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Subject: Formal Proposal: Big-8 Newsgroup Creation Council - DRAFT 8.02
From: tskirvin@killfile.org (Tim Skirvin)
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A Formal Proposal - The Big-8 Newsgroup Creation Council
This document proposes a revised Big-8 newsgroup system wherein a Creation
Council of knowledgeable users will manage the Big-8 Hierarchies; this
will replace the existing RFD/CFV system.

 * NOTE - this is a draft!  Please make your suggestions and comments now,  *
 * as few points in this document are *not* subject to change if warranted! *

I. Goals and Mission Statement

The overall goal of the Big-8 Usenet Creation Council is to promote the use
and growth of the Big-8 Usenet Hierarchies (comp.*, rec.*, soc.*, talk.*,
sci.*, news.*, humanities.*, and misc.*).  To this end, the Council works
to create newsgroups that will be well-used by the users of Usenet; remove
those newsgroups that are not being used; and help to manage the existing
groups, in order to keep them healthy and well-used.

II. Primary Participants

The following groups of people are primary participants in this system;
specific memberships are listed in other documents.

  1. Proponent

  The Proponent is a person that makes a Proposal - a proposed new group,
  the removal of an old one, or any other change that the Executive
  Committee is empowered to change.  The Proponent must be comfortable
  with using Usenet newsgroups, as he or she will be expected to discuss
  the Proposal in news.groups; but otherwise, there are no limitations on
  who may be a Proponent.

  2. Executive Committee (EC)

  The news.announce.newgroups Executive Committee (EC) consists of 3-5
  members.  The primary role of the EC is to rule on the creation of
  new groups in the Big-8 hierarchies, the removal of groups from these
  hierarchies, and other similar simple management tasks.

  3. Advisory Board (AB)

  The Big-8 Advisory Board (AB) is a group of Usenet regulars interested
  in and knowledgeble about the newsgroup creation process and Usenet as a
  whole.  Its role is to advise the EC, and to formally submit proposals
  to the EC for a Ruling.
  4. Big-8 Usenet Creation Council (BUCC)

  The Big-8 Usenet Creation Council (BUCC) is the collective term used to
  refer to the Executive Committee and the Advisory Board.

III. Big-8 Newsgroup Creation Process - Summary

An informal proposal is first offered by the Proponent in news.groups,
and discussed there.  When this proposal has matured, it may be submitted
by a single member of the Advisory Board for formal consideration by the
Executive Committee.  The EC deliberates on the proposal and offers a
decision based on a consensus of its membership.  This ruling is posted to

Following the ruling is a formal waiting period, during which time anybody
may raise objections to the EC's decisions.  The EC may choose to revise
its ruling based on these objections, but is not obligated to do so.  At
the end of the waiting period, the ruling is carried out.

IV. Big-8 Newsgroup Creation Process

Note that the terminology is explained below. 
  1.  Proposal

      A Proposal is submitted by the Proponent to the newsgroup

  2.  Discussion

      Discussion of the Proposal takes place in news.groups; this
      discussion is followed by the BUCC, and led by the Proponent.

  3.  Submission
      Any member of the AB may formally submit the Proposal for
      consideration by the EC by sending a formal Submission to
      news.announce.newgroups.  The EC Committee then reviews the
      Submission, seeking input from the AB and Proponent as appropriate.

  4.  Ruling
      Once the EC has made its decision on the Submission, its Ruling is
      posted to news.announce.newgroups.

  5.  Waiting Period
      There is a seven-day Waiting Period after the Ruling.  During this
      time, either the Proponent or a member of the AB may challenge the
      Ruling; the EC may then adjust its Ruling accordingly.

  6.  Action
      After the Waiting Period is completed, any changes indicated by the 
      Ruling are implemented.

V. Concepts

The following terms, used in this document, have formalized meanings in
the newsgroup creation system.

  1. Proposal

  A Proposal is a formalized request for a change in the Big-8 system,
  such as (but not limited to):
    o Creating a new newsgroup on a given topic.
    o Removing an empty or unused newsgroup.
    o Changing the moderation status of a newsgroup from moderated
      to unmoderated, or vice-versa. 
    o Renaming an existing group, or updating its charter.
    o Any combination of the above, to reorganize a sub-hierarchy.
    o Changing the primary moderator(s) of a newsgroup.
    o Amending this document, or other similar documents.

  As an example, the Proposal for a new newsgroup may consist of the
  following elements:

    o Newsgroup Name - the suggested name of the new group.

    o Newsgroup Description - a short description of the newsgroup, for
      the 'newsgroups' file on many news servers.

    o Charter - the detailed charter of the proposed newsgroup.

    o Justification - an explanation of why the group should be created.
      This is fairly free-form, but more information is probably better.

    o Moderation Status - if the group is moderated, then information on
      the moderators is necessary (submissions and contact address,
      moderation policies, etc).

  Proposals for other types of action (group removals, moderation change,
  new hierarchies, etc) require different elements.  A complete list is
  posted regularly to news.announce.newgroups.

  Proposals must be submitted to news.groups for consideration.

  2. Submission

  A Submission is a modified version of the Proposal submitted to
  news.announce.newgroups by a member of the AB.  The formal Submission
  consists of the same information as the Proposal, formatted to match the
  requirements of the group.

  No member of the AB may issue a Submission of his or her own Proposal.

  3. Ruling

  A Ruling is a formal decision made by the EC regarding a Submission,
  which is then posted to news.announce.newgroups.

  4. Waiting Period

  All Rulings are followed by a minimum seven-day Waiting Period, to allow
  for a formal discussion of the Ruling and to allow the EC to change its
  Ruling (this would reset the Waiting Period).

VI. Transition and Implementation

The initial membership of the Advisory Board consists of all users of
news.groups.  The AB may thereafter adjust its membership policies 
internally as it sees fit, though the EC may choose to veto any particular

VII. Administrivia

This proposal is based on the ideas and input from many people in and
around news.groups.  This author thanks all of them for their efforts.

Discussion of this proposal should take place in news.groups.

Additional documentation will be gathered by the Creation Council itself,
and will be regularly posted to news.announce.newgroups and news.answers.

			   - Tim Skirvin (tskirvin@killfile.org)
http://www.killfile.org/~tskirvin/  Skirv's Homepage <FISH>< <*>
http://www.killfile.org/~tskirvin/software/     Skirv's Software