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Publicly-readable list for only DDs and DMs to post to

  pls can we create debian-members@l.d.o with posting acceptance rules
  copied from debian-devel-announce[1] and subscriber list maintained in
  sync with debian-private.

(Reply-to set to -project.)

We've been having a good conversation on -vote about the
declassification of -private.  We have restated our good intentions to
try to reduce the abuse of -private for messages which do not need
confidentiality.  (Such abuse is contrary to our principle of

That is good but it is not enough.  Restating, once again, our good
intentions, will not significantly reduce the amount by which matters
are discussed on -private which could perhaps be discussed elsewhere.

We also need to understand why people use -private when perhaps they
ought not.  One reason is that -private has a better signal to noise
ratio than -devel or -project, and therefore people pay more attention
to it.

I've several times had conversations with other DDs who read -private
(and announce lists) but no public discussion lists.  (Or who read
-private more than they do other lists.)

Another reason is that if a conversation on -private has moved on and
no longer needs confidentiality, there is nowhere where the same
people can carry on the conversation, with the same primary audience
and the same potential participants, but in public.  This is one
reason why trying to shift things off -private to (say) -project is

IMO we should create a list which is very like -private (in practice,
only DDs and DMs post to it; and it has a similar or identical
recipient list) but which does not have -private's lack of

So I would like to suggest, at least as an experiment, creating a list
which DDs and DMs can post, to but which is publicly distributed and
and archived and to which anyone can subscribe.  (I have proposed this
before, but a long time ago.  I think it is time for me to suggest it

We should at the very least populate the initial subscriber list with
that of -private.  We can then encourage people who want to reach the
audience of -private to use the new list instead, when they don't need

I think we should link the subscriber list to that of -private, so
that it is not possible to subscribe only to confidential emails.
Rather it becomes possible to subscribe only to emails from DDs and

That way someone who wants to continue a conversation from -private,
but with transparency, knows that they will definitely be able to
continue the conversation with the same people.

It is important that the social pressure to use a fully open list does
not exceed the social pressure to avoid needless use of -private, so I
would suggest that, initially, the new list's topics would be
"anything Debian-related, even if another more specific list exists,
when the poster wishes to have a conversation with other DDs and DMs".

I'm not sure what the right name would be for the new list.  Partly
this is because we don't have a word for the set DDs+DMs.  Sometimes
people use "members" to include only DDs and not DMs.  "Contributors"
means (and ought to mean) lots of random people.

But I think overall we probably ought to consider DMs "members" too,
even though DM is not the most senior tier of membership (they are
not the _governing_ members).  So I would suggest

[1] In my tl;dr I said that the posting rules for -members should be
copied from d-d-a.  I think d-d-a should accept signed messages from
DMs; I doubt we will face abuse of d-d-a by DMs.  If we don't want to
make that change to d-d-a, then -members ought to have a slightly
modified version of d-d-a's rules, which looks for DM keys too.

Thanks for your attention.


Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk>   These opinions are my own.

If I emailed you from an address @fyvzl.net or @evade.org.uk, that is
a private address which bypasses my fierce spamfilter.

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