Newsgroups List – Last Call

Last call for comments on the newsgroups list. Here’a a diff of the recent changes. I’ve decided “users” is more clear and more general than “userhelp”, particularly now we have an “accessibility” group in there.

61 thoughts on “Newsgroups List – Last Call

  1. Will the new Sunbird group be used for all calendar products? If so, that will just confuse more users into thinking all of the calendar products are called Sunbird.

  2. I see evangelism there, which is great — will that cover people who don’t know if their site is broken in Mozilla products (as opposed to sites that are correct, but Mozilla doesn’t render them correctly)? There may not be a specific need for such a group, but I thought I’d toss the idea up.

    Perhaps a category if someone decides to add a technology that doesn’t have a newsgroup yet. XTF, for instance, isn’t listed. Whether that’s intentional or not is besides the point; the point is if someone’s going to land something which is a pretty big feature, where do people discuss it?

    Maybe (just maybe) mozilla.web-developers.xml ? I’ve moderated an XML forum at for a little while now, and I get a few messages there daily.

    That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

  3. What is the need and benefit for having both mozilla.users.mozilla-suite and mozilla.users.seamonkey?

  4. mu.seamonkey is for the new project, mu.mozilla-suite is for 1.7 users. The new project is completely separate from the old one, and the Foundation wishes to keep this distinction clear so they’re not the ones burdened with supporting it. (The projects do both share the same base code, but 1.7 is a dead end while seamonkey isn’t, so they’re making an effort to separate what may and will become two entirely separate and different projects as time goes on.)

  5. Will mozilla.users.seamonkey be the exact name, or will the newsgroup have the yet-to-be-announced new name of the non-MoFo suite? I hope it’s the latter; seamonkey has never meant much to the end user, and that won’t change.

    Where should stuff like SQL access and unified storage (SQLite) be discussed – perhaps a (or .database) group? I guess this topic will become more and more popular…

  6. I’m sure they’ll switch the name when they get clearance to release the product name. Of course, there’s always the chance that they’ll get clearance before this all matters, which would make the point moot. :-) Here’s to hoping that happens…

  7. Greg: the Sunbird group is just for Sunbird. Other calendar projects will either have their own group (as I suspect Lightning will eventually) or go into generic groups.

    Alex: there are so many tech groups that I’m sure new tech can find a pretty close one until it becomes big enough to desire its own. New tech grows out of old tech anyway.

    Jens: where does discussion of SQL-related stuff currently happen? What sort of volume is there?

  8. I would love to see a XULRunner group. I think mozilla.apps.xulrunner would be the best place for it. It’s going to start getting quite a big project soon I think.

    I can’t wait for the new newsgroup system :) When will it go live? Will it start from scratch (completely blank?)

  9. Some of the older remarks still apply,* before m.user.* in the alphabetic order will attract peoples to wrong place, even if the catch-all groups will get some of it.

    mozilla.wishlist n.p.m.wishlist // Keep RFEs out of Bugzilla until they’ve been discussed properly

    That made me think. Wouldn’t it be good to have a mozilla.bugs group for the same purpose ? It would be so much better if only bugs that have already been properly analyzed would reach Bugzilla. If wishlist has a real chance to work, then .bugs is neeeded too.

  10. I would really like to keep the calendar group as it is. The development isn’t split enough to warrant sepate groups.

  11. I completely agree with mvl. One could argue that Sunbird may be what a user is looking for, but I think it is just asking for trouble down the road.

  12. I disagree with removing as it shouldn’t attract off-topic questions nearly as much as the win/mac/unix ones did.

    In addition, while Nvu isn’t a supported project, it seems like it should have a newsgroup just as Composer did. Since you’ve moved Composer to area (which is where it belongs since it’s not used for a product anymore), it seems fitting to place an Nvu category in the mix. Nvu is a “community” project just as much as Camino is. Thus, I propose

  13. Gerv:
    If possible, please keep ‘calendar’ for all calendar related newsgroups. The calendar developers are in agreement that ‘calendar’ is the better name to be used. Here’s some of the reasonings:
    - ‘sunbird’ is not a final name and we haven’t trademarked it yet so it might change anytime in the future.
    - It is preferred to have all inquiries in one place at the moment ( as opposed to having separate .sunbird .lightning .calendar channels ), since the inquiries are not that much and most of them benefit all varieties.
    - ‘calendar’ has been around for a while.
    Please let us know if there is a strong reason for the change otherwise.
    Many thanks.

