[Mailman-Users] New user - Mailman question

Brad Knowles brad at stop.mail-abuse.org
Sun Aug 22 15:03:50 CEST 2004

At 5:38 PM -0700 2004-08-21, Charles Mikecz Vamossy wrote:

>  You may think my ISP's spamware is stupid and for all I know you may be
>  right.

	Auto-whitelist management systems (such as TMDA) are greatly 
despised amongst much of the Internet community.  I don't know if 
your ISP is using this particular package or not, but I make a policy 
of refusing to communicate with anyone who uses such a system.  And 
if someone who uses a system like this is posting to a mailing list 
I'm on, I am not likely to be very kind in my public responses to the 
way their mail system is treating me.

>  My intention was - as it is with any new list I join - to wait for the
>  first digest to appear in my "suspect Email" box, authorize it and then
>  merrily read the daily digests.  Instead, by the time I returned from
>  dinner, I was criticised and reviled by the group.

	If you're going to use this kind of a system, you need to wait 
for the first few messages (or digests) to show up before you post a 
message to the list, and you should warn people that you have such an 
anti-spam system in use.  If nothing else, you need to get a flavour 
for the sort of discussions that happen on the list before you jump 
in head first.

	Posting to the list immediately after subscribing is generally 
considered to be rude, unless you've done your homework and checked 
out the archives of the list, and you can make sure that your post 
fits in with the style and flavour of the list.

	For that matter, before posting to any list, you should search 
the archives and the FAQ, to make sure that this issue is not 
well-known and previously discussed.

	Even if your post is on a subject that is not addressed through 
the archives or the FAQ, and it is in the appropriate style, if you 
are using an anti-spam system that effectively spams anyone who tries 
to send you mail, then you should warn people about that as part of 
your signature in every post or e-mail message you send.

	So far as I can tell, you violated all of these rules of courtesy.

>  Perhaps it is not MM that's at fault, but rather the way MM is set up.

	This has nothing to do with Mailman.  This has everything to do 
with your multiple violations of the rules of common courtesy.

>  I don't know.  The experience is enough, however, to convince me that
>  while MM may be a good platform for large users who can afford a full
>  time administrator, especially if the software is enhanced by inhouse
>  developed and other commercial software.

	This is not at all the case.  I am not a full-time administrator, 
and I administer multiple different mailing lists for multiple 
different groups on multiple different systems, all using Mailman. 
Some of those lists & groups are small, some are a bit larger.

	In fact, I would submit that there are virtually no full-time 
Mailman mailing list administrators anywhere in the world.  Maybe a 
handful, at most -- and most of whom are probably on these mailing 

>                                            For plain vanilla lists, it
>  is better to stick with one of the Big Vanillas.

	Mailman *is* one of the Big Vanillas.  In fact, I would argue 
that it is probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest.

	The difference is that Mailman is not used to host individual 
lists that are the largest in the world (although there is a 
full-time Mailman list administrator for lists.apple.com, and he 
manages some very large lists for them, and in his private life hosts 
a number of other extremely large lists on his own equipment).

	What you do get with Mailman is not the extreme size of the 
individual lists, but the amazing number and variety of smaller sites 
that are running smaller lists, the sum total of which ends up making 
the community of Mailman users as large or larger than most any other 
community of mailing list users anywhere in the world.

	I believe you will find that most Linux-related mailing lists are 
hosted using Mailman, and I know that all the FreeBSD mailing lists 
are using Mailamn.  I believe that it is the most widely used mailing 
list management software in the open source community, and one of the 
most widely used mailing list management systems outside of that 
community.  Most of that has happened not just because it's shipped 
by default by a lot of vendors, but because of all the mailing list 
management systems in the world, it's one of the easiest to install, 
configure, and manage.  Indeed, that's probably why a lot of vendors 
choose to ship it by default.

	With China and India both going for Linux with a vengence from 
the government on down to the man-in-the-street, that's a potential 
two to three billion users within the target future growth patterns 
of the open source community.  That's like one-third to one-half the 
entire population of the world, or more.

	Mailman is the leading mailing list management system within that 
community today, and I believe that it is likely to remain the 
leading mailing list management system within that community for the 
foreseeable future.

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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