Wikipedia talk:Mailing lists

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Why is the mailing list called "Wikipedia-L"? This seems odd; shoudn't the mailing list be called just the "mailing list" and listed in wikipedia as wikipedia:mailing list? --maveric149, Saturday, April 6, 2002

Well the convention "name-L" actually predates the entire Wikipedia, it dates back to Nupedia. AFAIK it was a convention Larry cooked up when he started the Nupedia-L discussion list, and I think it was motivated by the list-mailing software Larry was using at the time.

Very probably motivated by the software, and very definitely not cooked up by Larry. It was the usual convention for mailing lists for a long time, though it's been rare for the last ten years or so.

As many of the earliest members of Wikipedia came from Nupedia, no-one thought it unusual that

Wikipedia-L was so named, given that they were all members of Nupedia-L. (Somewhere I've got the earliest posts of people complaining that "all this wikipedia nonsense is cluttering up the discussion list and it should be moved elsewhere as it is disrupting the 'real' work".) Also this predates the days of namespaces, so "wikipedia:mailing list" was not an option.

It's probably too late to change it, given the hundreds of people who subscribe to Wikipedia-L. But you can try. - Cheers Manning (on the afternoon of Sunday April 7th)


I am getting spammed by digests. 6 digests today! What is the point of a digest if I get so many of them. Also, would people like to start deleting the

<<older stuff <<<<cauz i dont like to read the same >>>>>>>>>>>>>thing over and over

          1. you know?

Lir 17:39 Nov 11, 2002 (UTC)

Yeah there were a lot of digests today - I hope the reason is because was locked from editing and many American users didn't have anything else to do because it was a holiday in the US. --mav

This page is no longer about just Wikipedia-L but about several Wikipedia mailing lists. I suggest a name change to Wikipedia:Mailing lists and the addition of non-English lists. This is especially important now that Wikipedia-L is no longer the general mailing list for --mav

Agreed. --Brion 02:35 Nov 20, 2002 (UTC)

Is there a way to search for any subject/content in any mailing list? I am new to Wikipedia, and am wondering if some other people already had the same questions as I had, and looking through the archives seems painful (look in any month's archive and search for my keyword). Thanks, Nicolas 07:48 Feb 5, 2003 (UTC)

Talk pages and mailing list[edit]

Talk (etc) pages vs Mailing list: Sorry if this is an unbearably naive question and/or discussed to death elsewhere, but: What's the mailing list for, and how does it compare in function to various facilities on the wiki like this village pump, annoying users, votes for deletion, various standards discussions etc? Sometimes on the list I see someone say that this would be better off on a Talk page; sometimes in the wiki I see someone say this should be taken to the list ... I just can't nail down what the effective difference is, and when you'd choose which for what ... help!. As always if this IS discussed elsewhere please feel free to point me in that direction rather than rehash a whole load of stuff here for the Nth time. :) Nevilley 08:53 Mar 24, 2003 (UTC)

Good question. WikiEN-L is for general discussion of policy and direction. Wikipedia-L is for general discussion of Wikipedia-wide (all languages) policy and direction. The specifics for are supposed to be worked out wiki style on The specifics for the whole project are supposed to be worked out on meta. That is how it is supposed to work. In practice it doesn't work out so nicely. --mav

dopey question: how do I search the mailing list archive? -- Tarquin 15:03 14 May 2003 (UTC)

How do I unsubscribe? [1] doesn't tell me how. Kingturtle 08:50 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Put your email address in the very last box and click "Edit Options". --Camembert

Moving discussions from the Mailing lists to Wikipedia?[edit]

(Moved from Wikipedia:Village Pump)

We have this wonderful tool called Wikipedia. We can discuss. We see, what people think, and what the result of the discussion is. We can point to the result. Why do we need mailingslists additionally? Fantasy 20:34, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I agree in principle, since the mailinglists tend to be cliquish and inaccessible. They do have the advantage of being easier to archive and search, though maybe this isn't enough justification for them. Graft 20:38, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I disagree that they are cliquish. They are available to read online, so you don't even need to subscribe to them. Personally, I find it much easier to follow conversations there than here as people could be having policy discussions on dozens of different pages here that you may not even know exist. Angela

  • Wikipedia IS online, so "online" is not a real argument.
  • Why use email-webpages, if we have Wikipedia?
  • And what is with the people "here" that don't know of the discussions of the mailing list?
  • Because the Wikipedia-search has problems, we should use mailinglists?
  • Why are Wikipedia-contributors left out of policy-discussions at all?!
  • What is in the end for?
Sorry, if this sounds a little bit agitated, but I really feel sometimes "left out", if people say "it was decided on the mailinglist". How can Wikipedia take decisions without involving the Wikipedians? Fantasy 23:33, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)
PS: off to sleep now. I look forward to see good reasons for/against this tomorrow ;-)

There is the general Mailing List, then there's the technical Mailing List. It'd make no difference to me whatsover if the technical list is here or somewhere between a black hole and a comet. However, the general list... I never really figured out how it differs from the Village Pump in theory. But in practise, the Pump seems to have small Q-&-A between newbies and oldies; while the List has extensive discussions on limited topics among around two dozen oldies, and rarely any newbies.

