[Mailman-Users] Mailman Problems under OSX Lion

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Mon Aug 20 20:18:50 CEST 2012

On Aug 20, 2012, at 12:18 PM, Stephen J. Turnbull <stephen at xemacs.org> wrote:

> It's failure to provide source code to paying customers (even if the
> price was zero) that violates the GPL.  If one of us is willing to buy
> a server system and demand source code, they either cough up or they
> suffer a rerun of the Objective-C embarrassment, and then they either
> cough up anyway or they lose the right to distribute Mailman.
> Alternatively, if somebody knows somebody with a server system who's
> willing to piss off Apple, the first somebody could get the second
> somebody to do it.

I've got a copy of Mountain Lion server (it's only $20), and the code in question is Python, so it has to be shipped as source.  So, if we want their changes, it's easy enough to get them.

For me, the point is more than they don't actively contribute their changes back to the project, and actively support those changes.  If they actively contributed their changes back and actively supported their changes, then we could easily adapt the mainstream version of Mailman so that it would install and build in exactly the same locations with exactly the same localized changes for the platform, and then it should be trivial for people to upgrade.

More importantly, it would be much less difficult for us to support that part of the community, which would help reduce the support burden that Apple has to maintain.

With Xcode switching from llvm from gcc for the backend, and the way that llvm is continuing to be developed in partnership, maybe we can convince them to take a similar approach to Mailman and other open source software?

> This has been done in other contexts (the cPanel Mailman patch was
> outed at least once by a customer, and maybe Plesk's, too), but the
> history with Apple seems to go like this:
> 1.  Bug bites Mac server system's Mailman.
> 2.  Victim wastes time talking to Apple.  By the time they realize it
>    is a waste of time, they're panicking.
> 3.  Willing to do anything, they come here and are advised to install
>    Mailman from source as described in our INSTALL file.  (This
>    advice was especially effective when coming from Chuq. :-)

Yes, well -- he had the advantage that not only was he an Apple employee, he was also running lists.apple.com, and used Mailman to do it.  Other people working at Apple would not have nearly the same level of impact.

> 4.  Victim discovers there's nothing they want from the Apple version,
>    and by the time they've put out all the other little fires that
>    sprang up while they were fighting the Mailman fire, they cool off
>    enough to realize there's nothing to benefit *anybody* in the
>    Apple version, and it would be best if it just went away, so they
>    don't bother asking for code. ;-)

That sequence of events doesn't serve anyone well -- not the customer, nor Apple, nor our community.  We can do better.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>

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