    As a side note, one would expect a post to the affected newsgroups regarding this change so it won’t be necessary to find out about it by chance.

  14. m.u.firefox, thunderbird, mozilla-suite should be broken down by OS., eg., m.u.firefox.win32, .mac, .unix and the same for thunderbird and mozilla-suite, the simple reason being that grouping all together is going to lead to Mac questions answered in terms of PC-centric solutions, etc. Users, as a rule, don’t specify their OS when asking questions and it’s a pain to constantly peruse the header info to find out. Otherwise, the list looks just fine. Good Luck and thanks.

  15. > m.u.firefox, thunderbird, mozilla-suite should be broken down by OS.

    I disagree. It’s overkill. The current Firefox and Thunderbird support newsgroups aren’t broken down, and it doesn’t seem to be a problem. Besides, I like the idea of having one support newsgroup and one support web-forum per product.

  16. OK, at mostafah’s request, I’ll switch back to .calendar.

    Brian: we do have; see also my remarks below about xulrunner specifically.

    Samuel: I don’t quite get what would be discussed in dev.platforms.other. Where’s it’s community?

    The composer group is for the composer technology, rather than the Mozilla Suite component of the same name. As soon as Nvu arrives as a project, it will get a group. I’m not creating one now because it may not be called Nvu at that point.

    Jay: how about a Thunderbird extension to parse message headers, figure out the poster’s OS, and display it next to each message? :-)

    As for xulrunner: I’ve heard from some core guys, and they didn’t mention it among their requests. If a xulrunner developer asks, I’d look into it, but I’d expect xulrunner discussion to take place in the groups specific to the technologies which make up the platform.

    In terms of migration, I suspect the old and new groups will run in parallel for a while, with regular posts telling people to move, and then the old ones go read-only. But this is still to be worked out exactly.

    Of course, it’s important to remember that we can add (or even remove) groups later if necessary. The new architecture is going to allow for much better and more timely control.

  17. Will at least the* newsgroups be SSL?

    My preference would be to have all NGs as SSL, including the mozilla.users.*

    “composer” is such a low volume NG that fragmenting it (composer, NVU, …) seems a bad idea. The tech is so similar that most post will apply to both, and those that don’t may be inspirational to the other(s).

    Same goes for mozilla.users.mozilla-suite and mozilla.users.seamonkey. Jeff’s reasoning didn’t convine me. The two are similar enough (and will be for a looong time), and the “suite” will soon be very low volume (as development winds down even more).

    I thought “mozilla the platform” (i.e., XULrunner) was mozilla’s claim to fame back in the day. It seems to have huge potential, and there should be a NG where it can flourish.

    Anyhow, I’m looking forward to the new newsgroups. Great job Gerv and whoever else is involved. :-)

  18. > how about a Thunderbird extension to parse message headers, figure out the poster’s OS, and display it next to each message?

    Mnenhy also does that. It’s already better than what web-forums provide. ;-)

    Also, I don’t think we should make the groups require SSL. Any info on usenet propagation? Is they they going to usenet or not? If I can get my vote in, it would have to be a ‘no’. Maybe the user groups.

  19. Why would developers need usenet propagation? Even the users who would bother to use newsgroups can be explained how to set up an SSL newsserver. I’d rather have my e-mail address much more secure with SSL.

    BTW: It seems “” can be set up with and without SSL (and they strongly recommend SSL). Hmmm.

  20. I’d like to suggest that .directory should really be .ldap. Directory was only chosen initially for Netscape marketing reasons, and I think it implies more generality than we actually want.

  21. I agree with jmdesp that we need to find an alternate name for either the users hierarchy or the dev hierarchy so that the users section shows up first alphabetically.