Perhaps the List intends to let newbies participate actively, but the fact is that newbies don't participate there. They just don't.--Menchi 22:09, Aug 21, 2003 (UTC)

ah no. The mailing are definitly not for the newbies. There are for old hands, who may take decisions quietly, to the astonishment of the newbies who still believe decisions are taken here :-) Anthere
OK, that sounds like a reason. Then the mailinglist is a meta-meta-wikipedia. It's a way to get rid of the "noise" when discussing someting seriously and you have no vandals. That makes sense. Thanks for helping me understand :-) Fantasy 06:49, 22 Aug 2003 (UTC)
meta meta people who may think them serious while others are not :-) Anthere
There's nothing quiet or hidden about the mailing lists. The archives are linked everywhere. MediaWiki just isn't good enough yet for detailed and threaded discussion. It is also not easy at all to reply to specific parts of another person's message on a wiki page without a great deal of manual formating. And then the result is often very hard for people to follow. But maybe someday we can get rid of the mailing lists; but not today. --mav 07:38, 23 Aug 2003 (UTC)
I prefer wiki to mailing lists, but if people want to use mailing lists, let them, I guess. Martin 14:03, 24 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I am trying to post to the mailing list using the news gateway. It doesn't work. Shouldn't it? I do not have a suitable e-mail address to use for participation via e-mail. Kat

Get a free mailbox from Yahoo or Hotmail. After signing up, for Hotmail, go to Option -> Mailing Lists -> add and/or . Then you can send and receive. --Menchi 22:22, Aug 25, 2003 (UTC)

Mailing lists down?[edit]

I sent a post to Wikipedia-l and Intlwiki-l over an hour ago and it is not in the archive yet. Anybody else having trouble? --mav 00:13, 20 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I don't see your message either. I can download messages from mailing list, and I got new messages since I last checked one or two days ago, but on all three lists, there's been no traffic for hours. Not sure if that's abnormal or not. --Menchi 00:33, 20 Sep 2003 (UTC)

complaint about the importance given to mailing lists[edit]

(from the village pump)

Many of the higher level decisions regarding wikipedia are not discussed or made within wikipedia, but are instead discussed and made on the mailing lists. Many people (including myself) miss out on these important issues. For example, I understand that the arbitration committee is being selected now through discussions on the mailing list. My PC crashed and won't be up for another week. I can access the Web from any station, but I cannot access my email. So I am out of the conversation, and out of the arbitration committee.

I would like to recommend that these important conversations take place in Wikipedia-proper for now on. Kingturtle 04:33, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The arbitration committee has been selected following a notice by Jimbo on the mailing list. Future arbitrators will be elected, and this will almost certainly be done on Wikipedia. There is a web interface to the mailing list (it's what I use, for example). Others share your distaste for mailing list discussions. Martin 04:36, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The mailing lists are available for reading here on the site. Go to [[2]] for the English list, and the main part of that page for all of the lists. Then access the archives. RickK 04:50, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I can read the archives, but I cannot post to the list - making me an audience member who cannot participate. Kingturtle 04:54, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I don't want to read mailing lists... I imagine (although I haven't read them and found out) that there'll be more "community" on the mailing list, but that I'll end up spending more time reading and replying on the list than I would doing useful things in wikipedia-proper. It does seem a bit odd that major things are decided on these lists, but my mission is to avoid wikistress, and anywhere arguments might occur is to be avoided. I let myself read this page (because people are very helpful with my queries) but nothing much more serious. fabiform | talk 04:58, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)
By the by... I've just had a look at the arbitration commitee info, and it all looks good to me. I have faith in the good intent of the vast majority of most wikipedians, and I'm sure the 11 will do a good (and time consuming) job for us all (as Eloquence would have too). It's not unusual for the first group of people in a newly created body to be appointed even if the intention is to elect from then on in. One obvious recent example springs to mind, but I don't want to change the direction of the discussion.
Are the arbitration "trial" thingies going to be held here then? fabiform | talk 06:39, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I hope arbitration cases aren't titled "Wikipedia Community v. Joe Doe." What if there are community members who are on the side of Joe Doe? Kingturtle 07:02, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I have answered my question above, the (public bits of the) arbitrations are going to be held in the wiki namespace. And in answer to your question, here's what appears to be the first case for the arbitration commitee: Wikipedia:Matter of Theresa knott and Mr-Natural-Health, so it doesn't even have a v. in it, and no one has claimed the "wikipedia community" which, as you say, is a good thing.  :) fabiform | talk 07:36, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I also don't like the way things work with the mailing lists. I let Jimbo know, and here's his reply: "Hmmm, well, there's a pretty longstanding tradition now of discussing policy on the mailing lists. But I'm sympathetic to what you're saying...". Dori | Talk 07:23, Feb 8, 2004 (UTC)

