[ntp:questions] forwarding

Per Hedeland per at hedeland.org
Wed Mar 16 23:03:16 UTC 2005

In article <mailman.13.1110963769.588.questions at lists.ntp.isc.org> Brad
Knowles <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org> writes:
>	For the more clueful members, no the gateway is not strictly 
>required.  It just makes working with the group a lot easier, since 
>messages can be handled right along side all your other e-mail, and 
>you don't have to waste your time going out to the newsgroup on top 
>of everything else.

Yes, that's basically what I said - some people *prefer* the e-mail
interface - it's not some absolute matter of "making things easier",
just personal preference. Others (like me) find newsgroups vastly
superior as discussion forums, and frequently gateway mailing lists into
newsgroups just for that reason.

>	A lot of the damage comes from clients whose behaviour we cannot 
>control.  Once critical information has been stripped out, we can't 
>add it back.  For the moment, once a client includes yet another copy 
>of the prefix in the "Subject:" header, we can't strip that out.

I've never seen a single occurance of multiple prefixes - anyone else?
But you never strip a single prefix out, so I don't really see the
relevance of this comment.

>>     In contrast, preserving the Message-ID means that the buck in
>>     principle stops the second time someone tries to feed the message
>>     into Usenet - it will be rejected since the message already exists
>>     (for those that don't know it, this is a fundamental property of the
>>     Usenet flood distribution mechanism).
>	Having witnessed frequent floods of unimaginable proportions, I 
>can tell you that this algorithm is not sufficient.

Again I don't see the relevance - we're not talking about floods of
unimaginable proportions, but about the trickle of messages gatewayed
to/from this newsgroup. Either way, even if the algorithm isn't
foolproof, actively defeating it by modifying the Message-ID certainly
doesn't help.

>>                                                   Saying that "the MUA
>>  put it there" makes about as much sense as saying that the MUA produced
>>  the text of the message - technically correct, but entirely pointless.
>	No, not pointless.  Not pointless at all.
>	Mailman goes out of its way to ensure that it is not directly 
>responsible for adding a copy of the subject prefix to messages which 
>are posted to the newsgroup.

I've not claimed otherwise - the problem is the prefix that mailman puts
there for messages going to the mailing list, which is preserved in
replies composed by standards-compliant MUAs, and still preserved when
those replies are gatewayed to the newsgroup by mailman. Saying that
"the MUA put it there" *is* pointless, but nevermind.

>>  From the source I looked at, this would be a quick one-liner to fix - no
>>  need to sit around waiting for the next "official release".
>	Uh, no.  It's not a one-liner fix.  That's what i thought, and I 
>tried it, and it doesn't work.

Maybe you made a mistake. (In case you expected "origsubj" to be
prefix-less, that was probably the mistake.)

>>                                                               Removal of
>>  the Message-ID munging might actually require commenting out more than
>>  one line, IIRC.
>	You can't just comment out this code.  You're going to have to 
>come up with a real fix for this issue, if you want to have a 
>snowball's chance of getting the gateway configuration to changed so 
>that it no longer creates it's own Message-ID: header.
>>                   The ability to modify and fix is after all one of the
>>  major advantages with using open-source software.
>	If you can come up with a patch that provably achieves the 
>desired goal, please feel free to upload it to the Mailman Patch 
>Tracker at <http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=103&atid=300103>.

Well, this attitude will get us nowhere. It's quite clear that the
mailman developers think that what they're doing is the Right Thing, and
even though I obviously disagree, it's their software and they decide
how it should work. I have no desire to spend a lot of (probably futile)
effort trying to convince them otherwise, in fact I don't really care
how mailman does mail->news gatewaying.

All I want is to get a usable comp.protocols.time.ntp back, and I'm
prepared to help with achieving that limited goal. Since I gathered that
using mailman's builtin functionality for the gatewaying was a given,
the obvious solution was to do the needed modifications to the copy of
the mailman software that is being used for this gatewaying.

But of course local mods can be a bit of a headache maintenance-wise
(though not much if you keep the softare in e.g. CVS, which has specific
support for such things) - so maybe another alternative could be to just
let mailman manage the mailing list, and do the gatewaying outside of

--Per Hedeland
per at hedeland.org

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