[Mailman-Developers] PHP Wrappers?

Brad Knowles brad at stop.mail-abuse.org
Tue Nov 22 07:14:29 CET 2005

At 2:53 PM +0900 2005-11-22, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

>>>>>>  "Brad" == Brad Knowles <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org> writes:
>      Brad> 	Show me a single open data format that all MTAs
>      Brad> understand. Hell, there aren't many file formats that they
>      Brad> all understand.
>  C'mon, Brad, don't let the perfect be the enemy of all improvement.
>  For access to the ACL database, we really need only to consider two
>  MTAs (at most): Exim and Postfix.

	You have to give the MTA direct access to the internal filters of 
Mailman in some sense.  I don't think we can restrict ourselves to 
just these two MTAs.

	Moreover, who owns this code?  It crosses the boundary between 
Mailman and the MTAs -- do we have to continue to track their 
development ad infinitum?  Do we have to patch their code?

>                                     Sendmail has milters for this
>  purpose; you don't need to do surgery on sendmail itself, just
>  configure the mailman-acl milter.

	Mailman-acl milter?  This is the first I've heard of it.  Is this 
a new thing?  Who maintains this code?

>  The point is that if Mailman does a reasonable job of specifying
>  access to a database of list ACLs, people can and will write adapters
>  for their drug of choice.  Other MLMs will follow the Mailman spec if
>  it's decent and we get there first.  The whole Internet wins.

	Okay, I can see Mailman providing a single, hopefully reasonably 
well-specified specification, and letting everyone else adapt. 
That's a far cry from what Ian was talking about.

>  The ACL format is a much tougher requirement, and will require a lot
>  of thought.  Do we want to specify archive ACLs in the same database?
>  How do we condition access on the various authentication methods that
>  users may use?  "Like regular expressions" means exactly what?  Etc,
>  etc.
>  Again, if we specify and mostly implement such an interface well, the
>  users will come and they'll make their other tools work with it.

	I'm willing to go that route.  But you do seem to agree with me 
that this problem is going to be a lot tougher to solve than Ian 
implies, yes?

>  If you want to say that specifying these formats _well enough_ to
>  attract users and to make related products (both substitutes like
>  Majordomo and complements like Postfix) willing to support them is
>  "too hard" or "is a project for MM3 or maybe MM3.1", I'll defer to you
>  on that.

	I am not convinced that this is a question that can be answered 
within the overall scheme of MM3.  I'm willing to be proven wrong, 
but what I know of the problem is that it's a much bigger mountain 
than I think it's being given credit for.

>            But saying "it's gotta be perfect on introduction or it's no
>  good" is not a way to communicate.

	That is not an accurate characterization of what I was saying. 
Re-read my previous message to Ian -- I said to him:

		Trust me, this issue is far more complex than you think it is.

	Now, if you can agree that this is a big issue that will need to 
have a lot of thought and work put into it, and it not something 
you're likely to knock out on a single late-night hacking session, 
well that's all I'm really asking for.

	It's one thing to identify a desired long-term design goal.  It's 
another to imply that this will be trivially easy to implement.

Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

     -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
     Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

   SAGE member since 1995.  See <http://www.sage.org/> for more info.

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