Rich Kulawiec on 14 Sep 2016 11:21:49 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Replacement mailing list idea

On Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 01:53:33PM -0400, K.S. Bhaskar wrote:
> 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.

Because both are poorly run, because Yahoo's future as a corporation is
highly questionable (as is Yahoo Groups: look at what they just did to
Yahoo IM with less than two months' warning), because Google is famous
for being completely unresponsive to requests for support or help,
because Google Groups has a longstanding and serious spam problem,
and because exporting your data from them isn't easy.  (Try getting a
complete copy of your Yahoo Group in *any* format, let alone one that's
an open standard like "mbox".  Or try getting any kind of useful response
from mandatory RFC 2142 role addresses at Google.)

As to search, you can use any search engine you want on any public
mailing list archive, since all of them are indexed; or you can simply
keep a local mirror and use the search of your choice (which is what I
do: sometimes that's "grepmail", which is an overlooked but surprising
powerful tool, and sometimes that's Solr).

Also note that Mailman 3.X has some pretty good search capabilities of
its own, so that's eventually coming down the road.  It's also moving
in the direction of integration between mailing lists and Usenet newsgroups
(already well-supported) and web-based discussion forums (newly there).

A larger solution for this would be to have various LUGs federate and
migrate their lists to a single operation, which would provide economies
of scale and make it easier for smaller LUGs to have the same quality
service as larger ones.  It'd have to be done carefully in order to
avoid creating single-point-of-failure issues, but it really could be
done without too much fuss because no individual LUG's lists have all
that many members or all that much traffic.


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