Guidelines for the use of mailing lists can be found at http://www.ubuntu.com/support/community/mailinglists.
ubuntu-devel and ubuntu-devel-discuss moderation: UbuntuDevelModeration
general guidelines for Developer communication: DeveloperCommunication
The guidelines above are non-negotiable, but a hard and fast requirement. If you can't abide by the code of conduct, the list moderators and list admins might decide to moderate your emails or remove you from the list altogether.
List of Lists
A comprehensive list of Ubuntu mailing lists and their target audience can be found at lists.ubuntu.com.
Moderating Mailing lists
If you are moderator of an Ubuntu mailing list, you might want to have a look at listadmin. It's a great tool that makes you more effective. Daniel Holbach wrote a little howto about it.
Moderating certain users
If your mailing list faces certain users who, after constructive advise from other mailing list users or moderators, are not willing to follow the guidelines, you might need to decide to moderate emails of those users for a while. The justification for this is very simple: in very busy times, some people might just need to cool down for a bit and are fine again afterwards. It's important in a community of our size, that we are respectful with each other (and each other's inbox). If you're just in a bad mood, it's unacceptable that you ruin the day of dozens or hundreds of other mailing list users. The list of moderated email addresses should be reviewed and reconsidered regularly to make sure the problem is solved soon again. Let the Community Council know about cases that are not solved quickly. Here are a few examples of what might be necessary in certain cases. Use your own judgment:
- Tell users that the list has several hundred (or thousand) users and that that the topic of their mail might not be of interest to everybody and not in the scope of the particular mailing list and try to find a better forum for it.
- Ask participants of a discussion to be part of the solution instead and be constructive.
- State that the tone of the mail is not appropriate and not what all the subscribers should be confronted with.
- Put a user in moderation for a week, explain to them in a personal email why.
- End a thread with a mail replying to it with "[MODERATION] End of thread" if a thread gets out of hand.
It's understandable that issues will arise from this kind of moderation, especially if they are newly introduced to a mailing list, but we have to make sure that the signal/noise ratio is acceptable, especially for lists with several hundreds of subscribers. Users of the mailing list simply have to have this minimal amount of respect for the other subscribers and their inboxes.
Requesting a list
As you can see at lists.ubuntu.com there's a plethora of mailing lists already. When you are just about to request yet another one, please consider the following:
If your project is only loosely connected to Ubuntu and your team is using Launchpad anyway, a Launchpad mailing list might be more appropriate.
If you are setting up a local team of a few enthusiasts, try using a bigger list before creating yet another mailing list that languishes around because of being under-used. One good way to indicate to do this is to add some kind of title to the mail subject, ie:
Subject: [City X] Meeting next week To: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis way you'll find out how much demand there is and if the team is sustainable.
- Same goes for development projects: if you intend your new mailing list to just cover parts of what is discussed on a bigger list, make sure that there's enough demand and the topics you want to cover are going to stay of interest.
suggested mailing list, make sure it's clear if it's a LoCo list or not
- intended audience (mention people you know who are interested in that list)
- some kind of documentation that you tried having this kind of conversations somewhere else before