[meta-sig] Switchover to mailman

John Viega jtv2j@cs.virginia.edu
Fri, 27 Feb 1998 12:21:38 -0500 (EST)

> On Fri, 27 Feb 1998, Markus Fleck wrote:
> > Greg Stein (Exchange) wrote:
> > > Also, why just list it in plain text? Let's just go ahead and create
> > > mailto: links. That will be very handy.
> > 
> > I still cannot see *any* reason why the list of subscribers
> > should be available on the web *at all*. Could anybody give
> > me just *one* reasonable example scenario of why if might be
> > useful to have subscriber addresses on the web?
> I have to say, there are several ways that i see the visibility being
> useful.  Ofhand:
> 1) So list members can get a sense of who they're talking to when they
>    post.
> 2) As a point of reference when seeking the address of a person that you
>    know is involved in the subject.
> 3) To get a sense of the overall attention the list topic has.  (The
>    numbers of subscribers displayed even in privacy mode is probably
>    sufficient for this purpose.)
> The thing i'm weighing here is usefulness of the feature - i think those
> things above are significant for building a community, as well as for
> individual purposes - versus potential nuisance.  It does seem to me
> that the *option* to inhibit visibility should be enough for people that
> object to having their names spider-visible.  This would suggest that
> it's ok to make visibility the default setting, but do a bit more to
> point out the visibility, and how to change it, in the list welcome
> messages, for those that would be concerned.  However, i could be
> convinced that the visibility is just too open, somehow.  I think this
> discussion is helpful - but i certainly think there are valid reasons
> for having the list membership available, the question is how available.

Part of the motivation for making the big list of emails visible, is
that people will often forget what info they gave you when they
originally signed up, and not really know how to find out.  Some
people will only try so many of their email accounts before they
figure it is just easier to spam the list until someone else removes
them.  I saw that happening pretty often, which is why you go to your
options page by clicking on your email address, but have the option to
type it in.  However, if the list admin makes it so only the type-in
box works, which is easy to do, then people can still get a list of
email addresses through email (saving people who explicitly request
their address be withheld).

I can see the spam concern, nonetheless. I myself prefer a solution
where all the info is there, but it doesn't look like an address to a
web crawler.  I think that not using the email address on that page
takes away from the usability of the web pages, which is important to

I would perhaps suggest going with a table format where the machine
address goes first, and the userid goes second.  I also liked the
"@"->" at " suggestion.

|John Viega        	   "The public at large tends to confuse the       |
|viega@list.org             composing of a symphony with the writing of    |
|http://list.org/~viega/    its score."                                    |
|University of Virginia             -- Edsger Dijkstra                     |