• Re: 2nd RFD: Charter/moderation policy change, news.groups.proposals -

    From Matija Nalis@21:1/5 to board@big-8.org on Tue Jun 28 11:00:51 2022
    On Mon, 27 Jun 2022 10:29:09 EDT, Usenet Big-8 Management Board <board@big-8.org> wrote:
    Although it would be technically possible to designate both news.groups
    and news.groups.proposals as "co-official" venues for the discussion of
    RFDs, there are obvious benefits to keeping discussions centralized.

    Of course, there are benefits on choosing just one.
    However, there are disadvantages on breaking the status quo, too.

    For example, all the versions of documentation, HOWTOs and FAQ
    (which often takes years or more to be updated, if ever), not to mention
    all the discussions that reference the news.groups.proposals.

    Also, notifications to users that that group is deprecated might get lost
    for variety of reasons (from headers, antispam rules...)

    And, it is conceivable that if news.groups becomes authoritative, interest for vandalism/trolling/spam in that group might rise, perhaps necessitating *another* change back to news.groups.proposals which would really wreak havoc with ensuing confusion.

    So it seems to me quite like discussion about Usenet hierarchies PGP keys which can be used as a related case study:

    - existing hierarchies used old PGP keys no longer supported in new GPG
    versions, so there is a push to change status quo and deploy new keys

    - new keys are deployed, but many sites do not take notice and keep supporting
    old keys only

    - Note that solution there (keep sending messages signed with both old and new
    keys and hope that old keys will die one day) is however not applicable here:
    while for PGP is enough that only one of the messages is processed, here we
    want everyone to process all messages (i.e. to follow both groups) which is
    very unlikely to happen.

    Point is: it is **hard** to change status quo on Usenet, and attempts to do so should be avoided unless there is overwhelming evidence it is absolutely necessary.

    Thus, I would think it best if news.groups.proposals were to remain active / authoritative. I.e. status quo preserved.

    Some improvements (like a cron regularly posting to test moderated group, and a monitoring solution verifying new messages are regularly appearing as approved in said group) could be devised relatively easily to avoid previously occurring problems like moderation software failure or piling up queue due to missing moderator.

    Opinions above are GNU-copylefted.

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