[Mailman-Users] NNTP server for "local" newsgroups ?

John Fitzsimons johnf at net2000.com.au
Wed Dec 23 23:10:28 CET 2009

On Wed, 23 Dec 2009 14:57:49 -0600, Grant Taylor wrote:
>On 12/22/09 22:24, John Fitzsimons wrote:

>> Okay, IF an NNTP setup were part of Mailman then that would IMO 
>> encourage a huge number of hosters, that currently install Mailman, 
>> to consider opening that port. Particularly as you could put in the 
>> installation documents that the Mailman NNTP facility requires it.

>I'm sure that hosts would consider running an NNTP server for a few 
>moments before considering the ramifications (to Mailman) of not doing 
>so before ultimately considering a different mailing list manager.

No idea why someone wanting a mailing list manager would NOT like to
have additional functionality. If it were an option.

I was, of course, assuming that during Mailman's installation a
question would be asked such as "Do you wish to enable an NNTP 
server for use with Mailman ? Y/N ?"

>I think Mailman (as a mailing list manager) should remain separate from 
>a NNTP daemon. 

If people had an option during installation then they could decide
that question for themselves.

>Having Mailman take advantage of an NNTP server that 
>exists is wonderful.  Making the leap to requiring the use of a Mailman 
>rolled NNTP server is (IMHO) extremely arrogant.  

I wasn't recommending that. I was suggesting that if people chose,
during installation, to add an NNTP capability then they would be
reminded that they need to open the relevant port to get everything
working properly.

>Offering an optional 
>program that has been "tested to work with" (tm) is something completely 
>different and acceptable.

>Further, you have some sites that are running Mailman on a server that 
>is already running a different NNTP server.  Are you going to tell these 
>sites that they have to switch from their current NNTP server to the one 
>that ships with Mailman?  What if they refuse to switch?  Does that mean 
>that they have chosen to abandon Mailman and go with another product?

No, as these people wouldn't choose the added NNTP functionality while
installing Mailman.

>Requiring a Mailman included NNTP server is a *VERY* big and (IMHO) bad 
>thing to do.

I wasn't suggesting that. The NNTP part would be optional.

>At most, I think there should be an optional component that is tested 
>and supported.  Any thing beyond that should be what we currently have, 
>best effort support to work with an alternative part NNTP server.

>> You would be doing a gigantic service to newsgroup fans around the 
>> world. I sure hope you can manage this venture.

>Is adding multiple additional news servers (that only carry groups for 
>the mailing lists hosted on the server) really such a good service?  

Well, as Gmane has 11,972 mailing list ported to NNTP I guess quite a
lot of people would say "yes". IMO the only reason more people don't
use Gmane is because they haven't heard of it and/or don't understand
how it works.

That certainly applies to me. Had I known about Gmane, and how it
works, in 2002 then I would have considered using their service then.
IF Mailman had a similar thing as an "option" then IMO many would jump
at the opportunity to have this added functionality.

>would it be better to (do what we currently do) gateway from Mailman and 
>an existing NNTP server.

No it wouldn't. A very high percentage of "hosted" sites install
Mailman. IF an NNTP "optional" component existed then more sites would
offer their clients that option. 

At the moment the number of "hosted" sites that offer an NNTP option
is pretty close to 0%. Almost all the very very few sites that offer
NNTP do so as a newsgroup provider only. It isn't part of the "hosting
package" that many companies offer. 

>> Well, if you pull this off, then IMO Mailman will blow competing 
>> products out of the water. Both freeware and payware.   :-)

>There are already packages that provide web form / mailing list / 
>newsgroup / news server integration all in one.  Synchronet comes to mind.

Almost all of which need root access and/or Linux skills. Not much use
to people who don't have root access, or Linux skills.

With Synchronet for example ..

"Step-by-step Instructions

Note: These instructions assume you are already logged in as 'root'.

Q. Where do I get Synchronet for Unix?

A. There are no binary distributions at this time, so you must get the
source code from...."

Not everyone is a "Unix geek". Some of us simply want to be able to
send/receive email and newsgroup posts. Preferably as a synchronised

This sort of thing is absurdly simple in windows. It is amazingly
difficult in Linux.

Regards, John.

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