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Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] help-grub and bug-grub

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] help-grub and bug-grub
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 16:25:01 -0600

    We moderate non-subscriber email.

That is, "we", meaning a small group of volunteers of whom Bob and I are
two, are willing to moderate non-subscriber email to any GNU lists for
which there is no one else willing.  (We already handle dozens.)  If you
want us to help with help-grub, just say the word and I will add
address@hidden as a moderator.

As for standards.texi and maintain.texi, I guess I didn't ask rms to
explicitly proclaim "don't make user lists subscriber-only" in our
latest round of updates in this area, but it's pretty well implied by
the importance of bug reports in the Dealing with Mail section.  Anyway,
I see no need to be legalistic about it, partly because:

My experience is that subscriber-only lists implemented using the
standard mailman feature (reject/discard) don't work well, and I
strongly recommend never setting up a list that way.  That is not to say
that subscriber-only lists don't have their place; they do.  But the
best way to have them is to set them up as normal moderated lists and
then manually reject the occasional message from an "outsider" (or, more
likely, accept them), while not advertising the existence of the list.

What this amounts to is the generic_nonmember_action setting in mailman.
If this is anything but "hold", problems ensue:

- if it is "accept", spam will get through to the list.  Obviously bad.

- if it is "discard", then real messages either from outsiders or from
  insiders who are posting from a different address will silently disappear.
- if it is "reject", then every spam message, including forged spam from
  real messages, will get a bogus reply.  This uselessly increases load
  on the server and increases the chance of us getting blacklisted.
  (This has happened, more than once.)

Therefore "we" have developed this listhelper system in order to make
working with generic_nonmember_action=hold as efficient as possible.  We
ourselves handle more lists than anyone else, so believe me, we don't
want to inflict a single unnecessary step anywhere in the process.

"We" also welcome new members to become part of "us" :).


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