The Wikimedia Foundation has a number of mailing lists which are open to anyone who subscribes. Please see the list descriptions for posting information. Most lists disallow any posts by nonmembers, but allow anyone to subscribe and read the archives.
Please respect Wikiquette and avoid personal attacks on the mailing lists, especially in the subject header as this is likely to be repeated by those replying. To request a new mailing list, see the instructions below.
Mailing lists are available in a number of formats: via a web archive, by email, or by NNTP using the mail-to-news gateway Gmane. Offsite archives of Wikipedia's mailing lists can be found at Gmane, MARC, and MarkMail.
Some of the mailing lists are occasionally summarized at the List Summary Service page.
Top posters can be found at Wikimedia Mail Stats: index
Almost all mailing lists archive their posts and you can view these archives online by clicking the link on the main list information page. For most public lists, the posts in the web-based archives are indexed by search engines such as Google - to search the archives, you can restrict your search by server name (add
site:lists.wikimedia.org, e.g. ) or by the directory containing a particular list's archive (
site:lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/<list name>, e.g. site:lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/mediawiki-l ...) [all lists were moved to a lists.wikimedia.org domain in January 2007; however, depending on each search engine, searching the prior domain (either "mail.wikipedia.org" or "mail.wikimedia.org") may work better]
As in all forums on the internet, you're warmly encouraged to search and scan the archives for past discussions, before asking a question or making a proposal. Not doing so reduces the signal : noise ratio, hence it is considered uncivil and disruptive.
Especially if you're not used to mailing lists (or bigger amount of emails in general) or you care less about some particular mailing list, it's useful to read messages in digests, which means you'll receive a single message containing e.g. all the messages of the day. You can set this in your mailing list options.
With digests it's way harder to actively participate in discussion (in particular the most heated ones): it's mostly for "read only" mode, voluntary or self-imposed. The next step is to disable distribution to your address and read only the archives when you have time (or even don't be subscribed). For your occasional replies, here are some tips to follow the mailing list etiquette and be sure your message will be put in the correct places and recognized by other list members:
- absolutely avoid top posting, which is most horrible when replying to long digests: include only the message you're replying to, if any;
- don't reply to the digest or create a new message to the list: instead, go to the web archives (for instance mailarchive:wikimedia-l), find the thread you're replying to, select a message (no need to waste time finding the exact one), and click the link after the name of the author at the top.
- This will automatically retrieve all visible and hidden headers (mailing list address and others, subject, reply-to) needed for your reply to be correctly recognized by human readers, threads and all sorts of software.
- Sometimes the link won't work. For instance, on Thunderbird under GNU/Linux you may need to copy the link from the HTML source of the page and use it to create a new message from the terminal (or Alt+F2), e.g.
thunderbird "mailto:wikimedia-l%40lists.wikimedia.org?Subject=Re%3A%20%5Bwikimedia-l%5D%20Call%20for%20nominations%3A%20chapter-appointed%20seats%20on%20the%0A%09WMF%20Board%20of%20Trustees&In-Reply-To=%3CCAA2XHjAeA-ruyCUh5H9L%3D6g2hTrC0_%3DXYkvp32d9WjHgnM%2BUtw%40mail.gmail.com%3E"(remember quotes!).
An overview of all existing mailing lists is at Mailing lists/overview.
There is also an automatically generated list of public mailing lists, arranged alphabetically, at lists.wikimedia.org.
Wikimedia mailing list
wikimedia-l, formerly foundation-l, is the central mailing list for all Wikimedia-wide matters, whether they concern the projects, the Wikimedia Foundation, or the chapters. If you care about fundraising, starting new projects or debating global policy issues, this is the list for you. Posting in languages other than English is welcome, although English is a language most of the audience can understand. Multilingual posts (where the poster repeats the same text in another language) are also welcome.
Messages may be posted only by subscribers. Archives are publicly available.
Wikimedia Announcements mailing list
The Foundation also operates an Announcements only list WikimediaAnnounce-l. This list is meant to provide a simple, opt-in list where people can be rapidly notified of Foundation and Chapter announcements, news and upcoming events. The list is moderated and all replies go directly to wikimedia-l.
List administrators have complete control of every aspect of the mailing list, they can change individual list members' settings, moderate senders, change settings of the list, and more.
Please see mailing list administration for help operating the admin interface of mailman.
If you feel a list you are on does not currently have enough active admins to keep up with the workload, please first contact the existing administrators at <listname>-firstname.lastname@example.org. If they are inactive and don't respond, create a Bugzilla bug with your request and put it in the "Mailing lists" component (quick link).
Advanced questions and tips
Splitting up the Daily Digests
For Linux-Users there is a comfortable solution for splitting up the daily digest.
Put the following 3 lines into your .procmailrc and activate procmail support.
:0: * ^Subject:.*mailinglist.*Digest | formail +1 -ds >>mailinglist
Removing emails from archives
Emails should be sent to mailing lists with care, as removal of emails from archives with any degree of safety is nearly impossible.
Running bin/arch, as is commonly suggested, has the effect of renumbering all the messages, breaking all links to the archive. It's also buggy and has corrupted the list archives in the past. Because of this, our developers have made a policy of not performing any archive deletions. Instead, they will wipe the contents of the message but keep the message to keep the archives intact. However, this can still be problematic so please make sure you have a good reason for requesting an archive removal, bearing in mind that the email will still be in the Inbox of all the existing subscribers.
If your language is not yet supported by Mailman, you can help by providing a translation for it. Instructions and an explanation on how to translate Mailman can be found at wiki.list.org.
Create a new list
To create a new mailing list, you have to request it on Bugzilla. The bug should be placed in the mailing list component, direct link with all the information included.
Before making your request, you should familiarize yourself with the standardization policy.
Things to include:
- requested name of the mailing list
- reasoning/explanation of purpose (and link to community consensus, if applicable)
- initial list administrator's email address
- secondary list administrator's email address (as a backup)
After submitting the bug correctly, your list should be created within the next few days. During that time you should read over the mailing list administration guide. Remember to add the mailing list to the Overview and to Gmane.