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Mailing lists/Standardization/old

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We have many mailing lists and they all follow a different format. We've talked for a while about standardizing the mailing lists, so here's the first step at creating some naming guidelines.

Migrating to these names


Once we agree to some standard mailing list names, we'll need to move all of the mailing lists to the new, standardized names. This shouldn't be done without fixing bug 24453 for all of them to let the old list names continue to work everywhere, as done with the rename of foundation-l.[1]

I'm not sure it's worth the effort to rename all the old lists in one go? Maybe we could do it one by one over a few months but as this requires someone from ops to do the renaming, I'm not sure they will find this to be a good use of their already stretched time. The Helpful One 19:42, 24 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Naming scheme


Generally speaking, mailing lists should be named with:

  • no -l suffix[1]
  • hyphens (-), not underscores (_), used to separate parts of the list name[2]
  • if there is already a hyphen in the language code (e.g. as in be-tarask, roa-rup), it should be omitted
  • plural names are preferred[3]

Specific guidelines for naming lists can be found below.

Main project lists


The main project lists (e.g. Wikipedia-l, Wiktionary-l) should be named with just the full project name and no -l.



Specific language Wikipedia-based lists should be created as "Wikipedia-LANG". Note, this is a change from the previous practice of "Wiki-LANG" naming, which is confusing and undesirable. This practice brings the Wikipedia lists in line with the other projects.

What about languages where there's only one list ? (ie. non-wikipedia projects can also use it) - Platonides
Good point. Does this happen? Despite the title, the description mentions only Wikipedia so other projects would be offtopic. But someone should check. --Nemo
WikiCA-l comes to mind, as far as I am aware this is used for Wikimedia projects discussion in Catalan. -- THO



The Wikimedia- prefix would be used both for chapters and for regular groups of local Wikimedians (e.g. Wikimedia-DE for Wikimedia Deutschland and Wikimedia-US-SF for San Francisco Wikipedians).

The format should be Wikimedia-COUNTRY-LOCAL, where COUNTRY is the two-digit country code and LOCAL is the optional suffix specifying a smaller part of the country. LOCAL could be a state, province, region, metropolitan area, etc. (e.g. Wikimedia-US-CA-SF, Wikimedia-US-FL, Wikimedia-DE-BY).

Sister projects


Sister projects would follow the same scheme that they already follow and the same scheme that the Wikipedias will follow: the English name of the project followed by the language code (e.g. Wiktionary-FR).



There are no specific guidelines for committee mailing lists, but they generally follow the format "abbreviationCOM". (For example: langcom, licom, rcom.)

Other lists


Other lists will generally have their own random names, like they've always had. However:

  • they should still follow the general guidelines,
  • they'll use hyphens without implicit specifications: e.g. wikipedia-en-daily-article instead of daily-article-l, wikipedia-es-crc instead of crc-es-l,
  • usergroup-specific lists name will be a specification of the projects which they refer to, with the plural form of the English usergroup name (or also localized?), e.g. wikipedia-nl-bureaucrats instead of Bureaucrats-nl-wikipedia, wikipedia-fr-oversight instead of Privacy-fr-wp.

Privacy options


Some standardization here too? - Nemo

  • The lists directory shall be complete: everyone should be able to know that a list exists, even if without description or maybe without being able to open its info page (if possible). This is useful to both possible subscribers (who may not know the list even if they would be welcome) and others. Lists which are closed or otherwise non useful to the general public may be listed in a different section of the automatic directory or highlighted in some manner but not delisted, so that users can still find them , read the archives etc.
This is reasonable. List are often left as "non-published" simply to prevent the email spam harvesting that occurs on the list information page, particularly when the page is not in English. - Cary
Hmmm, I'm not sure if this will cause in an increase in spam or an increase in subscription requests to private mailing lists from random people. However, if we agree to this, can we possibly remove this option from the regular admin interface? *smells another bug report* - Casey
I actually disagree with this. Security through obscurity is a real thing - there are some lists that simply don't need their existance to be public. I would strongly oppose this. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 18:42, 13 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Philippe. -- MarcoAurelio (talk) 11:57, 16 September 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Hiding listadmin personal emails


As requested in Talk:Mailing_lists/Administration#Hidding_listadmin_personal_emails_from_the_listinfo_page. I think there's no reason why our real email addresses should be visible for anyone. Some listinfo pages such as mail:wikiEN-l and others have managed to remove those emails. I think that the single xxx-owner@lists.wikimedia.org suffices. -- MarcoAurelio (talk) 11:57, 16 September 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Hmm, I'm not convinced - it's relatively easy to find any email address of a user if you know where to look, and by not showing the email addresses of the list owners it can make it more difficult to find out who is the list admin of that list. wikien-l, commons-poty, unblock-en-l, accounts-enwiki-l solve this by still listing on that page who the list admins are and linking to a user page. This could be something to consider if you'd like to hide your email - I can provide the raw list info code for those lists if you'd like to copy that across to your list. Thehelpfulone 19:48, 24 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]


  1. We've slowly been moving away from the -l suffix, which is from the days of wikipedia-l(_AT_)wikipedia.org, where the -l was needed to disambiguate the mailing list address from a normal e-mail address. Now that mailing lists have their own domain, lists.wikimedia.org, this is no longer necessary and just causes clutter and confusion when some have it and some don't. This doesn't mean we can't refer to mailing lists as foundation-l, which we should actually continue doing.
  2. This should create a working hierarchy of list names, so we can get more specific or more broad as we grow.
  3. Plural names are preferred to maintain consistency with other lists, e.g. translators-l, stewards-l, wikien-bureaucrats.