Other Usenet Hierarchies

From Big-8.org

  • A hierarchy is an ordered list of newsgroups.
  • Each of the subsets of the Big-8 is a hierarchy (comp.*, humanities.*, misc.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*, talk.*).
  • If a newsgroup name, new or proposed, begins with an initial component other than comp, humanities, misc, news, rec, sci, soc, or talk, then it is in a different hierarchy outside the scope of the Big-8 Management Board.
  • "A Usenet hierarchy is, reduced to its essence, a set of Usenet newsgroups that share a common naming prefix, such as all groups starting with 'comp.' or all groups starting with 'de.' The names of Usenet newsgroups define a hierarchy of names, with '.' used as the separator between the levels of the hierarchy ... The most significant part of the name is given first. The first component of the name is special and more significant than the rest of the name, since it defines the top-level Usenet hierarchy to which that group belongs" (Hierarchy Administration FAQ [Allbery]).
  • See trigofacile.com's list of approximately 240 managed hierarchies.

alt newsgroups

  • The alt.* hierarchy was begun, in part, as a reaction against the management principles of what came to be known as the Big-8. It is an "alternative" approach to creating newsgroups.
  • ISC's policy about alt.* control messages:
The way the ISC active file works for alt.* groups is that it
accepts any properly formatted alt.* control message.  It has nothing
to do with the content of the group, but is all about the way the
technical message announcing the group is formed.

See:

http://ftp.isc.org/pub/usenet/CONFIG/README

This fully explains the policy.

As a practical suggestion, if you go to the alt.config newsgroup
and state your case, likely someone with the technical savvy to
create this control message will do it for you.  This will solve
your problem.
  • news.groups and news.announce.newgroups are part of the Big-8. They are intended for discussions of proposals affecting the management of the eight hierarchies that constitute the Big-8. Because so many FAQs point to these two newsgroups without being clear about their limited scope, we receive many requests to create alt.* groups. The following is the boilerplate currently being used to point proponents in the right direction to get an alt.* group created.
Dear ,

This is a semi-automated reply to your request to
create an alt newsgroup.

news.announce.newgroups (n.a.n.) deals only with
big-8 newsgroups.

The big-8 consists of eight hierarchies, none of which
is alt:

comp.* 	Computer topics, both hardware and software.
humanities.* 	The humanities.
misc.* 	A mixture of newsgroups that don’t fit the other 7 hierarchies. Many are about the practical aspects of everyday life.
news.* 	Administration of the Big 8, as well as about Usenet and Netnews in general, and related topics.
sci.* 	Science and technology.
rec.* 	Recreational topics, including music, sports, games, outdoor recreation, hobbies, crafts, ...
soc.* 	Socializing, society, and social issues.
talk.* 	Endless discussion, largely about politics.

Some people recommend discussing the creation of an alt group in 

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.config?hl=en

or subscribing to 
news:alt.config alt.config  

This is not, strictly speaking, necessary, since anyone can send a 
control message to create a new alt group; see the two links below 
that explain how to write an alt control message.

Please note that you will not be able to send an alt.* newgroups
message via Google Groups.  You can learn how alt.config
works by reading the Google archives, especially HINT: "How Alt
Groups Work," which is posted regularly to alt.config:

http://www.google.com/groups?q=insubject:HINT+How+Alt+Groups+Work+author:BarB

To learn how to issue control messages to create
an alt group, see:

http://ftp.isc.org/pub/usenet/CONFIG/README
http://www.gweep.ca/~edmonds/usenet/good-newgroup.html
http://www.supernews.com/support/controlmessage.html

For more information on how to create a big-8
newsgroup, see:
http://www.big-8.org/dokuwiki/doku.php
http://www.big-8.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=policies:creation

If you would like help developing a big-8 newsgroup devoted
to this topic, you may write to the Group Mentors:

mailto:group-mentors@lists.big-8.org

Links

If you look at this alphabetical list of newsgroup hierarchies or these analytic lists, you will see that there are hundreds of lists of newsgroups other than those that constitute the Big-8. Each of these other hierarchies has its own history, tradition, FAQS, and, in some cases, manager or management team.

Hierarchy Management
news.admin.hierarchies
Usenet Hierarchy Administration FAQ (Allbery)
USENET Archives
ISC archive of USENET RFDs, including those that were approved by voting, those that failed in voting, and those that became defunct without voting, organized by hierarchy
ISC newsgroup creation archives (those USENET RFDs for which control messages were issued)
Other News Hierarchies
alt.*: ISC policy on alt control messages
alt.*: google link to alt.config
alt.*: news:alt.config
free.* FAQ
List of Newsgroup Hierarchies--www.magma.ca (alphabetical)
Lists of Newsgroup Hierarchies--usenet.trigofacile.com (from ISC records)
Data files from ISC used to generate trigofacile lists
UK Usenet Homepages
Usenet US hierarchy - //dead link - June 18, 2008

This list is illustrative, not exhaustive. Please let us know if you would like to add a link. Thanks!

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