What is the meaning of "closed" groups?

Continuing the conversation about improvements to Community, or rather, evolving it from a home for the construction team to operations, data, and the science community, let’s talk about groups… as in https://discourse-dev.lsst.codes/groups

Do we need all of them? I’m thinking of the 7 closed groups:
Astro_mappings, DSFP, LSST, LSSTCAM, LSSTDM, PST, Square.

Perhaps the “closed” label means they have been turned off already? Otherwise, perhaps we can delete them.


That means you can’t request membership to these groups; they’re invite-only.

Jim - the issue of dividing responsibilities of community.lsst.org is on the agenda for the next DMLT meeting. Until there is a decision to the contrary, please be aware that it this is an important platform for in-project communications and team groups are part of that. Please do not delete anything.

So closed means invite only, as opposed to whatever classification the Science Collaboration groups have, where one can ask to be invited. Interesting. Also, clearly, a bit mysterious.

It’s a matter of process for different user groups on the forum, not meant to be “mysterious.” Sorry you haven’t been briefed on groups yet. If you want, I’d be happy to hop on a Slack call and answer your questions. These are all a bit construction-era inside-baseball admin details that aren’t relevant to the community-focused mission of CET, as far as I know.

For Science Collaborations, we agreed on a process where in the onboarding for a new SC member, they can create a Community forum account, and then click on the button for their SC’s corresponding group to request membership. The SC chair is also the owner of that group, and can accept the request after cross-referencing their membership list. That system was designed to help the SC’s self-service their use of the forum. That group membership in turn, gives the SC member access to the SC’s own closed category, which SCs can use as an alternative to a traditional closed email list.

For other groups, like the “lsst” staff group, we have a process where the individual managers are supposed to add their team members. For Data Management, here’s the bit from our onboarding procedure. These are “closed” groups because the group owners do the management.

Thanks, Jonathon, I appreciate the time it is taking to explain it to me. I don’t think we need to Slack call, this is working for me. If it’s more efficient for you, then I’d be happy to.

The usual Discourse model is to hide what you can’t access; I imagine I see those groups labeled “closed” because I’m in the moderator group? Translating- that means the typical science community user won’t see them?

Oh- I see LSST and LSSTDM have current meaning, then. Great.

Here’s my take on doing a bit of clean up with respect to groups. We absolutely would not delete any groups until we confirm that they’re not needed (i.e., messaging all members to see if they want to keep the group). But it does seem that there are a few groups which are inactive, and two for which activity is unclear.

Groups Appearing Inactive

  • Alpha-Users (7)
  • Astro_Mappings (22) - Subcategory ‘[L] Data Management – Astro Mappings’ has no new posts since 2016.
  • DM_Reqs (12)
  • DSFP (12) – Subcategory ‘[L] Science - DSFP’ unused since 2016 and proposed to be merged into ‘Science’.
  • LSSTSC (2)
  • TESTGROUP - It’s only you @jsick , do you still use it to test stuff?

Groups Activity Unclear

  • EPO Feedback Forum (7) – ‘[L] EPO - EPO Feedback’ was created in 2019 and is since unused, check with @abauer whether it is wanted going forward.
  • LSSTCAM (9) – Given that the Camera category was open but is empty and is proposed to be discontinued, and that there appear to be no LSSTCAM group messages. To start, I’m going to tag two group members with recent activity in the forum to invite comment: @jchiang and @roodman.

Groups to Keep

  • admins
  • moderators
  • staff
  • LSST News Editors
  • LSST
  • PST
  • SQuaRE
  • Active Galactic Nuclei Science Collaboration
  • Dark Energy Science Collaboration
  • Galaxies Science Collaboration
  • Stars, Milky Way, and Local Volume Science Collaboration
  • Solar System Science Collaboration
  • Informatics and Statistics Science Collaboration
  • Strong Lensing Science Collaboration
  • Transients/variable Stars Science Collaboration

Groups to keep that need descriptions
The groups that are kept should all have nice descriptions, like the “LSST News Editors” and all the Science Collaborations. I just added one for the moderators as an example, and here are some other proposed descriptions.

  • admins – Rubin Observatory staff responsible for managing this forum.
  • moderators – Rubin Observatory staff responsible for upholding our forum’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.
  • staff – A combination of the admin and moderator groups.
  • LSST – Rubin Observatory staff members.
  • LSSTDM – Rubin Observatory Data Management team staff members.
  • PST – Rubin Observatory Project Science Team
  • SQuaRE – The Rubin Observatory Data Management Science Quality and Reliability Engineering team.

I’m OK with letting go of Alpha-Users and DM_Reqs; they’re both outdated.

I believe “moderators” already includes non-Rubin-staff, so the description is not appropriate.

The other descriptions look fine.

Thanks all. I’ve taken some action on cleaning up our groups.


  • Alpha_users
  • DM_Reqs

Probably delete:

  • DSFP – Inquiry message sent to group to confirm there are no plans for future use of the group or sub-category.
  • Astro_Mappings – Inquiry message sent to the group to confirm that it is no longer needed.
  • LSSTSC (2) and TESTGROUP (1), @jsick you are a member of each, any feedback on the usefulness of retaining these?


  • EPO Feedback – This group and sub-category were only made in 2019 so let’s leave it be.
  • LSSTCAM – After reviewing LSSTCAM I think it should be kept. I’ve messaged the group to just let them know this, and added a group description.

All proposed description updates have been implemented, so the groups page at https://community.lsst.org/groups is starting to look more informative. I’d still like to add descriptions for the groups which are trust levels as well, TBD.

Let’s keep it because that group is associated with their own category.

A correction to my message above: I have now been educated that “moderators” includes Construction and Operations Rubin staff, so the description is fine.

I added some descriptions to the trust level groups for clarity. I’m also trialing making these trust level categories visible only to forum staff (admins and moderators) given that these automated groups are only useful for administration.

I deleted these groups since we no longer need them.

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