    When Joe Average User is looking through the list of newsgroups looking for one about Bugzilla, he’s going to see first and say “There it is!” and post his question. When he really had a question about installation, or about using b.m.o even. mozilla.users.bugzilla is all the way at the bottom of the list. (I’m talking about the list of newsgroups in the user’s news client after they connect to the server – we all know they’ll never find our web page describing them before they get there)

  22. ChrisI: > I disagree. It’s overkill

    The only reason I created the groups the way they are on the secure server is simply because I was unsure of the direction the secure server was taking, after all it IS a “Netscape” server with a questionable future. If you remember, the Communicator groups are broken down by OS and it worked quite well for years. The FF and TB groups on the secure server are temporary at best and now that we have a timeline of sorts for the new Mozilla server to go gold, we should now give serious consideration to continuing the tradition of breaking the user groups down by OS (the big three), a solution with a proven record.

    Gerv: Maybe we should name that extension the “JumpThroughTheHoop” extension. :-)

  23. Jay; both methods have proven to work well on secnews. The only issue I have had with the current secnews list, is the addition of a ‘user.general’ group for the same product the OS specific groups are for. The ‘user.mac’ group gets on average 1.3 messages a day, and the ‘user.unix’ group gets less than that.

    Speaking of tradition, the current Firefox and Thunderbird groups aren’t broken down by OS. The forums on Mozillazine aren’t broken down by OS. The new dev groups aren’t broken down. Jay, there is no tradition. Even if there was, I would hate to think wasn’t going with the best solution, just because that solution didn’t follow tradition.

  24. Jay: if in future we find ourselves drowning in traffic, we will consider a split, either along OS lines or other lines. In the new world, hopefully we will have a lot more control over the groups.

    The new newsgroups will be propagated over the net like any others, and can be accessed via any server which carries them, secure or not. That’s the nature of news. Having the newsgroups on a single server only accessible via SSL does not provide any extra protection for the email addresses of posters, over and above the “obscurity” protection provided by having them on a single server.

    justdave: I’ve heard several voices on the “alphabetic” question. I see where you’re coming from, but I can’t immediately think of a good way of renaming either “users” or “dev” to change their alphabetical order. “dev” seems like the correct name to me, and that doesn’t leave much room for a “users” synonym beginning with a, b or c. And it has to be as clear and obvious as the word “users”. Suggestions welcome!

    Remember, users subscribing will see the following:

    + mozilla.users
    + mozilla.web-developers

    Are they going to open the tree before they open the mozilla.users tree?

  25. Gerv: > if in future we find ourselves drowning in traffic, we will consider a split

    Well, I sure hope I don’t have to say “I told you so” but if I do it will come from experience in admining the secure server since 1995 or so where this split worked quite well and actually was much easier to manage. A whole buncha monkeys in ONE cage is harder to manage than one monkey in one cage. :-)

  26. ChrisI: > Jay, there is no tradition


    “Tradition” that predates Mozilla. Not speaking of forums or the present FF and TB groups on the secure server. I am only issuing a suggestion based on a solution that worked well for many years. It’s like cheating on income tax, if you do it right from the beginning there is little chance of raising the flag as opposed to doing it mid-stream. :-)

  27. Gerv: > Are they going to open the tree before they open the mozilla.users tree?

    I don’t think the question is which group are they going to open first but rather which one(s) are they going to subscribe to. It all depends on how the groups are advertised and to which target market. It’s like going to the grocery store, you direct customers to wherever you want them to go and see first and foremost. Done right, users will go to the m.users.x groups and devs accordingly. There will of course be some borders crossed but that can’t be helped – human nature and such. And it all depends on how the alien intrusions are handled, speak softly and they’ll move on to the correct group(s).

  28. Daniel: I covered the “Nvu” question above; it seems to me to make sense to only create the groups when Nvu becomes a project.

  29. On the point about seamonkey vs mozilla suite… Renaming newsgroups means everyone has to resubscribe to the new name anyway – if the name is going to change before any users have a chance to use a released product, you may as well delay creation of the group until that happens (in the same way that you’re proposing to delay creation of the nvu groups until it becomes a mozilla product).

    There’s not much chance of anyone understanding from the name that “Seamonkey” is for post 1.7 discussion and “Suite” is for 1.7 and below.

  30. Michael:

    All groups now are “netscape.public.mozilla.*”

    So, to completely avoid confusion with Mozilla being the “household” and most recognized name, how about:


    Everybody relates to Mozilla and by now most everybody relates Seamonkey to Mozilla. Only caveat that I can think of is the group names would be a bit longish …

  31. I think extensions should be split into at least two newsgroups. All too often non-Firefox extensions seem to be drowned out. We should try and encourage Thunderbird, Sunbird, and NVU extension developer.