To add a dissenting voice, I vastly prefer discussions on mailing lists, and would strongly oppose any important discussion taking place on, say, meta, instead of on the mailing lists. Mailing lists are a lot easier to follow, and tend not to get cluttered up like wikis do. I would be willing to use a web-based system if we used a message board that supported forkable threads and summary thread views in a tree-like format (like Slashdot or Kuro5hin's comment areas, but not like Wikipedia or vBulletin). --Delirium 07:31, Feb 8, 2004 (UTC)

copied over from Requests for Arbitration[edit]

  • Many of the higher level decisions regarding wikipedia are not discussed or made within wikipedia-proper, but are instead discussed and made on WikiEN-l. Not all have the ability to post to the mailing lists; this results in cutting out some people from important dialogs. In actuality, there is close to nothing that needs to be said in WikiEN-l that cannot be said in wikipedia-proper. I would like the arbitration committee to hear my arguments for the shutting down of WikiEN-l. You can call it User:Kingturtle v. WikiEN-l. Kingturtle 19:29, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)
  • Absolutely. Kingturtle has my support. -- Taku 00:53, Feb 19, 2004 (UTC)
    • I don't think this is a matter for the arbitration committee. We're here primarily to deal with inter-personal disputes. We're not in a position to demand that people stop using the mailing list. --Camembert 01:01, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)
      • Then where do I turn? Kingturtle 01:08, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)
        • I suppose raising the matter with the denizens of the mailing list themselves would be the first step. --Camembert 01:19, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)
      • I cannot post to the emailing list. That is why I brought it here. Kingturtle 01:21, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)
        • Why not? There is a web interface to the email list at . You can even post to the list there. --Nohat 01:27, 2004 Feb 19 (UTC)
        • I don't think this is a matter for the arbitration committee either. This was already discussed on the Village Pump once, a few weeks ago, I believe also by Kingturtle then (but I could be misremembering). In any case, this should be moved elsewhere, and to see my views on the matter (hint: I strongly prefer mailing lists to Wikipedia-discussion), see my wikiEN-l post on the matter [3]. --Delirium 02:40, Feb 19, 2004 (UTC)
    • Found it: Wikipedia talk:Mailing_lists#complaint_about_the_importance_given_to_mailing_lists. I'd suggest posting replies there instead of here, if possible. --Delirium 02:45, Feb 19, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia v. WikiEN-l[edit]

Yes, yes, it's me again. Don't think me daft. I am honestly concerned about the use of WikiEN-l. A good number of topics are taking place in WikiEN-l and I strongly feel that they should be documented in Wikipedia-proper. These topics include:

  • Advise concerning Irismeister's legal threat
  • Arbitration progress reports
  • Discussions about wikipedia users, policies and procedures, mediations, banning and unbanning of users
  • Justifications of bans

Shouldn't everyone be privy to these discussions? If the answer is yes, then either all users should automatically be on WikiEN-l or these discussions should all take place in TALK pages of users and/or articles/pages in question. I prefer the latter because it creates a historical record within Wikipedia-proper.

The use of WikiEN-l for important issues leaves people out of the loop. It sets a bad precedent.

Please, have your important conversations in Wikipedia-proper.

