[ntp:questions] forwarding

Brad Knowles brad at stop.mail-abuse.org
Thu Mar 17 02:05:08 UTC 2005

At 11:03 PM +0000 2005-03-16, Per Hedeland wrote:

>                                           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 count myself as one of the Mailman developers.  I help maintain 
the mailman-users and mailman-developers mailing lists, and the 
overall mail system for python.org.  I've got full root access to all 
the affected machines.  I've made a few minor hacks to Mailman and 
submitted them via the patch tracker.  I'm also on various internal 
mailing lists related to the python.org site, Mailman in general, 

	I'm not Barry, or Chuq, or Tokio.  I'm not one of the core 
developers.  I'm not a part of the internal cabal that gets woken up 
at 2AM when there's a new zero-day security hole that has been found. 
But I do consider myself to be a member of the greater Mailman 
developer community.

	Speaking as one of the Mailman developers, I feel that I can 
safely say that we are open to any improvements you may have.  In 
this particular case, the code that we have today is what we have 
arrived at through hard lessons learned through unpleasant direct 
experience.  I've got quite a bit of experience as a news 
administrator at a top-rated European site, but I'm not a programmer, 
and it's hard for me to judge the overall technical capabilities and 
deficiencies of code in this area.

	However, if you have something that will solve the problem 
better, then more power to you.  In that case, please feel free to 
upload your suggested code changes to the patch tracker, and let me 
know once you have.  Tokio (the Release Engineer for Mailman 2.x) has 
already done a couple of things on special request for me (both of 
which are being incorporated into the upcoming 2.1.6 release), and I 
imagine that I'll be able to get him to take a look at your 
submission in a reasonably short period of time.

>  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.

	You're not going to get any changes made to the mailing list 
management system we run, without going through the proper Mailman QA 
process.  I'll muck about with whatever code on a test system, but 
I'm not going to do risky things on a production system.  Part of 
that process means that the code has to be approved by Tokio, or he 
has to create his own code based on the concept.

	If the code change is significant, then I'm not going to run with 
a patched system -- you're going to have to wait until the code in 
question gets included in an official release version.

>  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
>  mailman?

	That offer has been made before, but I trust other mail-to-news 
gateways less than I do Mailman.  We have known limitations and 
issues, but they're known.  I don't trust anyone else's code in this 
area as far as I can bodily throw their planet of residence.

Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

     -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
     Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

   SAGE member since 1995.  See <http://www.sage.org/> for more info.

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