[comp.org.uniforum] The Name and Charter of this Newsgroup

usrgroup@gpu.utcs.utoronto.ca (Peter Renzland) (05/06/91)

I co-ordinated the creation of this comp.org.usrgroup from Feb to Apr 1988.
Perhaps this article will clarify some things.

Heinz Lycklama had arranged for an entire top level hierarchy (usrgroup.*),
one for each of the /usr/group technical working groups (later to become
POSIX).  They had been set up just for internal communication among the
working group members.

When after several months there was almost no traffic at all, I approached
Heinz and suggested rolling the 7 newsgroups into 1, in the regular hierarchy.
This would unclutter the namespace, and make the newsgroup far more accessible.
Heinz was agreeable to this proposal, and Rick Adams, who had set up the
original several groups suggested that it would be best to take a formal
vote.  So, at the end of February 1988 I sent out a call for votes.

*** A specific part of the charter was the use of the newsgroup by UNIX ***
*** user groups other than the /usr/group organization. ***

I should mention that I was a director (probably V.P.) of /usr/group/cdn
at the time.

Here, in case anyone is interested, are my thoughts:

1. I had originally expected that local user groups (whether or not /usr/group
   affiliates) would post newsletters and events to the newsgroup, perhaps
   with a local distribution.   For some reason this idea did not catch on.
   In Canada, can.usrgroup was created, because people didn't like using the
   "Distribution:" header.

   Also, I seemed to be the only one producing online newsletters.  And the
   (US) /usr/group executive were conspicuously absent from the net.

2. I don't think the name of the newsgroup should be changed arbitrarily,
   even if the main sponsoring organization changes its name.  Especially
   since that organization (as an organization) has been a stranger to the
   net so far.  There are many national affiliates, even, that do not have
   "UniForum" in their name.  And the newsgroup is not an exlusive group
   for UniForum.

3. If anyone feels strongly about changing the name, let him go through
   the formal process, as I have with the creation of the group.

4. Similarly, if anyone feels that the group should be removed, (and, if it
   were to be restricted in name and in scope to the UniForum organization,
   I would think it ought to be removed), let there be a regular process.

5. (barring 3 or 4) I would like to see UNIX user groups use the newsgroup.
   It would be a good thing to share newsletters and information about
   events, etc. by using a larger "Distribution:".  For instance, UniForum
   Canada has been considering the creation of CANUNET for some time --
   better connectivity among UNIX sites across the country.  This is now
   becoming a critical issue, and it would be great to compare notes with
   other user groups who have done similar things.

6. I apologize for not having spoken out on this earlier.  Somewhere along
   the line I should have reminded people of the charter, and invited
   participation.  To make matters worse, I can't find the CFV.  All I was
   able to find is the voters list: 109 for, 2 against.

I hope this background helps.  It would be really good to hear from other
UNIX user groups in this forum.

Peter Renzland, peter@ontmoh.uucp (A director of UniForum Canada)