This text was discussed on by the board meeting of 7/10/2006, and it was decided that it should serve as a basis for discussion.
Projects were created with a set of three mailing lists, consisting of the project name with an appended suffix:
- -help: helpdesk (gurus answering questions from outside) and internal discussion among the gurus/activists
- -parl: discussion among supporters, more or less public
- -news: news announcements to a large public
National/language-area projects are named by the ISO symbol of their nation or language, d.e. "uk", "de", "fr". These could again have sub-projects such as de-jur for "german legal affairs", de-med for "german media work".
Reasons for change
- Some people have complained that the current naming scheme is unintuitive.
- The use of "-parl" for discussion lists is not immediately self-explanatory. Beginners tend to think of "parliament"
- The use of "-help" for helpdesk lists is said to be confusing, because some of these helpdesk lists aren't actually functioning as helpdesks.
- Some projects/workgroups have been named by words which most people find difficult to associate with meaning and memorise, such as Lojban root words.
- The obligation to add a suffix for all lists adds extra effort for many workgroups that need only a single list.
- The current mailing lists naming system is already inconsistent.
- There is often no consistency across all the different resources (wiki, email, svn, etc.) we use or may use.
Goal of this change
- To define a simple set of rules that will actually work for the next ten years.
- To make it simple for people to understand, learn, and work with our structures.
The language used for all names and abbreviations will be English.
phm opinion: this is fine for many cases, but still not generalisable. E.g. it is probably not adequate to name French-speaking projects with English abbreviations. Also, the best names are often unrelated to any language or, even if they have originated from a language, detached from that language by becoming names. Names are simple symbols that can in general not be parsed according to the syntax of any language. The source language can be of help in memorising the name, but not in interpreting it. It can indeed be preferable to have symbols that fit into a multilingual matrix such as "jur" for "legal matters", used in de-jur-forum, fr-jur-forum, pl-jur-forum, for mailing lists about legal matters of Germany, France and Poland. In such cases, latin root words are more suitable than English ones, because our alphabet was made for Latin and Latin is a well-integrated subsystem of most if not all European languages.
We make these definitions:
The workgroup description is a single paragraph of text describing what the workgroup should do.
The workgroup title is a set of one or more words, separated by space, e.g. "No Software Patents".
The workgroup name is a short or abbreviated form of the title, a single lowercase word or acronym, 3-8 ascii chars long, e.g. "nsp".
All workgroups have a name, title and description. The name is the key to all workgroup resources.
We define these mandatory resources for all new workgroups:
A wiki page http://action.ffii.org/'''''name which is the cover page for the workgroup, describing its goals, constitution, scope, etc. This page must hold links to all defined workgroup resources.
A mailing list email@example.com, which is used for coordination and internal workgroup discussions. The list is always limited to FFII members and trusted allies.
We define these optional resources for all new workgroups:
Further wiki pages named http://action.ffii.org/'''''name'''''/''Some_name.
A private wiki tree on http://private.ffii.org/name/...
A private mailing list name -firstname.lastname@example.org (helpdesk) to which anyone can send inquiries, thus leading to potentially high volume of traffic, but which is read by very few people, who respond to the inquiries, thereby guiding outsiders and newcomers to become familiar with the subject matter of the workgroup. If this is not installed as a separate mailing list, it may (or should) be an alias to the internal workgroup list.
A public mailing list name -email@example.com , which is used for public discussion, anyone can join, and anyone can publish.
A public mailing list name -firstname.lastname@example.org where everybody can subscribe but only a few people have the right to publish.
Other mailing lists with appropriate access models as needed, always called email@example.com.
A web site http://'''''name'''''.ffii.org, which is a wiki or static site for the workgroup, holding and documenting materials used by the workgroup for its work.
An svn site https://svn.ffii.org/'''''name'''''/, which holds the trunk and branches for the workgroup materials.
Additionally, a workgroup can produce public sites that are named according to external needs.
- Old workgroups can use their existing conventions via aliases.
- Old workgroups will be migrated over time.
- Old workgroups will be clearly separated on the list of workgroups to indicate that they do not conform with the standard.
Purge of old mailing lists
As part of the renaming process, all old mailing lists will be either turned into workgroups, using the new conventions, with aliases if really necessary, or will be deleted.
As example I'll take the new workgroup called "Digital Majority".