[ntp:questions] forwarding

Per Hedeland per at hedeland.org
Thu Mar 17 22:59:35 UTC 2005

In article <mailman.17.1111025340.588.questions at lists.ntp.isc.org> Brad
Knowles <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org> writes:
>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, 

Well, I daresay that your definition of "developer" differs rather
substantially from the norm, but of course you may count yourself as
whatever you wish - and I'm sure it's appreciated that someone helps out
with the thankless administrative tasks.

>	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.

It's not a matter of code quality, but of policy/design decisions. Given
the references you have provided, it's clear that the developers have
had to explain and motivate their standpoint regarding the Message-ID
munging numerous times - if it was just a matter of coding, I'm sure
they'd much rather spend a few minutes implementing a config option to
turn off the munging. But by all means ask your developer buddies if
they would be interested in incorporating a patch that implemented such
a thing.

>	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.

The bottom line here is that the fate of this newsgroup is not up to
Brad Knowles to decide, based on his attachment to some particular piece
of software or otherwise. It's not even up to the NTP developers to
decide, though of course they have the power to make the group mostly
useless by voting with their feet.

You have set up a gateway that sends non-Usenet-conformant messages into
a "global"/"official"/whatever Usenet newsgroup, and the proper response
to that is to tell you to turn the gateway off until you have fixed the
problem in whatever way you can manage. I'm trying to take a more
constructive standpoint, but frankly it seems to be a wasted effort.

--Per Hedeland
per at hedeland.org

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