Proposal: Mailing List owner policy

Valorie Zimmerman valorie.zimmerman at
Thu Jul 23 22:49:23 BST 2020

I had another thought hours after I sent my reply to Albert. What if we
create a list for KDE listowners to which all listowners and mods are
subscribed? That way we can approach issues as a team, share resources and
problems, ask one another for coverage during planned absences, etc.

We had a list like this at Rootsweb, a free genealogy community, and it
generally worked well. RW also used Mailman software before closing the
lists recently. I've moved most of my former lists to which is a
splendid platform. I very much wish it was Free software!

It seems like a lits would be a more stable way to approach the issue than
an annual inquiry email.



On Thu, Jul 23, 2020 at 1:38 AM Ben Cooksley <bcooksley at> wrote:

> On Thu, Jul 23, 2020 at 4:55 PM Valorie Zimmerman
> <valorie.zimmerman at> wrote:
> >
> > On Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 3:31 PM Albert Astals Cid <aacid at> wrote:
> >>
> >> 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?
> >
> >
> > I think this is a good idea.
> >
> >> 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.
> >
> >
> > As a member of CWG, I think that this is a suitable task for us, and I'm
> willing to do it. However, surely there is a master list of all the lists
> and who the stated owners and mods are. If so, can't the sending be done
> somewhat automatically? With the answers going to the CWG or whoever, to
> find replacement people.
> >
> You'd need a way of catching the exceptions - the people who don't reply
> though.
> Not sure how easy that would be to automate, but it's probably possible.
> In terms of getting a list of all lists, we can provide one of those
> (it's attached). I'm not sure if Mailman provides anything out of the
> box that lists who the owners of a list are though.
> >> Things I'm missing?
> >
> >
> > Healthy lists are somewhat active. While a major protective duty of
> owners and mods is to keep spam out and keep conversations moving in a
> positive way, another is to keep the list active by bringing to it
> appropriate topics of discussion. I don't want that forgotten. Too often
> issues are discussed in IRC and never brought to the list where they ought
> to be.
> >
> >> Improvement suggestions?
> >>
> >> Cheers,
> >>   Albert
> >>
> >> [1] yes, i know they are not the same, but since one is a subset of the
> other, let's pretend they are.
> >
> >
> > I would like to hear from Sysadmin how many lists we have and how many
> owners and if there is a way to automatically send an email to all owners
> along with the names of the lists they administer.
> >
> > Valorie
> Cheers,
> Ben
> >
> > --
> > - pronouns: she/her
> >
> >

-- - pronouns: she/her
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