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The purpose of this wiki is to:

  • document with correctness, clarity and economy of expression that which is topical in comp.lang.c
  • provide posting guidelines for comp.lang.c

Additional material may be documented as deemed appropriate by group decision (achieved by procedures described below).

A separate document describes the proposed content guidelines.

This charter may be modified only by group decision.


The wiki shall be democratically maintained by an editorial group. Each editor shall have appropriate edit permissions assigned to his/her login upon agreeing to abide by this charter. Each editor shall be equally empowered to edit any part of the wiki; they shall aim for correctness and to abide by content guidelines. Editors may be added to or removed from the group only by group decision according to the following guidelines:

Guideline for the Selection of Editors

A proposed editor should meet the following minimum requirements:

  • demonstrably capable as a C programmer
  • conversant with the C Standard through study or direct involvement in its drafting. Intimate knowledge is not necessary but willingness to consult the Standard for that intimate knowledge as appropriate is
  • rational and willing to acknowledge and correct errors, including his/her own
  • not continuously or excessively and inappropriately argumentative

It is preferable but not requisite that the candidate be a regular contributor to comp.lang.c.


The C Standard is complex and few take the time to gain sufficient familiarity with it to be able to accurately represent its meaning. Additionally there are posters to comp.lang.c who - well meaning or not - are quick to disseminate incorrect information and slow or unwilling to accept correction. For these reasons, it is appropriate to restrict editorial rights on the wiki to those who are competent. Regardless that incorrect information can be easily corrected, it is preferable to avoid it being posted in the first place - constant monitoring should not be necessary for those editors who are both expert and time-restricted.

Non-Editorial Contributions

Anyone may create a wiki account; but multiple accounts per person shall be discouraged and are subject to deletion. Without being assigned editorial status, these accounts may be used to contribute corrections, suggestions and comments to the "Talk" page associated with each content page subject to public decency and non-threatening use of language.

Anonymous contributions shall be disabled to minimise spam.

Group Decisions

All members of the editorial group have equal status when contributing to a decision. Decisions may be proposed on any topic including but not limited to:

  • whether particular content is appropriate
  • changes to this charter or the content guidelines
  • whether a user be elected as an editor
  • whether an existing editor be demoted.

Proposal And Voting Procedure

Decisions are made using the following procedure:

  1. a proposal is posted on the wiki by an editor (whose name may be anonymised at his/her choice, although this is discouraged)
  2. the proposal then becomes open for voting and discussion. Whilst open, any editor may:
    • vote "support", "oppose" or "abstain", preferably citing a rationale for the vote
    • subsequently change that vote or rationale an unlimited number of times
  3. the initial expiry period is scheduled thirty days hence. For this period:
    • if at any time a majority of editors, excluding editors whose vote is "abstain" but including inactive editors, have posted a vote of:
      • support => the proposal carries
      • oppose => the proposal is rejected
    • if the period expires without finalisation:
      • if a majority of active editors have posted a vote other than abstain, and if of those votes:
        • the majority are support => the proposal carries
        • the majority are oppose => the proposal is rejected
        • the support and oppose count are equal => the decision's expiry period is reset to thirty days hence.
      • else if there are no oppose votes and at least one support vote => decision becomes pending (will carry after new timeout if no further voting occurs)
      • else => the decision is finalised as "ended without result due to insufficient voter turnout".
  4. a pending decision's period is scheduled ten days hence. The same rules as for the initial period apply, with these additions:
    • if ten days elapse without finalisation:
      • if there are still no oppose votes and at least one support vote => the decision carries
      • if, after applying the above rules for an initial period expiry, the decision would end without result and there are at least one support and at least one oppose vote, then the decision's expiry period is reset to thirty days hence and its status is reset as though it had just been proposed except that existing votes are retained.

The effect of a proposal that ends without result is the same as a rejected proposal - i.e. the status quo is preferred.

The concept of an active editor is used due to the nature of the internet - people come and go. An active editor is one who has logged into the wiki within the past ninety days and who has not marked him/herself "inactive" through an option provided on the wiki. In addition an editor who has voted on a decision is regarded as active for that decision.

Finalisation And Enforcement Of Decisions

The wiki software automates the effect of the following decisions:

  • a carried proposal to elect a new editor
  • a carried proposal to demote an editor.

Any votes by a demoted editor on any unfinalised decisions shall be marked as ineffective from the time that the result of the decision to demote the editor is known (this may be earlier than the actual finalisation time of the decision since finalisation checks occur only when a decision is retrieved from the database for display or voting, rather than by periodic polling or by OS-assisted schedule). This shall not be retroactively applied to a decision that has since been finalised - the likelihood of this scenario is so slim that it is acceptable for the demoted editor's vote to still count.

All editors shall have equal right and responsibility to put into effect the result of all other decisions.

Communal Ownership

The wiki shall be communally owned by the editorial group. No single person should control the host, domain name or storage of the wiki contents. By consensus decision, the wiki's host may be changed and the domain name redirected to a new host. This implies that:

  • the host make accessible and timely backups of the wiki that are regularly downloaded and stored off-site by different members (to facilitate this for the current host, members may send their public key for ssh authentication to clc-admin@flash-gordon.me.uk and request download instructions)
  • either:
    • the domain name is registered to a universally trusted member, or
    • the domain name registrar supports communal ownership and redirection of the domain name. A possible process (which, if any, registrars support or would support this process is unknown) is:
      • the membership as seen by the registrar for decision-making purposes is that of the wiki but one month historical (due to the ability of a corrupt host to modify the current membership of the editorial group)
      • each editorial member who chooses to participate in communal domain ownership provides their PGP signature
      • a decision to relocate the domain name shall be made by email correspondence; the registrar shall confirm that a majority of the group support it using PGP for identity verification
      • payment for the domain name is shared or volunteered.

Notification of Content Changes

Editors shall be automatically notified of changes to content of their choosing so that they can monitor each other's edits. These notification procedures are currently limited but shall be improved.

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