[Mailman-Users] Thoughts about migrating to Mailman instead of Sympa (from Majordomo)

Barry Warsaw barry at list.org
Fri Jan 20 21:09:23 CET 2012

On Jan 19, 2012, at 06:32 PM, Geoff Mayes wrote:

> Mailman is more mature (the max bug ID for mailman in its issue-tracking
> system is ~913,400; the max bug ID for Sympa is 8,117 and there is still no
> bug category for Sympa's latest version -- 6.1.7 -- even though it has been
> out for over 4 months)

I'm not sure bug numbers are a good indication.  Launchpad has one namespace
for all bugs, so the maximum number reflects bugs reported across all hosted
upstream projects *and* all Ubuntu bugs.

OTOH, Mailman has been around since the mid-90's.  That's good because the key
parts of the code are heavily battle-tested and (IMO) very stable.  It's bad
because some things like the web ui really need  a good updating (and this is
going on in the web-ui project for Mailman 3).

> Mailman has greater branch stability and code reliability (I noticed that
> Barry ran a pre-checkin acceptance suite for the Postgres patch for Mailman
> 3 before he checked it in)

Yep.  I have a strict testing policy for mm3 code.

> Mailman has a bright and well-documented future (Mailman 3 and its bug
> tracker, source code, milestones, etc)

I think so too!

> Mailman has a more active and supportive community, which is very important
> in resolving future issues (Mailman had 150 list postings in December and
> through mid-January while Sympa had 44; I've been impressed with Mark
> Sapiro's responsiveness on this list)

Mark is *awesome*.

>Does anyone know a way around the emailed passwords issue in Mailman, clever
>hacks, certain plugins, or a timeline for Mailman 3's release?

As I think others have pointed out, individual users can disable password
reminders, list admins can disable them for their lists, and site admins can
disable them for the entire site (by turning off the cron job).

As for mm3 release, well, I think now that I'll be giving a talk at Pycon 2012
on it, I *have* to release it before then!  There are two blockers, that I am
attempting to solve before going into beta.  1) the REST API needs an
authentication/authorization framework; 2) we need some kind of schema
migration approach.  Come on over to mailman-developers@ if you want to

I know there is at least one site using mm3 in production today.  I have some
patches that need to be applied to improve the API performance, but I'm
confident the core engine is pretty solid.

>I've written a number of Django apps using my own LDAP module, so I was also
>wondering if folks think now is a mature-enough time to perhaps grab Mailman
>3, its Django front-end, and hack together what I'm after?

Yes, I think now is a great time to do that.  The API is fleshed out enough
that you should be able to build a web-ui to communicate with it, or you can
help Florian and Terri drive the official web-ui toward release.

>A final, random question: Mailman 3 is still in alpha, but is it stable given
>that it's almost been in alpha for 4 years?

Nothing can replace actual field testing under real world conditions, but I'm
pretty confident about the core engine.  As I mentioned above, one way or
another it has to go to beta before Pycon. :)


More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list