Mailing lists/Standardization

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The Wikimedia Foundation operates a fairly large and active mailing lists installation which has been running for over 10 years. During this time, over 500 mailing lists have been created at varying times over the years. As such, different standards and guidelines have applied to the creation and management of lists. This is a second attempt at standardizing all lists on by creating a community-endorsed policy.

Naming of mailing lists[edit]

Currently lists follow very different naming schemes from -l suffixes (e.g. wikien-l, wikipedia-l, wikimedia-l) and inconsistencies in similar topic lists (e.g. wikien-l, wikipedia-gu, bureaucrats-nl-wikipedia and wikidata-bureaucrats). The standarisation of list names will be a major project in the long term but for now, setting standards for future lists is key to setting a standard globally. The proposal for list names:

  • Global project mailing lists will be the name of the project only. e.g. wikipedia, wiktionary, wikidata, commons.
  • Language lists of projects will follow the general style of "global project-$lang". e.g. wikipedia-en, wikipedia-nl, wikipedia-de.
  • Formally recognized teams linked to a specific project and/or language will follow the general style of "project-$lang-$team" and "project-$team" (if multilingual) e.g. wikipedia-en-bureaucrats, wikipedia-nl-bureaucrats, wikidata-oversighters, commons-oversighters.
  • Wikimedia chapters will follow the style of "wikimedia-$code". $code being assigned by the Affiliations committee. e.g. wikimedia-uk, wikimedia-de, wikimedia-nl.
  • Globally established groups/teams can have top level list names, in a style that best matches their needs. e.g. otrs-en, otrs-permissions, stewards, global-renames.
  • Other groups that would prefer to use lists to co-ordinate discussion can also use a top level name in a style that best matches their needs. e.g. cvn, cvn-private, huggle, mediawiki, mediawiki-api, openaccess, pywikibot etc.

Hyphens should be used instead of underscores as well. Exemptions may apply for when a request doesn't suit any of the above criteria and these would be left to the discretion of the list creator at the time with their own rationale to be left on creation.


A public mailing list is a list where its archives are readable by everyone and the list is open to participation by everyone (non-members vs members is not a discussion here). A private mailing list is where either the archives are not readable by everyone or contributions are limited to a closed group of people only.

The global listinfo page should be complete with all mailing lists that exist on the lists installation.