[Mailman3-dev] Flexible data storage

Kevin McCann kmccann at bellanet.org
Mon Mar 15 15:14:23 EST 2004

Dale Newfield wrote:

> A mailing list package is a tool for distributing messages. It is the
>pipeline through which messages pass.  As such it should be described by
>the pipeline, not by the items passing through it.  While I agree two of
>the most basic concepts in the system are lists and subscribers, I am
>completely unconvinced that this system should contain the messages
>passing through it once the tool has done it's job.  This is not a message
>repository--if it is, then what you want is usenet, or yahoo groups, or
>some other tool.  You are welcome to build a new yahoo groups, and I will
>be glad to shape the mailman design in such a way that it can be a useful
>tool to help you do just that.  I don't, however, want mailman to *be*
>that tool.  I want it to do well that which it does, and in a highly
>configurable manner so it can be utilized in *many* larger systems.

I do not believe our goals are mutually exclusive. The last third of 
your paragraph is precisely what I'm getting at. I don't expect MM3 to 
be a yahoo groups (I thought I was clear on this), but it would be nice 
for others to be able to develop a yahoo groups or a whatever-groups 
using MM3 as the backend. Or to use MM3 data in something else like an 
exisitng CMS. To that end, it would be nice to turn on SQL storage of 
data, including messages, as a *choice*. Not unlike how personalization 
is a choice, at the expense of performance. The choice is there because 
the need is there.

I envision a MM3 which can both a) focus on message delivery and 
*nothing* more, and b) be flexible with regard to data storage, 
including archives, all depending on the need.  Those who want to 
deliver mail and nothing more can do just that. So be it. And those who 
want to develop exciting. community building tools can do so, too, using 

I believe there is room to think beyond what the definition of a mailing 
list is, at least in as far as you have decribed it in your first few 
sentences.  What you have said may be true, historically, but must it 
always be so? This is MM3, a new beginning. Surely we ought to be able 
to move beyond traditional definitions in our thinking. But again, I see 
nothing wrong with having an MLM that can run in "traditional mode" or 
"enhanced mode."  The need is there.

- Kevin

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