[volunteers] Visibility & Volunteering

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Nov 7 12:36:45 PST 2013

Quoting Tim Utschig (tim at tetro.net):

> web team duties

Explanation of one small bit of weirdness:

During the J. Paul Reed / Bill Ward administration (March, 28, 2005),
Reed suddenly decided to have Ward delete _all_ of the SVLUG
working-team mailing lists without con


This was done somewhat incompetently (which was lucky).  Ward failed to
delete the archives, and just clobbered the mailing list definitions.

Ward also created 'Volunteers' as a private-archive,
subscription-restricted mailing list that they intended to replace all of 
the prior team mailing lists.

I was at that time head of the Web Team, and pointed out to Ward that 
the Web Team needed information in the web-team at lists.svlug.org archives
that he'd just made inaccessible by deleting the mailing list
definition, and asked when I could get them back.  Ward never gave me a
real reply:  It turned out, the real problem was that Reed and Ward had
no idea what they were doing, and had no understanding of how Mailman

After they left office, I did my best to repair their damage (in part
because their attitude of 'We're going to delete your discussion forums
to get you to move to a new one' and refusal to fix the consequences
pissed me off).  I resurrected
web-team at lists.svlug.org.  'speakers' had some past postings of possible
interest, so I resurrected it as a read-only archive.  'lsec' had
nothing worth saving.


The web-team at lists.svlug.org mailing list has hardly any traffic -- and
ironically I'm not sure it has much purpose for ongoing existence
alongside this one -- but one thing to know about it is that any
incoming mail to 'webmaster at svlug.org', e.g., via the mailto links on
our Web pages, gets redirected there by an /etc/aliases entry.   In
practice, _most_ such mail is held for listadmin approval, but upon
approval goes to web-team and not here.

When something significant and non-spam arrives there, I (or Mark
Weisler) will approve the post to web-team, and then forward the mail
separately to Volunteers so that more people see it.

Anyway, you might want to subscribe to web-team (if you aren't already).

The way hold-for-approval works:

We have two actually _moderated_ mailing lists, Jobs and svlug-announce.
'Moderated' means that anyone subscribing gets the flag called
'moderated' on his/her subscription by default, so any post from that
sending address gets held for approval.

All of our other mailing lists are unmoderated, meaning that anyone
subscribing has _no_ 'moderated' flag on his/her subscription by
default.  Any posting arriving from a subscribed address goes through to
Mailman automatically.  Any post arriving from a non-subscribed address
is held for review.  Any held post not approved within a set number days
expires from the admin queue.

The listadmins (currently me and Mark) get sent daily summaries of held
postings.  Almost all held postings are spam; the most expedient
treatment of those is to ignore them and they'll expire out.

When the listadmin approves a held posting, he/she has the option of
ticking a checkbox on the Web form to add that sending address to a
roster of addresses prospectively permitted to post to the mailing list
in question even if not subscribed.  Because Volunteers and web-team are
both points of contact via 'role' /etc/alias entries, it's our habit to 
tick that checkbox on any sending address we might want to hear from
again, e.g., the Joker.com reminder robot about domain renewals.  That
way, we don't risk missing important subsequent mail from that address.

We carry out that practice on (most) posts held for Volunteers and
web-team, but not posts held for other mailing lists such as (in
particular) svlug at lists.svlug.org because of a difference:

The other mailing lists are not targets for /etc/alias 'role' entries
that way, e.g., president at svlug.org and speakers at svlug.org redirects to
Volunteers and webmaster at svlug.org redirects to web-team.  They are
purely subscription-based discussion forums.  Occasionally, someone's
discussion post gets held for approval because the sender
absent-mindedly sent it from an alternate, non-subscribed address rather
than the address he/she subscribed.  It _used_ to be our practice to
tick the checkbox as a courtesy and help to our members.  The problem is
that any address on a Mailman lists' roster of addresses permitted to
post even if not subscribed is that the roster is exempted from _all_
Mailman rules for that mailing list.  We found out the hard way that
this is a bad idea.  So, lately, standard practice is to reject the
posting with a really polite note explaining the issue and suggesting a
re-send and also suggesting subscribing any alternate addresses with the
'nomail' subscription option set..


More information about the volunteers mailing list