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Re: google groups and Usenet

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Re: google groups and Usenet
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2005 13:57:55 -0400

On  9-Sep-2005, Shai Ayal wrote:

| Can you please elaborate on the amount and type of work required ?

Here is how the lists currently work:

  * Handled by Smartlist (built on procmail).  Might be better to use
    MailMan so that we could have a web interface.  Some people have
    requested this, but I have no time to set it up.  If someone were
    to take over the job of managing the mailing lists, this would
    probably be something they could do.

  * To post, you must be a subscriber.  This cuts out most but not all
    spam (sometimes we see spam that appears to come from subscribers
    but is really just spam with faked From: lines).

  * Postings that come from people not subscribed to the lists are
    bounced to the moderator (currently just me, but would be better
    to share this job among several people so that vacations don't
    disrupt the mail from non-subscribers).  I generally bounce
    messages from non-subscribers to the lists, but will sometimes ask
    people who are posting frequently to subscribe, or I sometimes add
    them to the secondary accept list so their messages will be
    accepted even if they are not subscribed.  I don't know how you
    would manage this part if postings can come from usenet.

  * Spam filtering is also done on the lists using spamassassin.

  * Archiving and updating the HTML indices is done as the messages
    come in using some home-brew scripts.  These could probably be
    replaced by something more standard and better, but I don't have
    the time to investigate or implement.

  * Indexing (currently using glimpse, but there must be a better
    solution as the code I am using is no longer part of Debian).

  * The mailing list management and archiving must be performed with
    free software.  We can't afford to be locked in to some
    proprietary solution that might not be available to us in the

  * It is important that bug reports sent to address@hidden are never
    dropped, whether they come from a subscriber or not.


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