ

From Big-8.org

This moderated newsgroup was created in November 2006 to address issues with the news.groups newsgroup. As described in the n.g.p. charter, the goal was to provide a "healthy environment where ideas can be raised, discussed, and developed."

news.groups.proposals is used primarily in step 3 of the newsgroup creation process.

To remove the flames, attacks, and other noise from this phase of the discussion, news.groups.proposals is moderated. The moderators try to insure that articles relate to a newsgroup proposal and are civil. Dissenting opinions are encouraged. For additional information on the moderation policy, refer to the n.g.p moderation policy.

You should be able to submit articles to news.groups.proposals just as you do for any other newsgroups. If you find that your news provider has misconfigured the group as unmoderated, you can email submissions to ngp@ngp.big-8.org.

If you have problems (including misconfiguration of the group by your provider) or questions, the administrative address for the group is ngp-board@ngp.big-8.org

Frequently Asked Questions

What's wrong with discussing proposals for new groups in news.groups?

The news.groups newsgroup has a significant place in the history of Usenet and has served as the spot for discussing potential new groups since there were enough participants to make it an issue. (Before then, new groups were created simply by submitting an article to them; the news software created the new group on the fly.)

Even from its early days, there were issues with discussions in news.groups. (An article from 1982 refers to "the flaming [that] has gone on for a while", and calls news.groups "the silliest group on the net".) Regular participants in news.groups learn to cope with flames, insults, and other disruptive behavior. Coping mechanisms include software killfiles and learning that certain individuals are in news.groups not to provide constructive criticism but simply to play with the system.

Proponents for new groups were required by the group-creation process to participate in the discussion of their proposal in news.groups. Some proponents are intimidated by this prospect since they do not have the coping mechanisms employed by news.groups regulars. Supporters and potential participants in new groups are not likely to understand the dynamics of news.groups and thus the discussion process is discouraged.

In order to address these issues, the members of the Board proposed a new location for discussion of new groups. This group encourages dissenting opinions that are expressed in a civil way.

Does all discussion of an RFD have to take place in n.g.p?

  • n.g.p is the place to create an "official" record of the key decisions made by proponents.
  • Discussion, of course, may take place anywhere in Usenet. No one can stop anyone from talking about the RFD wherever they wish.
  • Proponents may take note of such other discussions if they wish. To enter the results of those discussions into the record, they should mention them in the appropriate thread(s) in n.g.p.
  • Further details about the responsibilities of the proponent(s) during the discussion of the RFD.

Why should I participate in news.groups.proposals?

The Board needs to follow the discussion so that they are well informed to vote on the group's creation, and it is the discussion in news.groups.proposals that they read. Comments in other newsgroups, including news.groups, may be seen by the Board but they are not required to follow discussion in other groups, so such comments are not "official". To insure that your comments are seen by the Board, make them in news.groups.proposals.

Why was my submission to news.groups.proposals rejected?

  • The subject area of news.groups.proposals is clear -- discussion of newsgroup proposals. If your comments are not substantially about a proposal, they will be rejected. Threads tend to drift, and sometimes the discussion drifts away from the actual proposal into general technical or policy issues. The moderators make a judgment call on whether individual submissions contribute to the discussion of the proposed group or belong in news.groups or another venue.
  • Submissions which contain flames, insults, or other inappropriate material will be rejected. This is the noise that news.groups.proposals was created to resolve, and such articles will not be approved.
  • Submissions which contain binary data, HTML, or other material are not allowed by the charter.
  • Crossposting is generally discouraged. Submissions that are crossposted to a moderated group, or to more than three groups (including news.groups.proposals) are automatically rejected by the moderation software. Appropriate crossposting to three groups or less may be allowed at the discretion of the moderators.
  • Excessive quoting is not allowed. If you quote someone else's article and add "Me, too" at the bottom, your submission will be rejected. The moderators make a judgement call on "excessive". Please include enough of the article to which you're replying to provide context, but do not quote parts of it that you are not addressing. For example, if you wish to make a few specific comments on the RFD, it is not necessary to quote the entire RFD in your article; trim it to the portions that are relevant to what you have to say.

For additional information on the moderation policy, refer to n.g.p moderation policies.

I submitted my article and it's not showing up in the group

Remember that news.groups.proposals is a moderated group. That means that you will not see your article instantly on your news server. Your server emails the article to the group's submission address and it waits there for a human moderator to approve it. Please do not resubmit your article because it did not immediately show in your news reader like you're used to.

Assuming that you used a valid email address, you will receive a confirmation email when your article is received by the moderation system, and another when it is approved.

My Usenet feed doesn't include news.groups.proposals

Most providers have a mechanism for requesting that new groups be added. If you follow this procedure, chances are that you will obtain access to the group via your normal source.

In the meantime, you can access it by pointing your news reader to news.killfile.org.

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