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Guidelines for Group Creation within the UK Hierarchy

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Charles Lindsey

Nov 24, 2022, 7:17:59 PM11/24/22

Archive-name: uk/guidelines
Posting-frequency: monthly
Last-modified: Sun Jul 12 17:06:39 BST 2015

The procedures for coordinating newsgroup management within the UK hierarchy
are contained in three documents, of which this article contains the first.


The following Guidelines were originally accepted on 07 Aug 95 by a vote
conducted on with 93 votes in favour and 11 votes against. They
were amended by further votes conducted on on 19 Apr 97
with majorities of 31 or more votes in favour and 6 or less votes against,
again on 15 April 98 by 47 to 13, again on 26 Sept 98 by the fast-track
method, again on 28 Nov 1999 by 74 to 2 and 39 to 27, again on 18 May 2000 by
30 to 8, again on 13 Feb 2001 by 30 to 13 and again on 5 May 2001 by 52 to 27.


The following words where used in this document have the precise
meanings shown here:

SHALL - any RFD which fails to follow this guideline will be invalid
SHOULD - in all but exceptional or unusual cases an RFD ought to follow
this guideline
MAY - whilst this guideline is acceptable practice, it remains optional

Requirements for Group Creation:

It is hoped that most creations of new newsgroups within the UK hierarchy
can be accomplished speedily and without the necessity for voting. When
dissention arises, however, voting may be the only method of resolution.

These guidelines have the approval of the major UK service providers, who
have declared that they will only carry and propagate groups created using

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.

The Discussion:

1) A request for discussion (RFD) on the creation of a new newsgroup
shall be mailed to (as moderator of

Control will cross post the RFD to,
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). shall be included in both the original cross posting
and followups. Only postings which are cross posted to
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 Name
The Charter
Whether it is to be Moderated
The name of the Moderator (if appropriate)
A One-line Summary of the charter (max. 79 characters)
The Initial Time to be allowed for discussion (which must be at
least 10 days).
Any of these items missing from the RFD must be resolved during the

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

2) Where it is desired to provide for a large number of newsgroups to be
created as and when demand emerges, all sharing a common charter, an RFD for
a "group template" may be submitted, in the same form as an RFD, but
containing also the scope of subjects for which it shall be available, and a
standard charter and newsgroups line applicable to them all (with
placeholders for those words specific to each subject). It may further
specify a group or groups to which all future notices of quick creations
must be crossposted.

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

3) If the RFD is in the correct form, and if the name of the proposed
group falls within the normal accepted practice for the uk.* hierarchy
(as detailed in "Guidelines on uk.* Newsgroup Names") (as moderator of will post
it. Otherwise, he will refer it to the Committee for resolution (which
may involve negotiation with the original proponent). A proponent who
needs help in choosing a name, or is looking for any other guidance
in the creation procedure, may send email to
before issuing his RFD.

4) Discussion shall take place in and shall continue
initially for 10 days, and thereafter as required until consensus is
reached, or at least the important issues have been identified. It should
be concerned with finding the final form of the Name, Charter, and other
items listed above. Additional RFDs should be issued if substantive changes
arise during the discussion. Revised RFDs should be discussed for a further
initial 10 day period.

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.

5) If, by the end of the initial discussion period, a consensus has been
reached and the proposal appears to be straightforward and
non-controversial, the proponent may, within 40 days of the original
publication of the most recent RFD, ask to create the
group by the "fast-track" method. If Control (as advised by the Committee)
is satisfied of this, he will announce in that, in the
absence of valid objections, the new group will be created on a date not
less than 5 days thereafter. In the event of 6 or more objections, or any
objection which seems to the Committee to be well founded, the fast-track
procedure shall be halted, and the RFD should either proceed to a vote, or
have a revised RFD submitted for further discussion. In circumstances where
the fast-track has failed on only minor problems, the proponent is
permitted to correct these, and re-submit a fast-track request with the
corrections, which shall then be conducted as above.

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 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 may issue 'newgroup', 'rmgroup' and
'checkgroups' messages which are to be regarded as valid under these

6) Where a group template exists, a group may be created by the 'Quick
Creation' method, without any RFD (with formal Charter) being posted.

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.

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 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.

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, which must be emailed to, to quick
creation will only be considered on the grounds that:
1) the proposed group lies outside the scope of the template;
2) the name is not in accordance with the template;
3) the list of supporters contains some irregularity.

The rule specifying the number of objections that automatically prevent a
fast track shall not apply to any group application by the 'Quick Creation'

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.

7) The rules for conducting votes are described in the companion document

8) Only one RFD on any particular subject should be
allowed at any one time. The first valid RFD received by should be published, and all others rejected. In
cases of doubt, the Committee shall adjudicate as to whether two RFDs
overlap sufficiently to warrant one being rejected.

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

Where an RFD has been withdrawn, no waiting period shall apply before a new
RFD can be published.

9) The procedures described above shall be used, with appropriate changes, for
the removal, renaming, splitting or combining of groups, for changing the
charter of groups, for introducing major changes to the hierarchy, for
changing the moderation status, or for forcing a change of moderator (under
normal circumstances, it is accepted that a retiring moderator appoints his

10) All objections and appeals will be decided by the Committee. Their
decisions will be posted to

Rule Changes

Any changes to these rules, or those in the companion documents, shall be
proposed in an RFD in accordance with the GUIDELINES FOR GROUP CREATION
WITHIN THE UK HIERARCHY, insofar as they are applicable. RFDs for rule
changes shall be discussed in the newsgroup, and
this will be the definitive record of discussion.

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Newsgroups line: For RFDs, CFVs, FAQs, etc. within the UK Hierarchy. (Moderated)


This group is to be moderated by on behalf of the UK
Usenet Committee. Its purpose is to publish RFDs, CFVs, Result of votes, etc.
produced in accordance with the Guidelines For Group Creation within the UK
Hierarchy and the Voting Procedures within the UK Hierarchy. It will also
publish FAQs and summaries relevant to the management of the UK Hierarchy.


Newsgroups line: Discussions of RFDs posted in


For discussions concerning the creation, renaming or deletion of newsgroups
within the UK Hierarchy, especially those arising from RFDs published in in accordance with the Guidelines For Group Creation
within the UK Hierarchy. Discussions relating to connectivity, propagation,
and other non-configuration issues should take place in Discussions
relating to the management of the uk.* newsgroup hierarchy, the committee,
officers and guidelines should take place in

Cross-posting between this group and is strictly
prohibited, EXCEPT for formal RFDs and CFVs and announcements approved by
control. Where cross-posting is allowed, the follow-ups line may include
either OR but NOT both.

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