Thanks, Kingturtle 05:24, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I'll outline an example of exactly what bothers me. While brokering a compromise in Talk:Saddam Hussein, 172 said "I'll send this to the mailing list and see what they think about your proposals." First of all, the action of sending this to the mailing list implies that the mailing list has some sort of superior power. The mailing list is NOT a committee to resolve disputes. It has no authority or power. If another user wants to help 172 broker this peace, they should do it on the article's talk page. The dispute should be settled in the confines of the talk page. Talk pages serve as historical documents. Future users editing an article can refer to the TALK page to review disputes and to learn how users in the past dealt with contoversies regarding the content. We want a complete papertrail.
Second of all, the description of the users of the mailing list as "they" creates a perception that the list is for other people...see what they think about your proposals. If the mailing list is for everyone, then how can it be referred to as they? A we/they perception is mounting in Wikipedia, and it needs to stop. Wikipedia hinges on a healthy community.
Please note, this is not an attack on 172. This incident simply lays out quite explicitly my concerns.
Sincerely, Kingturtle 16:52, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Speaking only for myself: Contrary to Jimbo's assertion that email (and therefore list) access is coextensive with web access -- I have had difficulty in posting message to the list; very recently, I attempted to post on a current subject, only to find that my message was held for moderation; even before a list administrator got around to reviewing the messages (which turned out to be almost a week later), that thread of discussion had already moved on (By the time the backlog of messages was approved, I had removed my message from the queue because the group had already beaten the dead horse on that issue. Consequently, I feel as though I didn't have the opportunity to present my perspective to the group making the discussion.
Many people also have qualms about releasing their email addresses on the web for many reasons, and we don't ask them to disclose their emails to contribute to Wikipedia -- why should we require them to do so to participate in dicussion on the list? (Alternatively, they could indeed create a second account with a "free" service, but given the list volume, they'd have to alter their behavior and check that secondary address frequently to keep tabs on the list.) So the list isn't as open and accessable as I think many people see it.
The other major problem with decision making on the list is that it's very difficult to tell where group consensus and opinion is... we don't have the ability to easily poll as we do, and, frankly, threaded discussion is much easier on the Wiki, where you can visually see the flow of messages and responses. The amount of context given by replyers on the mailing list varies greatly; on the Wiki, replys can be much more logically structured. Frankly, the Wiki is one of the best net-based venues for discussion I've encountered, and I don't see why people would want to talk on a clunky old mailing list when there's a perfectly good Wiki right here. Here, you can easily Wikilink to the discussions and pages of interest, folks can (with their watchlists) follow only those matters of interest to them (and bypass all of the chaff, me-toos, and restatements which burden almost every discussion mailing list), and discussions can take place *faster* because the discussion is centralized instead of having to propagate over mail servers.
I also worry that our benevolent dictator has began to distance himself from his subjects, and is relying upon posts to the mailing list to monitor the status of developments on the Wiki, instead of walking out among his subjects and observing the situation himself. See what I mean.
Finally (but not least), there's the argument for simplicity. Why add additional complexity into the decision-making process? Decisions and discussion should be made on the Wiki by default, unless there's a compelling reason for taking them elsewhere. -- Seth Ilys 19:17, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)
The "mailing list" is two things: a means of communicaiton and a decisionmaking entity. As a means of communication it is difficult for many to use. Because of the high volume it is difficult to follow, particularly for those who have web-based email services which are slower to use. The archives are time consuming to follow too. I know because I have tried both mechanisms.
As a decisionmaking entity, it is a poor choice; the users who participate are not a cross-section of Wikipedia but rather include the developers and a handful of highly involved Wikipedians who have an interest in policy. The IRC facility poses similar problems in that there are decisions being made there that many people are unaware of. Generally the participants in IRC are the same who contribute regularly to the mailing list.
The mailing list exists and perpetuates itself mainly because it is the only routine point of contact between Jimbo Wales and the community.
I believe that it would be in the best interests of Wikipedia to establish a better forum for policy discussions. Meta-wikipedia may be ideal, or perhaps discussions could best occur on the main site itself. If Jimbo were to leave the mailing list and participate elsewhere, it is likely that the discussion would follow.
UninvitedCompany 04:01, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)

From a technical standpoint, I think mailing lists are non-ideal, but far superior to Wikis, at least as currently set up. Perhaps most importantly, there's a "read new mail" option on a mailing list, while with something like the Wikipedia:Village pump it's incredibly tedious to check "which new entries have been made since I last read this page?" Furthermore, mailing lists, given a sufficiently powerful email client or web-based archive service, present summary views of messages grouped into threads, which can then be nicely followed and glanced at (see, for example, the wikien-l archives at, which displays them nicely). On Wikipedia, threading is ad-hoc and manual (with the :indentation), and there is no summary thread view. There is a flat "topics on this page" view from the table of contents, which is rather inferior.

It is possible to have web-based threaded discussions, a la or, but this takes some coding, and neither the slash nor scoop software is a lightweight discussion package, instead being gigantic content-management package. The available web-based discussion packages, like vBulletin, do not support threading beyond the top level, so aren't really any better than Wikipedia TOCs, apart from the slight advantage that they can order topics by "most-recently-posted-to".

Finally, searching Wikipedia archives is incredibly tedious and error-prone. Searching mailing list archives is much nicer: you get a list of candidate messages with subjects listed, instead of getting a Wikipedia Talk:blah/archive1 with 300 posts on it (and often not getting the right thing out of the search at all).

So, basically, I don't bother following discussions on Wikipedia except those on articles I'm working on or my talk page, because it's far too tedious to follow stuff around from the Village pump to dozens of Wikipedia: pages to meta, all through a cumbersome discussion interface. But I have no problem keeping up with mailing list posts. I'm not in principle averse to web-based discussion, if someone is willing to code up a kuro5hin-style discussion system; but I don't like the current "not really a discussion system" system. --Delirium 20:24, Feb 26, 2004 (UTC)

Poll: a better place for discussions?[edit]

A number of users have expressed major concerns about the way discussions occur and decisions are made and propegated with regard to the mailing lists (particuarly WikiEN-L). Presently, the mailing list is dominated by a handful of individuals and thoughtful back-and-forth discussion over extended periods of time is difficult (among other difficulties). Multiple users have complained that the mailing list volume is too high for them to reasonably keep up with. The current situation is clearly frustrating to many users, and clearly action is called for. However, there should be a home for the sorts of informal "meta-discussion" that takes place on the mailing list.

This subject was recently brought up on WikiEN-L and was rapidly shot down; however, those who shot it down were those who frequent the mailing list, and I feel as if the community's voice has not been heard. Below I propose a number of potential solutions; feel free to add additional options...