    Also, shouldn’t there be a newsgroup for Cairo, instead of throughing it in the gfx group?

  32. Larry: If the traffic really gets too heavy, we can split; although it seems that extension developers talk about mostly the same things, whichever app their extension is for.

    roc, who is working on cairo, has made suggestions for groups, and he didn’t suggest a specific cairo group.

    JoeS: I’m not sure what you mean. We aren’t planning on having a secure server; the groups will be much more a part of normal Usenet than they are now.

  33. What if mozilla.web-developers were instead, thereby shortening the naming scheme? Not ignoring “[k]eep those web developers out of our newsgroups”, by the way.

  34. Re: directory

    I agree with Dan. The group should be instead of

  35. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for finally removing ‘Netscape’ from the newsgroup names! It is something that should have been done along time ago – right at the point that the Mozilla browser was first spun off into a separate, open source project. I always felt that the constant presence of the word ‘Netscape’ everywhere was a detriment to the future of Mozilla as a separate entity. I always felt that Mozilla should ‘distance’ itself from Netscape to enforce it’s position as being independent of Netscape.

    On a side note, if it hasn’t already been done, the same should be done to remove all references to “Netscape” from the source code as well.

  36. Why not have a user build and a developer build area? I see requests for
    help in building on the newsgroups that usually go unanswered as these are
    generally errors by the user and not really problems with the build itself.

    Of course the best solution would be to point these people to MozillaZine
    where questions get answered fairly quickly.

  37. JoeS: The secnews server is a “Netscape” server and the groups there are Netscape groups except for the ones I created referencing Mozilla, Firefox and Thunderbird. Those groups were created as an interim solution until the new Mozilla server goes online. The rest of the groups will remain on that server.

    Rick: You seem to have forgotten where Mozilla got it’s start -> At Netscape, by Netscape employees and funded by Netscape. And then came AOL and the rest is history. As regards removing “Netscape” from the group names, you can’t do that when they are hosted on the “Netscape” server. News.Mozilla.Org is an alias, do a lookup.

  38. There is a gray area here that I think has been ignored, and that is the ‘user/would be developer’ This niche has always been for me , filled by the newsgroup netscape.test.multimedia A throwback, from the Netscape 4.x days.
    You got a little problem with some HTML/CSS or Javascript that you’re playing with, well, put it up on the newsgroup, and see if anyone has a better idea.
    About anything that you want to put into a Web Page can be shown as a Newsgroup post. Contrary to popular opinion, Styles, Plugins, and JS works quite nicely in Newgroups. The advantages are, immediate exposure/comment from a variety of users. How does this look /work for a Mac user vs Win or linux user.
    So there should be some group where ‘anything goes’ HTML/CSS/Plugins/Streaming media, etc, can be freely posted.
    And then there is the traditional ‘stationery’ poster who just wants to send a pretty picture or a tune to a friend.
    These are Moz users too, and should have a place to experiment.
    A lot more *can* be done in the Newsgroup format than most people think.
    Let’s not forget these folks in this reorganization.
    BTW if you’re thinking the general test group, well I don’t think too many would want to wade through endless “test” posts that really accomplish nothing.

  39. I noticed in the list of news groups you have omitted the Test MultiMedia group, as well as all test bed news groups. There should be a test bed for all clients so users can test their settings and any special formatting they desire to use. The old Netscape Test MultiMedia news group has enabled many users to send MultiMedia e-mail messages to their friends and co-workers. NTMM was the instructional site for learning how to do this in all Mozilla products.

    Where we have users converting from Outlook Express to FireFox who have been very used to sending rich text and multiMedia messages, they can not compose MultiMedia messages as easily as they did in OE. In fact it takes a lot of instruction and testing to accolplish MultiMedia in any modern Mozilla product, but it can be done.

    Please consider adding a Mozilla.Test.Multimedia news group on the servers.


