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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Project

From: cool-RR
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Project
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 00:43:56 +0200

Hello Victor.

Thanks for your reply.

On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 12:23 AM, VICTOR TARABOLA CORTIANO <> wrote:
> I would like to add that Librelist is a much need alternative to existing
> mailing list solutions. Let's say that a group of people are trying
> to collaborate over a FOSS project. These people usually need a mailing
> list. What options do they have?
> There are two sets of options: (1) commercial solutions and (2) self-hosted
> open-source solution.
> provides mailing lists. I believe and sf too.

Thanks for the information. I have not known them before. Whether they are a viable alternative depends on the quality of their service, which I have no idea about. Perhaps people here have experience with them and would care to comment?
> Commercial mailing list providers, such as Google and Yahoo, have a lot of
> resources in their disposal that could in principle be used for providing a
> great mailing list service. But that's not what happens in practice. To
> paraphrase a comment from Librelist's founder Zed Shaw, Google and Yahoo
> optimize their services to give the best experience for the user; Problem
> is, from their perspective, the "user" is not the person trying to
> communicate on the mailing list, but the advertiser paying Google/Yahoo for
> advertising on the mailing list.

In other words, google groups and yahoo are worthless crap.

Not completely worthless crap, they have some nice features, but as a complete solution they are problematic.

> The second approach is to use mailing list software such as mailman or
> piper. This has two problems:
> (1) It requires a server for hosting the list, and a system administrator t=
> o
> configure and maintain the mailing list. For some projects this is a big
> barrier, for others it's merely a waste of time and resources.

Fair enough for very small projects.

> (2) The popular mailing list programs are not very good. Take mailman for
> example, which is used for this mailing list. It does many things which may
> have been considered acceptable 10 years ago, but not today. The
> subscription process is cumbersome,

$ mail listname-subscribe@host is anything but cumbersome.

> the program sends the user his password in plain text,

Just don't put an important password there. I don't even store my
passwords since I can unsubscribe by mail.

And you don't even need to provide a password.

> and generally its interface looks like a 1995 website.

Mailman does it job well, it's free software and provides easy to
set up archives. What else do you want? Dancing balloney?

I could address your points one-by-one, but if you're the kind of person who considers `mailman` to be a convenient and effective service, then I believe no meaningful communication can occur between us, at least on this matter.
> I think that the FSF should sponsor this project. I think it wouldn't
> require a big amount of resources, but it will require the persistence and
> reliability over time that FSF can provide.

Why don't you mail the guy from Librelist and the FSF to see
what happens?

This is what I just did. I asked whether this is the proper place to introduce a project to the FSF, and was asked about the project, and then introduced it.

Victor, I got the impression that you are an experienced programmer who can do most computer-related things very easily, and knows Linux very well. Congrats to you. But there are many people who contribute to FOSS and whose technical skills are much less developed than yours. For these people, tasks that may be trivial to you, like administering a mailman server, may be in fact very hard. I've had these people in mind when I introduced this project.

Also, please cut down on the sarcasm and terseness when sending me any messages in the future. If this is unacceptable to you, you are free to ignore any messages I send to the list.


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