K.S. Bhaskar on 14 Sep 2016 10:53:42 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Replacement mailing list idea

I realize PLUG is for do-it-yourself-ers, but why not set up a Google Group (or a Yahoo Group, or…). It's less work, we're not dependent on an individual, and searching past discussions is easier.

-- Bhaskar

On Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 12:45 PM, Rich Kulawiec <rsk@gsp.org> wrote:
I sent a couple of comments off-list, so let me send this one on-list.

On Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 10:50:57AM -0400, Rich Freeman wrote:
> I'd suggest that this be done using a donated service, or by somebody
> who has significant experience in such things.  I know enough about
> mailing lists and spam filters and such to know that I wouldn't want
> to treat this task lightly.  It isn't rocket science, but we would
> want competence and stability.

I'd be happy to host it here (well, firemountain.net, actually).  I'm
semi-local (Maryland) after moving from the Philadelphia area, and have
been hosting the NoVaLug (Northern Virginia LUG) mailing list for several
years, along with a dozen others that have been around much longer.

I'm running the latest Mailman 2.X version (2.1.23) on a stable stack of
sendmail/OpenBSD.  I've done list migrations before (from majordomo 1,
majordomo 2, listerv, and Yahoo), so I know how to massage the archives
in order to preserve data.  And with 30+ years of mailing list and
mail system experience, including some very large operations, I think
I can handle this.

Everything is configured-controlled and backed up daily in order to
minimize the possibility of dataloss events and to allow me to back
out changes if they don't turn out well.  Downtime is minimal: last
outage was 3+ months ago when the datacenter hit a perfect storm of
extremely high temperatures, a UPS that did, a generator that did,
and a cutover relay that didn't.  Before that: over a year.

I'm evaluating Mailman 3.X.  No timetable yet: I'm still kicking the
tires and getting used to it.

This migration would actually be pretty simple:

        - clone the list's configuration file from the current one
        - update for 2.1.23 including DMARC mitigation (ugh)
        - set new list to temporary moderation
        - import the current list's "mbox" and rebuild archives
        - grab the current list roster, check against anti-spam
                controls, then invite everyone to the new list [1]
        - pick a cutover date, on that date turn off the old list,
                turn off the temp moderation flag on the new one
        - import the delta between old list's mbox (now) and
                when last imported (then), add to archives
        - at this point, the new list is running and has a complete
                archive of the old list, plus its own ongoing one

        [1] Well worth doing. Copious past experience indicates
        that this is not only a good way of pruning addresses
        that have been abandoned (but are still accepting mail)
        but it's also a good way of spotting any false positives
        in the anti-spam system and quashing them before the new
        list goes live.


Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --        http://www.phillylinux.org
Announcements - http://lists.phillylinux.org/mailman/listinfo/plug-announce
General Discussion  --   http://lists.phillylinux.org/mailman/listinfo/plug

Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --        http://www.phillylinux.org
Announcements - http://lists.phillylinux.org/mailman/listinfo/plug-announce
General Discussion  --   http://lists.phillylinux.org/mailman/listinfo/plug