You may have seen this post from Lars Ingebrigtsen of Gnus and Gmane fame; it was linked from Slashdot over the weekend:
If you're not familiar with Gmane, you really should check it out while you can. I think it's the perfect companion to Mailman, providing free archives for open source mailing lists of all kind. My favorite thing about it is the NNTP interface to mailing list archives. Remember Usenet? It's really NNTP underneath and there are some excellent news readers that let you have very good access to years of older posts. I am a Claw-Mail user and it provides a fairly seamless integration of regular email and news (e.g. Gmane over NNTP).
The powerful thing for me is that for mailing lists I care about, but don't want to be subscribed to, I can just catch up every so often on the Gmane newsgroup. I can even post from the Gmane mirror, and I don't have to keep personal archives of any mirrored public mailing list. All the Mailman lists are available on Gmane.
But Lars has apparently burned out and is considering shuddering Gmane. This would be a huge loss for the FLOSS community IMHO, and I hope the outpouring of goodwill on his blog posts (along with any donations of time, resources, and money) will keep Gmane alive. It seems like all might not be lost:
Getting back to Mailman, I've long wanted a built-in NNTP interface to mailing list archives. Long ago I prototyped a bridge from Mailman 2 to NNTP via Twisted. It wasn't that much work, but of course it was only a prototype. With Mailman 3's architecture, I think it would be a fairly straightforward project, so I'm here to hopefully excite and challenge one of *you* to think about doing it. :)
Of course, it wouldn't be Gmane, and I'm not sure we need exactly that. First, it wouldn't be federated across the wide FLOSS world, but it would still be extremely useful. Second, we have so much goodness in HyperKitty that the web side of Gmane wouldn't be as important for us. Still, the ability to have direct NNTP access to mailing list archives built into Mailman 3 would be really darn cool, IMHO.
As an aside, Lars would make the whole of the Gmane spool available, and it might be really cool to see how well HK can consume and vend it. Given that Lars seems to say that it's more likely that the NNTP/SMTP bridge will survive, but not the web ui. Wouldn't it be cool if HK could serve as a modern version of a web ui to the Gmane treasure trove?
Anyway, I'm putting this out there - hopefully some one of you might be willing and able to take it up.
Barry Warsaw writes:
Lars seems to say that it's more likely that the NNTP/SMTP bridge will survive, but not the web ui.
I would expect this, since NNTP and SMTP both have independent clients. But the Web UI *is* the client (not the browsers, which are "thin" clients). That means that supporting a web UI requires a lot of development resources to respond to the slings and arrows of outrageous (and outraged) users.
Wouldn't it be cool if HK could serve as a modern version of a web ui to the Gmane treasure trove?
I think the first thing to do would be to compare the HK UI and Gmane's UI, and see if there are any features of Gmane we can and should adopt.