RFD: misc.metric-system

REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD) unmoderated group misc.metric-system
[ Note: This document is multiposted in 3 copies because too many
large service providers implement crossposting limits and would otherwise drop it.
- n.a.n moderation team ]
This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) for the creation of a world-wide unmoderated Usenet newsgroup misc.metric-system. This is not a Call for Votes (CFV); you cannot vote at this time. Procedural details are below.
Newsgroup line: misc.metric-system The International System of Units.
RATIONALE: misc.metric-system
Units of measurement and related standards affect many aspects of our daily lives. The global standardization of a single consistent International System of Units was a major breakthrough for human civilization and significantly simplified communication, learning, work and trade all over the planet.
The introduction of the metric system still faces delays in some areas. Notable examples are consumer communication and traffic regulations in the United States and United Kingdom, as well as parts of the aeronautical and typographic industry. It is therefore no surprise that discussions about the metric system flare up regularly in many different newsgroups. In particular the slow progress with metrication in the United States promises to fuel such debates for many years to come.
A dedicated newsgroup will focus expertise and will provide a medium for professionals and hobbyists to find advice and suggestions on metric product standards and conventions. None of the newsgroups in which metric-system issues flare up frequently is particularly suited for this topic by charter and readership. The popularity of the existing US and UK Metric Associations' mailing lists demonstrates that there is a significant number of people interested in the topic. Considering the important role that units of measurement play in everyone's life, this promises to become a quite lively newsgroup.
The name of the proposed group has been the subject of some debate. The present proposal is motivated by these considerations:
- Although discussions about the metric system focus much on its slow progress in a small number of countries, the topic is inherently international in nature and discussions tend to benefit very significantly from world-wide participation. Therefore, placing the group under us.* or uk.* would be inappropriate.
- The metric system affects many fields, including consumer communication and road traffic. Discussions about the metric system range from basic science and applied engineering considerations to economic, social, psychological, legal, public policy and media aspects. This excludes sci.* and leaves misc.* as the most appropriate hierarchy.
- The metric system is the only system of units used in almost every region and field of application. "Imperial" and "U.S. Customary" units are usually discussed in relation to the metric system, which is within the scope of the proposed group. Other unit systems have very limited applications and are better discussed in specialized science or history groups. The proposed group is far more likely to have specialized children rather than equivalent siblings, which speaks against an entire misc.measurement.* hierarchy and justifies a place directly under misc.
- The term "metric system" remains the most well known and most easily recognized English language term for what is more formally called the "International System of Units (SI)". This speaks against group names such as *.si or *.metric.
The proposed charter is meant to be broad enough to cover discussions about different historic variants of the metric system (CGM, MKS, various European customary units) as well as contemporary units that compete with the SI. At the same time, it is narrow enough to exclude topics such as the history and redefinition of calendars. It leaves room for the possible later creation of a separate misc.metric-system.advocacy group for those with a particular interest in political activities related to metrication.
CHARTER: misc.metric-system
This newsgroup is for discussion about the International System of Units (SI) or Metric System, including its use in scientific, technical, and consumer applications, its history and definition, and its adoption in fields and regions where other units of measurement are still prevalent (metrication). Included within its scope are related global standards and conventions, for example metric product specifications and consumer-product labelling practice.
END CHARTER.
PROCEDURE:
This is a request for discussion, not a call for votes. In this phase of the process, any potential problems with the proposed newsgroups should be raised and resolved. The discussion period will continue for a minimum of 21 days (starting from when the first RFD for this proposal is posted to news.announce.newgroups), after which a Call For Votes (CFV) may be posted by a neutral vote taker if the discussion warrants it. Please do not attempt to vote until this happens.
All discussion of this proposal should be posted to news.groups.
This RFD attempts to comply fully with the Usenet newsgroup creation guidelines outlined in "How to Create a New Usenet Newsgroup" and "How to Format and Submit a New Group Proposal". Please refer to these documents (available in news.announce.newgroups) if you have any questions about the process.
DISTRIBUTION:
This RFD has been posted to the following newsgroups:
news.announce.newgroups news.groups sci.physics sci.math sci.engr soc.culture.usa soc.culture.canada soc.culture.europe comp.std.internat misc.transport.road
Pointers will be posted to the following mailing lists:
usma at colostate.edu (U.S. Metric Association discussion list) Subscription information: http://www.metric.org/listserv.htm
metric at smartgroups.com (UK Metric Association discussion list) Subscription only
Proponent: Markus Kuhn snipped-for-privacy@cl.cam.ac.uk
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