I personally suggest moving discussions to the online forums already set up at, because they offer the threading, viewing, and referencing capabilities that the Wiki is not capable of, but are open, fully transparent, and real-time on the web (accessible conveniently to all). - Seth Ilys 21:30, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Can someone please post notice of this poll to the mailing list; I can't post directly without a delay for one of the moderators to approve my message. Thanks. -- Seth Ilys 02:49, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Could we specify an end time/date for this poll? If that isn't possible, then let's agree upon an amount of time which must come between the announcement of a coming end, and the end itself? I'd suggest at least 48 hours. That way, no one will be surprised. -Rholton (aka Anthropos) 05:44, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Since I started it, I'll declare that it lasts one week in total (a fairly standard length of time for polls) and therefore ends at 21:30 UTC, 9 Mar 2004. - Seth Ilys 21:54, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
See also past discussions on this topic at meta:Talk media and Wikipedia-l's thread. There was a time when Japanese Wikipedians decided to use a web board - due partly Village Pump was too small for all the site-wide issues, and partly because mailing list could not archive Japanese text properly. We are still using the BBS, partly because the mailing list problem is not solved, but partly because (IMO) it works. Tomos 01:46, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Where should meta-discussion take place?

Mailing lists (WikiEN-L, etc.): (8s, 3n, 12o)[edit]


  1. Jwrosenzweig 22:12, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)As someone who hasn't used the mailing lists until recently, I've found it much easier to keep up with than I'd thought. I'm happy with it, although (see my votes below) I'd be happy with plenty of other options too.
  2. mav I'm able to keep up with all the mailing lists just fine and do everything else I do.
  3. BCorr ¤ Брайен 06:04, Mar 3, 2004 (UTC) I've found that digest mode make it very ... digestible. I rarely post but try to read daily -- even if I'm not actively editing.
  4. Delirium 06:59, Mar 3, 2004 (UTC) At least until a full technically-sufficient web-based solution can be implemented. The current wiki discussion system, and the current message board, are both inferior to fully threaded message systems.
  5. James F. (talk) 11:18, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) - A wiki is for collaborative coherent document creation, not a discussion, and it doesn't work well as such.
  6. Eclecticology I find that there is quite enough to keep up with in the mailing lists, without having the discussions elsewher.
  7. Rholton (aka Anthropos) 14:23, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) There are all these different methods available, yet it is the mailing list that is used -- and for a reason. It is the best available technical mechanism for discussions. However, we at least need to have better ways of keeping the community informed about what sort of discussions are happening on the mailing list.
  8. Timwi 14:05, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC) — If you think the volume on the mailing list is too high, use the NNTP interface ( and use a newsreader that allows you to ignore threads you are not interested in.
  9. —Eloquence 00:09, Mar 10, 2004 (UTC) (everything locally archived and therefore locally searchable, decentralized, wide variety of platform independent e-mail clients, NNTP access via, several public archives, threaded discussions, killfiles, scorefiles, new message notification, attachments, easy and comfortable quoting, natural transition to private person-to-person communications, various moderation options, required registration keeps s/n ratio reasonably high etc. etc. etc.)


  1. Sam Spade 23:55, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  2. Seth Ilys 21:36, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC) The signal-to-noise ratio on the mailing lists is extremely low.
  3. Secretlondon 21:37, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC) - functions as a self-appointed King's Court.
  4. Tannin 21:40, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC) An outdated and useless way to send messages.
  5. Taku 22:12, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC)
  6. The Mailing List should not be used for discussions about wikipedia users, policies procedures, mediations, banning and unbanning of users, justifications of bans, or arbitration reports. Users of Wikipedia are not required to have their email address be public. Users should not be required to reveal their email address through an emailing list. Kingturtle 23:02, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  7. Menchi 11:21, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  8. Dori | Talk 23:47, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC)
  9. Jamesday 14:38, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) The participants are an unrepresentative sample, so it's not a suitable consensus policy source. Fine for discussions, but not for policy or administrative decisions.
  10. RickK 02:20, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC) no reason why people who want to know what's going on don't subscribe. RickK 02:20, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  11. Ryan_Cable 13:50, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  12. SimonP 04:22, Mar 8, 2004 (UTC)


  1. Angela (would support if they were made GFDL)
  2. Danny 21:59, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  3. llywrch 20:55, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) I haven't seen any clear example of a decision being made in the current mailing lists. To those not involved in them -- Wikien-l, for example -- it may appear like an exclusive club where decisions are made in private; having followed Wikien-l for over a year, I honestly seen any decision made on it -- just a lot of endless talking.

Web forums ( (2s, 5n, 11o)[edit]


  1. Seth Ilys 21:36, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  2. Jamesday 14:38, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) Easier to refactor than the mailing lists (can make topic changes esily), harder to spam and more in accord with our privacy practices. Still unsuitable as a policy source, though, because it won't feature the whole population.


