You Too, Can Add an Entry!
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The Jargon File is a living document
The Jargon File is a living document, an evolving resource chronicling the language and culture of computer hackers. If you are a hacker, a linguist, a cultural anthropologist, or just an intelligent person with something relevant to contribute, it's your right and privilege to help it grow.
The Jargon File has always been maintained by volunteers. There's no secret password or arcane protocol to getting an entry added or changed. Send your suggested new entries, or changes to old ones, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who the editors are
The editorial "we" used below refers to the current volunteer editor of the Jargon File and maintainer of the Jargon File Resource Pages, Eric S. Raymond, and the members of two mailing lists who assist and advise him.
One mailing list, jargon-friends, is closed, it consists of the coauthors of the original 1983 Hacker's Dictionary, Eric Raymond, and a publisher representative. The other, jargon-helpers, is open to all interested parties; mail to email@example.com to join.
The editorship of the File has changed hands before and will again. If you are steeped in hacker lore, expert by and fascinated with the language game, and think you might be up to the job, please join jargon-helpers and show us.
How we evaluate suggestions
Here are the questions we ask ourselves when we read what people send us:
We use Web search engines and DejaNews to check for live usage of terms. If we can't find your term in live use, you'll have to work pretty hard to persuade us that there's a real population that has it in production vocabulary.
How we edit entries
All contributions and suggestions will be considered donations to be placed in the public domain as part of the Jargon File, and may be used in subsequent paper editions. Submissions may be edited for accuracy, clarity and concision.
We fix spelling, syntax, and usage errors. We edit (usually lightly) to get entries into a uniform style we think of as "highest-quality hacker" -- informal and only loosely bound by conventional usage, but pithy, precise, and punchy.
We do not generally leave proper names in entries; this is to try to keep getting into the Jargon File from becoming an ego contest. The way we like to put it is that you can't get your name mentioned in the File unless you're already so famous that most readers will recognize it.
However, this doesn't mean you should leave proper names out of etymologies and the like. We keep mail archives which scholars may someday excavate for more information (someday we'll probably HTMLize them and link them to the Jargon File itself).
Should I expect a reply?
The editor(s) may be too busy to reply -- this does not mean you have been ignored. On the contrary, it usually means your material has been incorporated.
You may get a reply that says your jargon has been placed ``on watch''. This means the editors have been unable to confirm independent use of the term elswhere, but are keeping an eye out for a second independent submission.
When do old entries get deleted?
Old entries usually get deleted when (a) they're no longer in live use, and (b) they're not of sufficient interest as history. Occasionally an entry will get deleted when usage searches via DejaNew/AltaVista etc. suggest it was never really live in the first place, or that it's actually mainstream.
Eric S. Raymond <firstname.lastname@example.org>