[Balug-Admin] BALUG resources, lists, etc.

Michael Paoli Michael.Paoli@cal.berkeley.edu
Fri Dec 28 17:22:08 PST 2007

Quoting Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>:

> > (2) Using the listadmin-accessible-only setting creates an implication
> > of hypercontrol and creates the suspicion in the minds of many of us
> > mailing list old-timers that this is yet another forum run by control

> And yes, I've seen a couple of mailing lists where such warning signs
> _do_ correctly indicate that such passive-aggressive, control-freak
> behaviour is endemic among the listadmin staff.

Well, hopefully "we" (BALUG) aren't too likely to run into such
problems ... though it's not necessarily always feasible to alay all

I generally try to be sure we've got at least 3 or more people that have
control of any one resource - particularly critical resource(s) - so we
can avoid single points of failure or other nasty bottlenecks or
problems.  We're not quite fully there, but we're fairly close.  E.g.
3 folks have full access to BALUG stuff on DreamHost.com (though 1 has
ultimate control), new.balug.org/sf-lug.com. has 3 or more folks with
full access (except physical access - we should eventually tweak that
a bit) - upcoming / in-process system/resource builds generally have
similar access (e.g. 3 or more folks) or such is a work-in-progress.
On the lists, there are numerous folks that have the list admin password,
though the present list hosting has ultimate DreamHost.com dependencies -
at least at present.  We also have backups of at least the most critical
stuff that's presently on DreamHost.com - so if we ever had to do a
rough transition, it would be feasible.  We're working on DNS (still in
the hands of exactly one busy person - but amenable to changing that).

As the number of subscribers on a list increases, and if all on the list
can get the e-mail addresses of everyone on the list, the probability of
abuse increases (e.g. we'll likely soon have over 500 e-mail addresses
on our "announce" list).  We probably have "more than enough" folks that
have access to the list roster (probably at least half a dozen or more
folks) - so the probability of someone successfully coopting the list and
denying access to most or all of the subscriber e-mail addresses to BALUG
is quite low.

Some of the denying list roster access to all subscribers is also driven
by administrative laziness^Wefficiency - the quickest and easist way I
presently have* to grab list of subscribers (for our backup purposes) doesn't
show those that have set their option to "hide" their name/e-mail from
the roster - by not letting all subscribers have access to the list, and
by clearing that "hide" option where it's set, it allows easier grabbing of
all the addresses for backup purposes (admin can find the "hidden" addresses
anyway, ... it's just more of a pain to get to them) ... but I wouldn't want
to expose the "hidden" e-mail addresses to all subscribers, either.  I
also removed the text from the list descriptions that indicates whether or
not the roster is available to all subscribers - I figure it's simpler to
not explicity state what's the case (and run risk of text not matching
current practice), and whether or not roster is available to all can be
change as/when needed or appropriate as an administrative decision -
without need to change the list description again or imply that we'll
necessariliy keep it set one way or the other.

*if you know of something easier, let me/us know.  Note that we're rather
restricted on our DreamHost.Com hosted service.  Easiest I know of so far
is, e.g.:

> By the way, speaking of typing gaffes, I just did some very minor and
> insufferably pedantic copyediting fixes to the new text on the listinfo
> pages:
Ah, ... thanks.  (Yes, I didn't get all "A"s in English).
> o  "Linux":  Since it's not an acronym, "LINUX" really wasn't right.
Yes, ... bad old habit ... I'm trying to get myself to generally use
Linux instead of LINUX.

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