  1. Sam Spade 00:04, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  2. Angela (unrefactorable, less control on what to ignore compared to the mailing lists)
  3. Taku 22:39, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC)
  4. It is not Wikipedia proper. Internal link syntax does not work. Kingturtle 23:02, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  5. BCorr ¤ Брайен 06:04, Mar 3, 2004 (UTC) Would be icky
  6. Menchi 11:21, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  7. James F. (talk) 11:21, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) - Boards have most of the disadvantages of using the Wiki itself, but none of the benefits of inter-wiki linking.
  8. Eclecticology We don't need yet another place to search through
  9. Timwi 14:07, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  10. Ryan_Cable 13:50, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)


  1. Secretlondon 22:06, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC)
  2. Jwrosenzweig 22:13, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC) I can see it working, but it's yet another place for us to have to check, and as Angela notes, there are issues with boards.
  3. Dori | Talk 23:47, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC)
  4. llywrch 21:01, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) A threaded forum might work if there was a way to encourage committed contributors to participate. Then again, almost any one of these suggestions would work.
  5. RickK 02:21, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Wikimedia Wiki ( (11s, 2n, 8o)[edit]


  1. Sam Spade 00:02, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) Thats what its there for, yes?
  2. Secretlondon 21:34, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC) As this seems to be what meta should be for. However I don't mind any of the options apart from the status quo - as it functions as an elite king's court.
  3. Tannin 21:46, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  4. Angela (this would be my first choice)
  5. Danny 21:59, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  6. Dori | Talk 23:47, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC)
  7. BCorr ¤ Брайен 06:04, Mar 3, 2004 (UTC)
  8. Menchi 11:21, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  9. +sj+ 07:08, 2004 Mar 5 (UTC) We should eat our own dog food. The needs of a mailing list aren't that mind-bogglingle different from those of a Talk page. Talk pages also need better tools to allow threading, filtering, and "see new edits" commands. Migrating the main list discussion to a similar format will both make all major changes accessible through the same toolchain, it will encourage everyone to improve some of the important shotcomings of current wikipedia tools.
  10. Ryan_Cable 13:50, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  11. SimonP 04:22, Mar 8, 2004 (UTC)
  12. Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 01:31, 2004 May 14 (UTC)


  1. Taku 22:42, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC). Fact: wikimedia is not wikipedia, but a software package for sites like wikipedia. Meta-wikipedia can be a better alternative to wikimedia.
  2. Kingturtle 23:02, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC) — It is not Wikipedia proper. Internal link syntax is complicated.
  3. Delirium 07:03, Mar 3, 2004 (UTC) See my concerns below, but fwiw, meta is even worse than wikipedia proper, as it's yet another site to check.
  4. James F. (talk) 11:21, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) - Meta is for Wikimedia, really (perhaps should be 'moved' to Also, wikis are terrible for discussions.
  5. Eclecticology This is a good graveyard for ideas. I only go there if I know that something interesting is being discussed.
  6. Jamesday 14:38, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) Seldom visited and it perpetuates the limitations of the wiki as a discusson board. Better the Wikipedia namespace of each individual wiki.
  7. llywrch 21:01, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) Like Eclecticology & Jamesday have noted, Meta has fallen out of use. Much as I wish otherwise, I'm not sure if it could be revived.
  8. Timwi 14:08, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC) — I would be neutral if it wasn't a separate Wiki with separate log-in and separate DB and separate linking and separate watchlist and everything separate.
  9. —Eloquence 00:11, Mar 10, 2004 (UTC) (not its purpose - if you must use a wiki, use Wikipedia itself)


  1. Seth Ilys 22:03, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  2. Jwrosenzweig 22:14, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC) If we can find a way to make the discussions easily accessible. As meta is currently, most important topics are at ridiculous article names that make them tough to find: Meta is even more elitist and narrow than the mailing list, which I think will make it tougher to change.
Clarification -- is this supposed to be If it's wikimedia, then I don't know exactly what this option is discussing. Jwrosenzweig

Wikipedia itself: (4s, 7n, 6o)[edit]


  1. Taku 22:41, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC)
  2. Discussions about wikipedia users, policies procedures, mediations, banning and unbanning of users, justifications of bans, and arbitration reports should be written on pages related to specific articles are users. Kingturtle 23:02, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC) P.S. This gives all users a chance to participate and keep abreast. Users do not have to learn new software or reveal their email addresses. Internal links are easy to create.
  3. Jamesday 14:38, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) Not a good discussion forum but it's where the whole of each community is and where there's a chance of broad participation and consensus in policy making. Policy changes have to happen here, even if general discussion about them doesn't.
  4. SimonP 04:22, Mar 8, 2004 (UTC) - Some discussions should be at meta, but a lot of what happens on the mailing list would be better in en.


