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Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] new mailing list blurb

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] new mailing list blurb
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 15:16:59 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

Sylvain Beucler wrote:
> - We at Savannah represent a strong stand against services that keep
>   their source code private (such as SourceForge, of course). Hence,
>   we need a permanent location where the listhelper source code can be
>   downloaded, if possible with instructions on how to set it up at
>   other places. If the license is AGPL, all the better :)

The custom source is licensed under the GPL and is free software.  The
main part of listhelper is a shell script and a procmail file plus a
few other associated files and crontabs.  The message catagorization
is done by SpamAssassin.  There are some custom spam filter rules
based upon 'grep' and 'md5sum'.  Some Ruby is used for mime component
handling.  Listhelper is an aggregation of available technologies.
All of the projects used are available under a free software license.

Most of the contribution is really the server cpu time it takes to
process messages plus the babysitting needed to manage it because the
nature of spam is that the environment is always in motion around it.
I frequently write custom spam filter rules that are good for about
two weeks before they become stale.  A snapshot of the custom part of
the spam rules this winter would be quite stale this next spring.

The babysitting of the hold queues by the listhelper volunteers is a
critical element.  Without the human review the system would not work.
The listhelper scripts enable human review of the mailing list hold
queues more efficiently than was previously possible.

A problem with distributing listhelper code is one of preparing it for
generic distribution such that it would work in a generic environment.
I wrote it in situ specifically for the purpose for which it is
working now and it would take some effort to make it transportable.
Also the GNU Mail system was announced which if completed would make
listhelper obsolete.  Listhelper was written to bridge the gap until
then.  Therefore there wasn't a lot of reason to do this in
anticipation of it being replaced.


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