Proposal: Mailing List owner policy

Albert Astals Cid aacid at
Wed Jul 22 23:31:29 BST 2020

Dear Community,

One important part of mailing lists being healthy is owners/moderators[1].

They moderate the lists, they help users that want to subscribe/unsubscribe but don't know how to, they enact emergency moderation in the very very seldom case that it is needed, etc.

So to keep our mailing lists healthy we need to be sure to have healthy list owners.

In plural, more than one, because from time to time, we go on vacation and the list duties still need taking care of.

For that I'd like to enact this policy:
    Mailing lists should have at least 2 active owners, ideally 3 [Obviously exceptions apply, like if we just started a mailing list to coordinate translators for a language that has no translation in KDE yet, we'd probably have no way to get 2 list owners]

One keyword in that sentence is "active".

Mailing list ownership/moderation un-activity is hard to detect.

One way to potentially detect it, is by those summaries that sysadmin sends periodically for lists with lots of mails to moderate, but that doesn't cover all the cases.

For example, it's possible that a mailing list has 2 owners and only one of them is inactive, since the other one is keeping the list in working condition we don't see it as a problem, but if that person goes on holiday, then it suddenly is.

For that I'd like to enact this policy sub-point:

    Mailing list owners will be contacted every year asking if they are still active and if they want to continue being list owner or if they'd prefer we find a substitute.

If they say "please find a substitute" or fail to answer in a given time frame (I'd say a month is fair), they will be removed as owners and in case the "at least 2 active owners, ideally 3" policy is broken we'll find a new person.

Does that sound something like we could agree on?

Then the big question is "who will do this work?" Because it seems quite a bit of work (albeit only once a year). I would suggest the Community Working Group does this, as it's a way to keep our community healthy, but i understand it's quite some work, so i volunteer to do it if the CWG doesn't feel this is a task they want to take on. 

Things I'm missing?

Improvement suggestions?


[1] yes, i know they are not the same, but since one is a subset of the other, let's pretend they are.

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