  1. Delirium 07:02, Mar 3, 2004 (UTC) It's a really hacked-together discussion system, basically consisting of "manually run the discussion system by hand". Ad-hoc threading, no summary thread views, inconsistent archiving, poor searching, no "see only new messages", no "see only posts by this user", etc.
  2. James F. (talk) 11:21, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) - Agreeed with Delirium - Wikis really aren't built for this sort of thing.
  3. Menchi 11:21, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  4. Eclecticology Useful only for very narrow topics.
  5. llywrch 21:01, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC) Eclecticology said it before me again!
  6. Ryan_Cable 13:50, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)


  1. Angela (there is already too much happening on Wikipedia to follow anyway)
  2. Secretlondon 22:06, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC)
  3. Jwrosenzweig 22:16, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC) Much like Meta above, where will we centralize these discussions? It does make it nice to keep all the stuff at one site -- will other languages feel we're usurping Meta if we branch out there for decision-making? Very undecided on this one.
  4. Dori | Talk 23:47, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC)
  5. BCorr ¤ Брайен 06:04, Mar 3, 2004 (UTC) I'm not particularly in favor of a rule for this one.
  6. RickK 02:23, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC) — There are many discussions that should not be in an open area.
    What sort do you have in mind? Please suggest somewhere non-open to hold them as well as how the community can discuss there. Jamesday 21:26, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
    Well, the arbitration processes are being held in secret. RickK 01:55, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  7. Timwi 14:11, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC) — Makes for a lot of organisatorial work, but at least everything would be in one place.

no concensus[edit]

Nobody seems to agree about where we should discuss whats important. Boy, I sure wish we had more hierarchy, somebody in charge (and actively involved). I think if we could ever get to 1.0 we could afford to hire some employees. Wiki needs to make enough $ to hire them somehow, because we need them desperately IMO. Descisons need made, people need bossing, and stuff needs done. Anyhow, what to do w no concensus? Same old #$%^? Heres a useful link [4] Sam Spade 04:58, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Top Page Concept:

One thing I've been working on is the stock exchange of ideas concept. In this protocol the ideas would get listed and ranked by condorcett voting. A meta discussion would then be all the ideas on a topic starting with the most popular contributions at the top. And folowed by the relavant notes and comments. (unpopular comments could be replaced by null comment which would moved the previous comment to a side link for each section called [more] (like the [edit] links (depending on the voting) it gets.

I call this a Top Page because it allows all the discussions to be listed on a page by order of group preferance! ... forking groovy :)

We could try it as a test area if people more or less try to follow the concept of ordering things rather than deleating them. It seems wikiesque because the discussion becomes wikifyied.

A little programming could also highlight new text for the user..

Mail disappearing into junk-mail folder (from Village pump)[edit]

[imported from Wikipedia:Village pump by IMSoP 23:58, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)]

I subscribed to the Wikipedia-L mailing list, but I don't recieve anything. I have tried a few times but its always the same case - no mail. Has anyone else had this problem - a bug in the software maybe? - Ludraman 16:52, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Mabye your email server thinks that it is spam? Perl 19:36, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Yup. Hotmail put it in the junk-mail folder (which I rarely check, to be honest). Thanks. Ludraman | Talk 07:09, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Language used on global lists[edit]

I did a little more work based on Anthere's edits about the choice of language for posting to foundation-l and wikipedia-l. Hopefully this provides enough information that 1) you can post in any language, and 2) most of the participants can understand English, for people to make intelligent decisions about which language to use without actively discouraging anyone who might post in another language. --Michael Snow 17:01, 26 May 2004 (UTC)


Obviously, this page is fine for FAQs about the mailing lists, but is there any place to find answers to FAQs posted to the mailing lists? A FAQ is kind of a standard part of having a mailing list in the first place, or at least having an NNTP link.

I guess more to the point, I feel like I have some big picture questions about current and future Wikipedia/MediaWiki issues and I don't have much luck searching through the meta etc. pages. Any FAQ style guide/swuitchboard focusing on big picture speculative stuff would be a nice thing for the community to work on; is it lurking around somewhere?

Even more to the point, here are two questions that I searched around for the answers to and eventually considered joining the mailing lists for, which finally led me to this post.

  1. What are we going to do if (when?) vandals start to write robots; what defenses does MW already have?
  2. How should Wikipedians respond to and deal with suspected kook editors?

All answers greatly appreciated. --Chinasaur 09:52, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)

There is Wikipedia:FAQ and meta:MediaWiki FAQ, though these aren't directly related to FAQs from the mailing lists. See meta:vandalbot for details on dealing with robot vandals but a lot of the defenses are not recorded on site since they would give an advantage to the people we need to use them against. You could try asking at the Wikipedia:village pump or help desk for advice on kooks. Angela. 14:15, Aug 27, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the answers! One thing I'm still worried about: I really think we should have a more standardized (and well thought out) policy for dealing with kooks. By "kook" I mean someone who has a pet theory that he/she presents as fact. Often these things are surprisingly hard to discount and discard under our current system; usually we rely on experts within a field to correct erroneous edits, but if someone has invented his/her own field, with its own terminology and conventions, it can be difficult to debunk except at the edges where it borders established fields. Since our community believes in welcoming newcomers and potentially controversial ideas, we don't like to jump on people, but sometimes pretty fishy stuff flies under the radar for months. I also think people sometimes feel intimidated to confront a suspected kook, especially if the kook presents himself as an expert or genius (within reason; not too many people are intimidated by really outrageous claims).

