[Volunteers] "As an anti-spam measure"?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jul 15 17:40:02 PDT 2005

Note:  SVLUG's two elected officers[1] decided, when they set up this
organisational mailing list and nuked a bunch of others without
consulting or informing anyone else, that this mailing list would have its
archive viewable only by its subscribers, and its membership roster
viewable only by themselves.  A perfectly sufficient reason for both of
those things is "Because we wanted to."  That matter is therefore -not-
the subject of this message.

Something from the other day gave me a double-take, so I thought I'd
best revisit it:

Bill Ward wrote:

> Volunteers list archives are visible to list subscribers only, as an
> antispam measure.


I'm pretty sure I know a lot about Mailman and exim, and a lot about
spam.  But that sentence of yours makes _no_ sense.  

The only _conceivable_ and extremely weak sense in which some people
_might_ classify nonpublic archives as an "antispam measure" is that it 
makes it necessary for spammers to briefly join the mailing list (e.g.,
via their scripts for that purpose) before they can harvest
Mailman-munged e-mail addresses from the Web archives -- a tiny hurdle
for.  But then, if that's the reason why volunteers@'s archive is
nonpublic, _why isn't svlug@'s_ nonpublic, too?

Logic therefore suggests that the cited reason is completely bogus, and
that you guys defined the archive as nonpublic -- quite simply -- in
order to keep it out of view of the general public.  Obviously.

(You'll have to decide for yourself, but personally, I'd think giving 
bright technical people blatantly phony technical justifications 
is... unwise.)

That aside:  You asked (earlier) for suggestions of "policy changes"
(presumably concerning mailing lists).  Summarising my existing four 

Suggestion 1:  Move all list policy to list-policy.shtml & job-policy.shtml .
Suggestion 2:  Truncate job-policy.shtml, starting at "But I heard..."
Suggestion 3:  Snip non-list-policy material from list-policy.shtml .
Suggestion 4:  Start a collaborative FAQ for svlug at lists.svlug.org.

Note:  I'd assumed the connection between suggestions 3 & 4 was obvious,
but given that you've so far rejected #3, maybe I should be more explicit:
The FAQ is where one could park whatever of that material deserves keeping.

I'll now add:
Suggestion 5:  Make svlug@ & volunteers@ rosters visible to their subscribers.

http://lists.svlug.org/lists/listinfo/svlug currently has:
   svlug Subscribers
   (The subscribers list is only available to the list administrator.)

http://lists.svlug.org/lists/listinfo/volunteers currently has:
   Volunteers Subscribers
   (The subscribers list is only available to the list administrator.)

[1] Judging by Bill Ward's recent post, he's decided that, in a marked
break from SVLUG's entire prior history, he and Paul alone are "officers";
the rest of us are "volunteers".  Again that is not a complaint; it's 
their judgement call, which obvious is being presented to us as a fait
accompli:  I just wanted to render explicit what we're being told
implicitly.  Again, I see this as part of the trend of centralisation
that's marked their administration.

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