[BALUG-Admin] list subscribed to list "vs." ...

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Mon Apr 13 18:51:30 PDT 2009

Quoting Michael Paoli (Michael.Paoli@cal.berkeley.edu):

> I don't recall having said "problems" ... I did say "potential
> complications" ... perhaps not best wording, but in either case, each
> method has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.  Either approach
> is valid and quite workable.

A fair point, and I agree.  I mainly wanted to dispel any doubts about
whether SVLUG's approach works (it works perfectly), and describe how to
do it.

I did find interesting, and appreciate, where you pointed out the one
clear drawback of SVLUG's approach to a small group of people:

> if we subscribed "talk" to "announce", then those getting
> "talk" digested, and not subscribed to "announce" would only see
> "announce" within digested "talk" e-mails)

This is a subtle point, that I'd actually forgotten about (mostly
because I tend to forget all about digest mode, considering it pretty
useless personally, and notice it mainly when people using it screw up
Subject headers or quote entire digests to append two-line comments on
one of the digest posts).  Part of what you're driving at, I think, is 
that someone seeing "announce" posts only within "talk" digests
conceivably might not get them in time at all -- and definitely might
miss them when they're buried in discussion digests.

The counter to that point is that, if they _really_ want to see
announcements, they'll just subscribe to the gosh-darned announce
mailing list anyway:  Considering we consistently keep it to 1-2 
postings per month, objecting to the level of traffic's pretty comical.

On your other point:

> it allows users to have separate per-list e-mail subscription
> addresses if they desire such

Wow, that's really stretching.  Again, if Joe User wants SVLUG
announcements (only) at his low-traffic work e-mail account, and other
traffic at his (say) GMail bulk mailbox, then he/she can accomplish
that, and can even filter out the reflected -announce postings within
the MUA or LDA setup.

Anyway, I personally just think the SVLUG approach is a whole lot less
baroque and fiddly.  If nothing else, compare how baroque and fiddly the
two groups' listinfo pages are.

This does seem like a good time to bring up a couple of other matters. 
One is that I have a mild ongoing bone to pick with my fellow BALUG
admins, which I suspect means mainly you, Michael.  That is, one or more
of you has had a habit of fiddling around with the mailing list
configurations without consulting with me first.

Why is it appropriate to consult with me first?  I'm not even going to
do more than mention in passing that I know mailing list administration,
particularly with GNU Mailman, inside and out, and thus know to avoid a
number of mistakes that the rest of you seem to have repeatedly rushed
enthusiastically into.  That's not really the point:  The point is that, 
when you muck about with how our mailing lists operate, _I'm_ the guy 
you screw up.

Look at the bottom of the listinfo page for any of our three mailing
lists.  Notice where it says "[foo]" mailing list run by [bar]".  In
every case, [bar] is "rick at linuxmafia.com" and nobody else.  I have
repeatedly had you guys screw things up, and *I* have been left holding
the buck.

Example:  I carefully explained (here) why I had set the retention
period to 3 days for all of our lists.  Not long after, I found that
somebody -- I believe, Michael -- had jacked that value to 21 days, 
resulting in a huge jump in spam volume in _my_ mailbox and not any
other admin's.  I then patiently explained in this space why I was
adjusting it back, trying really hard not to jump down anyone's throat.

A while later, I explained that I was going to be out of the country on
holiday, and that somebody would need to cover for me as listadmin.
Nobody did, by the way -- but, when I got back, I noticed that someone
in my absence had disabled the delivery of individual notices about
messages held for listadmin attention.

Why was this a problem?  Because it directly sabotaged my ability to 
diligently handle some of those posts.  I could see in the daily summary
of held messages that there _had_ been some non-spam held messages.
However, because per-message delivery had been switched off, and because
the messages had expired out of queue after 3 days, I was completely
deprived of knowledge of the attempted postings' _contents_.

So, that was embarrassing, because essentially someone else on the admin
team, without any idea what he was doing, had shot _me_ in the foot,
preventing _me_ from doing my job, and making me look less competent at
the job than I want to be.

This sort of thing makes me not a happy camper -- and the point is, 
_it keeps happening_.  I have politely asked people before, in this
space, to cease changing mailing list settings without checking with me. 
It has not worked.

I'm doing my best to be polite and constructive, but I keep getting the
impression you're either not getting that you are interfering in my 
ability to do the job, or you don't care.  Which is it?

The other matter:  I'm getting a sense of deja vu from merely bringing
this up at all, but I'm going to need someone to cover for me as
listadmin, again.

This time, it is not my family going on holiday, but rather my having an
upcoming hospital stay, April 30th to... I'm not sure -- for major
surgery.  I have a major health problem that is, fortunately, curable
but will have me in Kaiser Santa Clara for n=1+ day, exact value of n to
be determined, with (outpatient) convalescence for a couple of months
after that.

(I do not feel like going into particulars, but, guys -- and I do mean
guys especially -- do have your scheduled health checks as recommended
and don't skip them just because you're absurdly healthy:  It just might
save your life.  There's a reason why there are very few healthy old
men, and it has to do with male human beings failing to visit doctors
for routine screenings, not to mention also symptoms.)

Cheers,              Híggledy-pìggledy / XML programmers
Rick Moen            Try to escape those / I-eighteen-N woes;
rick@linuxmafia.com  Incontrovertibly / What we need more of is
McQ!  (4x80)         Unicode weenies and / François Yergeaus.

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