I propose we start an "Alert! Possible kookery in progress" page where a concerned editor can

  1. Alert the community to something that seems fishy
  2. Call in experts in relevant fields to review the page for potential kookery
  3. Do so without immediately alerting and offending the suspected kook, as would probably happen if the page were VfD or discussed on talk. Of course, if any real accusation of kookery were made, it's only fair to discuss it with the suspected kook, but before jumping the gun and offending people it would be nice to have a place to confer within the web of trust.

I'd be happy to get such a page set up, if people agree that it would be useful, but I've been more of an editor than a schlepper, so I don't really know what namespace (en/Wikipedia:, presumably?) and naming convention would make the most sense.

In my background (biology), we were taught that one of the most important questions in any research or new technology is "how can what I've discovered/created be misused?". From this perspective, dealing with and debunking kooks should be a major concern of wikipedia, even if the threats are infrequent. Vandals that add "Bush is gaaaaaay" make us look unprofessional, but they're not dangerous. Someone who creates a complicated web of citations indicating that Bush really is gay is more difficult to flush out, and is exploiting the (hopefully) growing credibility of the wikipedia forum to promulgate their crap theories. If we don't develop a more streamlined approach for countering this stuff, it makes me question whether building up the credibility of wikipedia further is really a worthy goal. --Chinasaur 18:08, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The Wikipedia namespace is the best place for it. I suggest raising the issue on the Wikipedia:Village pump first since people will be able to advise you on what to put in the page, or comment about whether the idea is worthwhile. Angela. 03:27, Aug 28, 2004 (UTC)

Helpdesk List?[edit]

I subscribed to helpdesk-l because I'm a newbie here and had what I figured was a newbie question but still couldn't find an answer anywhere in wikihelp. I got a message saying I was subscribed and when I send messages to the list I receive this response by email:

Your mail to 'Helpdesk-l' with the subject

   Email notification

Is being held until the list moderator can review it for approval.

The reason it is being held:

   Post to moderated list

Either the message will get posted to the list, or you will receive notification of the moderator's decision. If you would like to cancel this posting, please visit the following URL:

But I never get any further messages nor in fact any other messages at all from that list. I see a lot of discussion above about shutting down the lists and note that the last discussion here was early in 2004 but have still found nothing indicating the lists were no longer active. If this is the case, instructions on how to subscribe to lists that no longer do anything should be removed I think and people should be directed where they might elsewhere find answers to questions.

Charlie Richmond 15:04, 31 October 2005 (UTC)


Does anybody know what happened to the archives of the now defunct list intlwiki-l? The old mails are important to enlight what happened in the old days. I try to research the history of my wiki and can't find the communication predating it's setup. This was 2003 and it's like digging in the mud and collecting moldering bones. -- 16:04, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

How does one become a "member" on WikiEN-l?[edit]

I was just curious as to the process behind not having to get each of my messages moderated. I'd like to be more active in this list, but I don't want to hold the moderator up by having to have them review everything I send. Giggy UCP 04:57, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Indeed, I've been wondering the same thing - one would imagine users in good standing on wiki shouldn't be moderated to start ... WilyD 16:14, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
  • As responded on the mailing list by David, everyone is moderated from the start, but then the moderators/admins remove them when they notice you are not someone naughty (you could also contact one of them to have it happen faster). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cbrown1023 (talkcontribs) 19:39, August 24, 2007 (UTC)

who can solve this proplem ?[edit]

Why do (some editors) in (the Arabic Wikipedia) exercise (intellectual terrorism) against the new members? ?

And why there are articles  protected from modification?
Why are (the editors fanatics to a particular direction)entitled to   reject the amendments  critical of intolerance?

Is not that behavior change this cultural site of Wikipedia which supposed to be free to a site controlled by the fanatics??

Is not this method is not fan  to continue to pursue the Wikipedia, which began to turn to a location of the extremists who practice intellectual terrorism against others

Student10 (talk) 12:26, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

WP:Canvass discussion on Foundation email lists[edit]

Wikipedia_talk:Canvassing#Mailing_lists specifically about Foundation lists. CarolMooreDC - talkie talkie🗽 02:53, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Non-working tool[edit]

There's a tool at the bottom of Contributions page "Articles created". It doesn't seem to be working. It's been some months or longer since I've used it; I don't recognize the wmflabs address or Wikitech. It was helpful. Do I have to join Wikimedia or bugzilla (?) just to register my problem? Thanks. Swliv (talk) 17:51, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

It wasn't working still at a recent intervening-time check but it's working now. Thanks. Swliv (talk) 21:13, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

WikiEN-l dead?[edit]

Looking at the archives for WikiEN-l, there hasn't been a post since November 2015 (and only 5 posts total since August). Is it time to retire the list and move future discussions to Wikipedia? Thanks! -- Michael Scott Cuthbert (talk) 21:43, 7 March 2016 (UTC)