The procedures for coordinating newsgroup management within the UK hierarchy are contained in three documents, of which this article contains the first.
These guidelines have the approval of the major UK service providers, who have declared that they will only carry and propagate groups created using them.
It should be pointed out here that, as always, the decision whether or not to create a newsgroup on a given machine rests with the administrator of that machine. These guidelines are intended as an aid in making those decisions. On the other hand, it should be understood that groups created contrary to these guidelines are unlikely to propagate far.
Control will cross post the RFD to uk.net.news.announce, uk.net.news.config and any other groups or mailing lists related to the proposed topic or likely to be affected. The groups to be cross posted into should be those requested by the proponent. The proponent may also indicate which groups the Followups should be set to. Control may, at his discretion, add additional groups to these lists (or remove groups where such cross posting is beyond the technical capabilities of the news software). Uk.net.news.config shall be included in both the original cross posting and followups. Only postings which are cross posted to uk.net.news.config will be considered part of the definitive discussion.
The RFD should include as much as possible of the following information concerning the proposed group:
The Charter shall make clear what the topic of discussion within the group is to be (useful if arguments about what is "on-topic" should arise later on). It is also advisable for the Charter to indicate whether or not advertisements are welcome within the group, and if so of what sort. The same applies to the admissibility of job adverts, etc. Binaries are allowed in uk.* only in hierarchies explicitly created for binary posts, and having a hierarchy charter stating this. In all other hierarchies the group charter shall state that binaries are not permitted. In any uk.* hierarchy or group whose charter does not mention binaries, the assumption shall be that binaries are forbidden.
Retromoderation, i.e. moderation of a newsgroup by way of content-based cancelling of articles, is not allowed, and RFDs which include the possibility of retromoderation will not be accepted. This does not affect the general power of moderators to cancel articles which have appeared in the group as a result of forgery, catastrophic failure of moderation software, or in other unforseen emergency circumstances.
The One-line Summary will eventually go into the "newsgroups" file which many newsreaders make available to users as a quick guide to the intent of each newsgroup. As regards group Names, reference should be made to the document "Guidelines on uk.* Newsgroup Names" which is posted periodically to uk.net.news.announce.
The scope of subjects shall be clear and finite, it must be possible to create a definitive list of potential groups (although it is not required that the proponent provides such a list). The scope shall give clear instructions as to the formation of group names under the template, including any flexibility (to be exercised at the discretion of the committee) that is allowed in naming.
A group template RFD may also specify a single group which will be created immediately the proposal passes, without need of a quick creation request.
Where 90 days have elapsed since the publication of the first RFD, the committee may direct that no further RFDs shall be published, but that the proposal shall either proceed to a vote within 40 days of the present RFD or be withdrawn. Any vote resulting from such a decision by the committee shall include the option ROD (re-open discussion). Where the RFD is concerned with the committee constitution, and the committee has not acted to curtail discussion within 130 days, the RFD shall proceed as if the committee had done so.
Otherwise, the proponent may, within 40 days of the original publication of the most recent RFD, ask the votetaking organisation to conduct a vote. Where the vote results from the failure of a Fast Track, and the 40 day period has expired, the proponent may request a vote within 10 days of the Committee notice that the Fast Track was not successful.
The proponent may, at any stage, withdraw an RFD, or permit another person to take over as proponent on the current RFD. The proponent must notify email@example.com. Control shall publish a notice of the change of proponent or withdrawal to all newsgroups which were included in the original RFD.
Note than only firstname.lastname@example.org may issue 'newgroup', 'rmgroup' and 'checkgroups' messages which are to be regarded as valid under these guidelines.
A 'Quick Creation' request may be made by:
A request for Control to create a group using the template shall contain the names and valid email addresses of the proponent and at least 11 (maximum 20) supporters. If Control (as advised by the Committee) is satisfied that the proposed group lies within the scope of the template, he shall announce in the newsgroups specified in the template that if a minimum of 11 of the provided list of supporters respond as indicated below then, in the absence of valid objections, the group shall be created on a date not less than 10 days thereafter. Control's announcement shall contain the names/valid email addresses of the proponent and supporters.If the original request is rejected, or fewer than 11 of the listed supporters respond positively to Control, then Control shall announce this to the same groups as received the original posting.
Control shall email each supporter provided by the proponent informing them that they must email a reply within 10 days to acknowledge that they support the request and that the request will fail if fewer than 11 respond positively.
If, at the end of the 10 day period, the minimum level of support has been achieved then Control shall post to the same groups that the proposed group shall be created in 5 days unless there are any objections.
Objections, which must be emailed to email@example.com, to quick creation will only be considered on the grounds that:
In the event that a 'Quick Creation' request is rejected by the committee, expires through lack of support or is overturned following an objection, a similar proposal may be submitted for discussion by the normal RFD process without incurring a 3 month delay. However, a failed or expired quick creation request may not be re-submitted as a quick creation request within 90 days.
A proposal which has been the subject of a successful Fast Track, or of any valid vote should not be brought up for discussion until at least 3 months have passed from the date of the Fast Track notice, or the close of the vote.
Where an RFD has been withdrawn, no waiting period shall apply before a new RFD can be published.