[Mailman-Developers] Configurability (was Re: [ANNOUNCE] Mailman 1.0b9)

Greg Stein gstein@lyra.org
Wed, 03 Mar 1999 11:34:20 -0800

Harald Meland wrote:
> ...
> For users it is always good to make _all_ the bells and whistles
> configurable.  However, Mailman has to find a balance between user
> configurability and how efficient list delivery should be.

I strongly disagree with the blanket statement that it is "always good".

> This means we have to make sure that making something user
> configurable won't make list delivery unbearably inefficient for any
> The added complexity of Mailman code this would need is also an issue.

Inefficiencies in list delivery are only a *small* piece of the problem.

If you make something too configurable, then it becomes unapproachable.
It is simply not useful any more because there are too many knobs to

One of John's big reasons for starting Mailman was to make a clean and
simple mailing list manager. Part of this was simply a reaction against
the complex Perl code in Majordomo, but John also wanted something easy
for mere mortals to run.

You really should not keep dropping knobs onto Mailman. Look at the
problem with the settings for "who can post to this list". LOTS of
people have problems with getting that set up right. The problem? Too
many knobs. "What do I set to do X?" is what happens.

IMO, your real task is to *reduce* the knobs, not add more. You should
figure out how to automatically figure some out, or how to combine them,
or simply drop them for lack of utility.


Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/