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1987: The Great Renaming – Page 2

Resolution

With seven newly proposed hierarchies on the table, Usenet was abuzz with discussion and debate over whether or not to implement the new system. Opponents of the Great Renaming voiced several concerns. 

One such concern was that the Backbone Cabal would use the talk.* hierarchy to rid Usenet of material that their supervisors found objectionable. Another concern was that talk.* newsgroups would be completely eradicated from Usenet. Some opponents were concerned that the renaming would limit their freedom of speech and create too many boundaries in a community which thrives off of the free exchange of ideas. 

Asked why The Great Renaming was met with such resistance in its early stages, Gene Spafford replied, "…it meant change for users and admins both, and people are often loathe to learn new things even if they are better. (Consider how we are stuck using old, dangerous programming languages, bloated word processors and buggy OS because people don't want to learn anything else.)"

Despite the concerns of the Usenet community, with the backing of Rick Adams, Gene Spafford and other Backbone Cabal members, consensus was reached and the Great Renaming began.  With the Great Renaming came the newsgroup naming strategy which is still in play to this day.  When interest is expressed in creating a new group, a vote is be taken on whether the group will be developed and what its name will be.   

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