    Michael Gordon

  40. Inclusion of a user group for testing of inline media embedding is a plus to evangelizing the MoFo products. When users know that they can get user-to-user support for doing multi-media in mail or news it will help. The tech exists in large part because of the early efforts of Netscape and the standards do exist through W3C.
    There are volunteers currently working in to put TB, Moz Suite, N7.x through the hoops to find just how close MoFo is getting to universal multi-media support.

    Inclusion on the MoFo server will add a mesure of certanty to the continued benifit this testing group can contribute to the MoFO mission.

  41. Some of us have noticed there is no Multimedia newsgroup listed. Would it be possible to have such a group specializing in HTML?

    I know many people connected with Mozilla have no interest in multimedia capability, but many of us users do. As it is, OE has over 90% of the email users in the world, even though many or those use Firefox or another Gecko application as browser. It seems wise and prudent to have a Gecko mail/news option that is truly multimedia capable. Otherwise, OE will have a total monopoly on HTML editing and composition, and there will be no option for those of us who would like one.

    At this time, some of us are trying to make it easier for Gecko users to have multimedia capability in mail/news. We get requests frequently from refugees from IE who also want to escape OE but have a need for a fully functional HTML editor/composer in mail/news.

    So if we could please have such a dedicated newsgroup, it would help us immensly.

    Thank you very much.

  42. > Some of us have noticed there is no Multimedia newsgroup listed

    When us Netscape Champs added the n.test.multimedia group to the secnews server, users found that the peer-to-peer support was virtually unequaled in any other venue. “Netscape” thought so as well .. so should Mozilla.

  43. > Some of us have noticed there is no Multimedia newsgroup listed…(and have a preference and a need) for a fully functional HTML editor/composer in mail/news…

    please do add a test.multimedia newsgroup. there is a need. and there are users who use and prefer html capabilites.
    thank you much.

  44. Regarding all the comments about a test.multimedia newsgroup:
    I figure the reason why so many people are posting the same request (contiguously) is because you haven’t heard back from Gerv. The reason why you haven’t heard back from Gerv is because he has been in the hospital since Wednesday (for an operation).

  45. I’ve added a mozilla.test.multimedia group, which is marked as “the only group where non-plaintext posting is allowed”. But related discussion should probably take place in rather than in the test.multimedia group itself.

    I’ve also moved .small-devices to .minimo at dougT’s request and renamed “Platforms” to “Ports” to better match normal usage. Only OS/2 is in there at the moment anyway.

  46. Thanks Gerv,
    I hope you are feeling better.
    The addition of the multimedia group will prove to be a dev asset and not just bloat on the new server.

  47. OT discussion has become a problem in the secnews groups; and it may be migrated to the new newsgroups. I’m still iffy on this, but what do you think of a group for OT discussion?

  48. Okay, there’s one thing about this that’s been bugging me: What will the server be called? Well, since in Thunderbird you can’t be subscribed to the same server twice, it would be kind of annoying to have to have *all* the groups from both the old and the new one at the same time. Could it also be at ‘’ (like how currently and and all are the same)? (I can’t just change the current server’s account to because then I would have to re-download all headers, it looks like.)

    Also, I support the mozilla.offtopic group, too. It’s probably not the best that the groups are getting offtopic so often, but it *would* be nice to be able to discuss just whatever with the Mozilla community somewhere…

  49. ….By “just whatever”, I mean, well, things that are not Mozilla-related, like how well you did in the bowling tournament or how your kid’s soccer team is doing or even just general computer stuff. It isn’t Mozilla related so it shouldn’t go in mozilla.general, but I think it would be nice to have a place to discuss random things with the Mozilla community…

  50. For various reasons I much prefer e-mail lists over newsgroups, and I would be highly delighted if the TB/FF groups could also/in parallel be made available via e-mail, as successfully demonstrated by the OpenOffice support groups/lists and indeed the Mozilla Calendar group/list. Thank you.

  51. Peng: The server will be called; we’ll probably have an alias for the old server while it’s still around. I don’t know if the details have been worked out yet.

    Herbert: see the top of the document. They will be.

  52. Well, could there be a alias? Pretty please with a cherry on top? :D

  53. Well, I wouldn’t say I want some. There have been many questions regarding UMO, and seeing as Ben has posted about future plans, such as binary patching; I just figured the folks working on it might be interested in UMO specific groups. IOW, I’m neither yay, or nay. I’m just throwing the idea out there.