ubuntu-devel and ubuntu-devel-discuss

Matt Zimmerman mdz at canonical.com
Fri Mar 2 18:31:51 GMT 2007

I just wanted to chat a bit about the charter of these two lists.  It's now
been three months since we created ubuntu-devel-discuss, and I think we have
enough experience to evaluate it and see where improvements might be needed.

First, to review:

  ubuntu-devel is a high-S/N, developer-oriented discussion forum.  Its
  participants are Ubuntu developers, upstream developers and non-developer
  community members whose messages are consistently on-topic and

  ubuntu-devel-discuss is a general discussion forum for everyone who is
  interested in Ubuntu development.  Its participants are mostly users who
  run the development release and want to talk about it.

  It's intended that developers be able to read ubuntu-devel and keep up
  with what's going on.  If you're posting about development you're doing,
  it should go to ubuntu-devel.

  If you want to solicit responses from the community, you should send to
  ubuntu-devel-discuss, so that a thread can start there.  Of course, if
  you're soliciting responses about development you're doing, you should
  also mail ubuntu-devel so that other developers are sure to see it.

The primary awkwardness I've seen so far is messages which meet both of
these criteria.  For example, a call for testing of pre-release packages.
In these cases, cross-posting seems like the appropriate solution, has the
desired effect of reaching both groups, allows both broad community
discussion and focused development discussion, and allows subscribers to
choose to receive either or both.

However, this is likely to have the undesirable side effect of causing a lot
of ubuntu-devel-discuss traffic to end up in the ubuntu-devel moderation
queue.  Since we want to keep that chore to a minimum, it would be good to
find a way to avoid this.

One technical solution would be to drop messages which would otherwise be
moderated if they've gone to ubuntu-devel-discuss.  I don't know whether
this is straightforward to implement in Mailman.  Are there other

I'm also interested to hear about other experiences with the new list
configuration which warrant discussion.

 - mdz

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