[Mailman-Users] Mailman roadmap

Barry Warsaw barry at python.org
Sat Jul 7 18:36:54 CEST 2007

Hash: SHA1

Sorry, I forgot to cross-post this to mailman-users, so I'm reposting.
- -Barry

Now that we've successfully navigated the switch to Bazaar, it's time  
to lay out plans for future Mailman releases.  I've talked to several  
people about what to do about Mailman's future and I'd like to take  
this opportunity to describe my thoughts and get your feedback.   
First some background.

Mailman 2.1 is (shockingly) four and a half years old, having been  
initially released on 30-Dec-2002.  The last release in the series,  
2.1.9 was made almost a year ago.  In the meantime, Mark and Tokio  
have been doing a great job maintaining the 2.1 branch, with several  
important patches in the tree now that will eventually become  
2.1.10.  The problem of course is that we can't add any new features  
to the 2.1 family <wink>, so we should be thinking about a new major  

I've been making good progress on the SQAlchemy/Elixir version, which  
will finally get rid of pickles and put Mailman on a Real Database  
(tm).  It's been clear to me for a while that this branch will have a  
unified user database.  It simply makes no sense to build the  
database back-end without once and for all fixing this design  
constraint.  I've always said that the unified user database will be  
in Mailman 3, and thus this branch is indeed called "Mailman 3.0".

I've been slowly building things back up from the ground floor.  The  
basic data model is in pretty good shape and I'm taking a religious  
test-driven approach to making things work again.  But the branch  
still needs a lot of work, and I have no ETA for Mailman 3.0.

In the meantime, Andrew Kuchling and others have volunteered to work  
on modernizing the Mailman web u/i, and Terri recently started a  
thread discussing updates to the archiver.  I think it makes sense to  
bless these efforts, towards the goal of releasing them in Mailman  
2.2.  I intend to create an official Mailman 2.2 branch in bzr where  
these efforts can land as they mature.  My hope of course is that  
we'll also be able to use much of this new code for Mailman 3.

I'd like to keep the changes for 2.2 focused on the web u/i and  
archiver, with a small number of additional features to be  
determined.  Mailman 2.2 should see no changes to the basic  
architecture or 'database'; we'll continue to use pickles by default  
for Mailman 2.2.  While I won't rule out other new features, I want  
to be very picky about those that are accepted for 2.2, and would not  
feel bad at all if we rejected or deferred until 3.0 most of those  
proposed.  Criteria for other 2.2 features must include minimal code  
impact with a high degree of reliability and stability.

I plan on updating the wiki pages to reflect this thinking, but I  
would like to get feedback from y'all about the plan.  It would be  
awesome if we could see a release of Mailman 2.2 some time in late  
2007 or early 2008.

Comments, question?

- -Barry

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