[Mailman-Developers] Problem with MM after power outage

Barry Warsaw barry at python.org
Sat Sep 13 00:55:14 EDT 2003

On Fri, 2003-09-12 at 12:42, Brad Knowles wrote:
> At 12:35 PM -0400 2003/09/12, Barry Warsaw wrote:
> >  Hmm, I don't know what "make it visible on some OSs" would mean. ;)
> 	So that no hacking is required to make it something the user can 
> see and modify.  We'd still be doing the dangerous thing by leaving 
> it set to default off (in the case of Linux), but at least we 
> wouldn't be requiring that they hack the code in order to be able to 
> tweak this option.

But, really, they have to hack the code either way.  Either you're
editing the mm_cfg.py file, or you're editing the Switchboard.py file. 
The former is a little more visible, since that's the file people are
trained to touch.

But here's the thing.  For a bug fix release, it seems wrong to expose
this in mm_cfg.py because that implies some higher state of blessing. 
I'm not convinced that we've hit upon the ultimate right solution so I
don't want to commit to it.  After folks have had a chance to test it
and see if 1) it fixes the problem, and 2) what the real world
trade-offs are, then we can decide whether it deserves higher profile,
or maybe just us choosing to hard code it to always fsync().

> >  There's a flag in the file with a helpful comment which is easily
> >  edited, just not in mm_cfg.py.  There will be a note about it in the
> >  release notes for 2.1.3.
> 	I understand, but there are many people who use mailman on Linux 
> who won't be able to make even that kind of simple change.  They 
> can't install anything themselves from source, only using rpm. 
> Unfortunately, they are likely to be the bulk of the users, and the 
> ones most likely to be hurt by this sort of thing.

I'm mostly unconvinced by this argument.  IWBNI Mailman were as simple
as a pinball machine but I think folks will still have to read some
instructions.  Plus, I'm not sure the majority of sites will care,
either because their traffic is low enough that it doesn't matter, or
they're on reliable power, etc.


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