[svlug] Mappery breakthrough : UPDATE

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Mar 15 09:01:21 PST 2006

Quoting Bear Tooth (Beartooth at adelphia.net):
> On Mon, 13 Mar 2006, Marc MERLIN wrote:
> > [snipped fedora-list at redhat.com, wine-users at winehq.com, please do 
> > not cross post across totally different lists that each require 
> > list membership to post]
>  	My apologies. I had stated the problem on svlug, and figured 
> that meant I owed it a followup when I had a solution or something 
> close to it, if only to forestall some helpful soul from spending 
> long effort composing a reply that contained what I had just gotten.
>  	As for the membership requirement : like a number of others 
> (which could probably be ascertained) who lurk more than we post, I 
> follow every list I can on Gmane. Some will let you post from it on 
> Gmane's assurance, some require individual subscription, and some 
> have other conditions -- and it's beyond me to keep track of, alas!

Pardon my interjecting, but I think I can further explain Marc's point:
Because of the spam problem, practically all modern mailing lists
autoaccept only posts from subscribed addresses.  Other poss get
(variously) either automatically rejected or (more often) held for
manual listadmin/moderator[1] approval.

One's initial post across several such mailing lists will initially
_seem_ non-problematic, if you the poster subscribe to all of the
destination mailing lists (as will typically be the case).[2]
Unfortunately, matters tend to rapidly get much worse when and if
_other_ subscribers on any of those mailing lists reply -- because 
statistically they'll tend to be members of only -one- of the
destination lists.

Consequently, each such followup post will tend to cause (escalating) 
unnecessary work for the mailing list administrators of n-1 of the n 
mailing lists you initially posted to -- in the form of needless
"moderating" of such non-subscriber mail.  The higher n (number of
lists) is, and the more active each list, the more likely that is to

Moreover -- again, statistically speaking -- one is much more likely to 
trigger flamewars through crossposted topics.  The resulting
conflagrations then tend to be (for obvious reasons) much more massive
than one confimed to a single mailing list.  Note that this outcome can 
occur, even if you had no thought of provoking anyone.

As it turned out, other than Marc (and me), who carefully _overrode_
your crosspost header list and limited distribution just to the
svlug at lists.svlug.org mailing list alone, fortunately nobody else, 
and nobody on any of the _other_ lists, seems to have felt compelled to
reply (or, at least not preserving your distribution list).  However,
ironically, your _own_ followup post (to which I'm replying) _did_ 
get held for admin approval, because (unlike your origianl) it arrived
from a posting address not subscribed to this list.

(And yes, I'm -- mostly -- the guy who as a Mailman-type "moderator"
deals with those messes for SVLUG, and was obliged to manually approve
your most recent post.  No big problem, but I just thought I'd explain
why Marc's right and it'd be appreciated if you would avoid doing that
in the future, here and elsewhere.)

>  	The point was supposed to be that the breakthrough, if it is 
> one (as I still think), is indeed not yet a victory.

Intending absolutely no criticism:  Have you considered chronicling
your progress on a blog?  It might be a better medium for your project's
notes, judging by your recent posts, and better preserve the record for
those that follow.  In my personal view, the posts read a bit more 
like technical blog entries, and less like the sort of discussion that 
typifies mailing lists.  Just a thought.

[1] The Mailman list-management software somewhat misleadingly uses the
term "moderator" to denote someone with a limited subset of the full
listadmin authority, e.g., me in this case.  You should not infer that
the _forum_ is a moderated one in the more general sense, as that is
typically not the case.

[2] Exception:  Most mailng lists will hold posts for
listadmin/moderator approval even in that case, if more than a specified
number of recipients have been named in the To: or Cc: header.  
Mailman's default value for maximum recipients is 10.  Additionally, 
essentially any mailing list will hold your post if you Bcc: the list

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