[Mailman-Users] Mailman 2.1.10rc1 has been released

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Thu Apr 17 01:08:07 CEST 2008

BTW, the *real* problem here is that we *really* need to free up Mark
for doing more development.  Whether he likes it or not. ;-)

Jim Popovitch writes:

 > On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 11:56 AM, Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net> wrote:
 > >
 > >  There are two security issues mentioned in the announcement.
 > <harsh criticism>
 > How much sense does it make to announce security issues in a release
 > CANDIDATE?   Come on guys, release a STABLE version (or FIX), then
 > announce.  <--- Standard Operation Procedures.
 > </harsh criticism>
 > Quit feeding the enemy instead of your supporters.

That last was *quite* uncalled-for.

First of all, there is no such thing as a STABLE security release (you
can't beta test it before announcing and you don't have time to alpha
test properly), so it can't possibly be S.O.P.

Second, the fact that you emphasize STABLE indicates (and you confirm)
that you're thinking of a situation where you can't upgrade to an
unstable version because of "rules".  That's not Mark's problem,
that's *your* problem if you are not trusted to judge whether a fix is
sufficiently important and stable to be applied.  I understand your
frustration, but it ain't Mark's fault.

Third, you have real problems anyway.  Mailman has known security bugs
that are not going to get fixed soon (specifically the LIST-request
backscatter problem).[1]  You are aware of that, right?  In the great
scheme of things, I don't think the two minor issues fixed in this RC
are a really big deal....

Anyway, whether you like it or not, the backscatter issue shows that
the Mailman project currently does not put #1 priority on things just
because they're labeled "security issues".  If you want that changed,
it would help to have a better idea of what exactly is most important,
because resources aren't infinite.

Now, your desire for a stable security release suggests that what you
want is a procedure like

(0) mailman-security at python.org receives a report.
(1) The security cabal prepares a fix to the current stable release (if
    necessary, cutting a new branch) and tests it as well as possible.
(2) The release is cut as version STABLE.SECURITY-PATCH-NUMBER.
(3) The release is announced, and (optionally) a patch published for
    the DIY crowd.
(4) The developers consider whether to forward port or design a
    different fix for in-development versions (including the next
    stable/bugfix release).

Is that right?  If so, how much are you (and others) willing to
contribute toward achieving that process?  Eg, maybe you could beat
Mark to the punch on a few of the routine questions that he must spend
5 hours a week on, or so?  Or if you have Python skills, you could
volunteer to burn some midnight oil on generating patches and alpha
testing?  Etc, etc.

[1]  True, with some effort you can shut those aliases off, but that
will invalidate many of the information web pages, and for that reason
the secure configuration has not been made default, and probably that
will be postponed to Mailman 2.2.

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