This article was written as part of a description of news.groups.proposals. A much more complete discussion and history is in the group-history section.
news.groups came into existence as net.news.group as a place to discuss proposals for new newsgroups. Its purpose remained unchanged until the establishment of news.groups.proposals.
There never was, is not now, and probably never will be a formal charter for news.groups. It is the lineal descendant of the process that created Usenet. Although news.groups is not the mother of all newsgroups, it is the grandchild or great-grandchild and principle heir of the mother of all newsgroups.
Besides meaning "a formal document on file with the ISC, a "charter" may also be thought of as the purpose or scope of a newsgroup. In this sense, news.groups has a purpose and scope, and therefore it has a charter.
What is the relationship between news.groups and news.groups.proposals?
news.groups.proposals handles a subset of the traditional discussion in news.groups -- the "formal" discussion process. This begins when the RFD is posted in news.announce.newgroups and ends when the decision is made whether to create the group.
Does news.groups have a charter?
- The one-line description of news.groups is: Discussions and lists of newsgroups.
- For a sense of how news.groups developed in the past, see how the group came into being.
- For a general understanding of what a charter is, see "What is a charter?".
If proposals are discussed in news.groups.proposals, what is left for news.groups?
- news.groups will not be removed or moderated. It is a group that has been in long existence and there are innumerable FAQ's that reference it by name. It may continue to be used by those who do not have access to news.groups.proposals or prefer to post to an unmoderated newsgroup.
- As an unmoderated newsgroup, news.groups is, in a sense, whatever the users make of it. Based on the developments in the news.group community, it is apparent that "discussions ... of newsgroups" may include:
- developing ideas that could become formal proposals for new groups or improved policies.
- discussing issues related to established groups.
- evaluating proposals, policies, and changes regarding the Big-8 newsgroup hierarchies.
- explaining how newsgroups work.
- examining the culture of Usenet and the Big-8.
- offering advice on netiquette or providing strategies for dealing with problems in newsgroups.
- preserving and transmitting the history of Usenet and the Big-8.
- maintaining contact with friends and colleagues.
- providing feedback on the management of the Big-8.
- cultivating volunteers to help manage the Big-8.
- pooling resources to solve technical problems.
- public communications with members of the Big-8 Board.
- Any discussion that would be on-topic in the news.groups.* hierarchy is encouraged.
- We hope that participants in news.groups will abide by normal Usenet standards of conduct and to ignore articles intended to disrupt the group. The usual suspects are discouraged - spam, binaries, html, direct advertising, etc.