[self-interest] New Mailing-List self at cichon.com

Jecel Assumpcao Jr jecel at merlintec.com
Wed Jan 16 18:52:09 UTC 2002

Thanks for all the feedback so far.

Stefan Matthias Aust wrote:
> I'd prefer to stay with the yahoo list, not only because of the
> archive but also because I can read the stuff via the web.  I'm
> running some yahoo lists for my own and never had problems.  The ads
> are annoying but IMHO the other points outweight them.

If everybody moved to Gordon's list and I converted the Yahoo list to a 
remote one, we would still have most of the current advantages.

J. Baltasar García Perez-Schofield wrote:
>         Shouldn't we all agree to move to the new list ?

The worst thing would be to split this group in half. On the other hand:

John Hinsley wrote:
> Potentially splitting the community for the sake of busting a tiny nut
> seems _way_ OTT to me unless you, that is, "gordontemp0815" can  come
> up with a bidirectional script which works (and implement it ;-)

Right, if the two lists could be linked then people would have a choice 
and it would still be just one group. The problem with Yahoo is that we 
have little control over it and I don't think that Gordon could do a 
bidirectional link entirely on his side. There would have to be some 
amount of custom header mangling to both break mail loops and bypass 
the "only members can post" restrictions. It is a lot harder than I 
first thought.

Albertina Lourenci wrote:
> [stuff deleted by Yahoo]

It is very ironic that Albertina had her text, that included "I myself 
stayed several months without receiving messages from the list these 
things should be mended!!!" eliminated by Yahoo from the email version 
(the web version is ok). The problem is her VCard attachment and 
probably some bug at Yahoo.

A brief history of this list might be interesting:

The list was created at Stanford in July of 1990. I think the list was 
managed by Craig Chambers, though other people probably helped and 
might have taken over later on.

Around April of 1995 some problems took the list off the air, but Mario 
Wolczko was able to bring it back from the dead on a Sun machine at the 
end of August even though the Self projects had just officially ended.

In June of 1997 the list once again stopped working. After a few months 
it became obvious that the problem was a permanent one, so in 1998 I 
began to look for a way to start a new list. I did some experiments 
with qmail, which had recently been installed at LSI USP, but there 
were lots of little limitations and having to deal with the LSI system 
administrators for every problem was going to be a major bottleneck. So 
I looked at several remote list hosting alternatives and picked eGroups 
as the most promising. This list was created in October of 1997.

I wrote a program in Self (Perl is for wimps ;-) to extract a 
reasonably clean list of emails of people who had posted to the old 
list and sent them an invitation (my one and only "spam") to subscribe 
to the new list. Web based subscription turned out to be more awkward 
than I had hoped and gave some people a lot of trouble. eGroups had an 
offer to take the contents of previously lists and add them to the 
archive for newly created lists, so I packaged the Stanford/Sun list as 
they requested and sent it to them. Unfortunately, I never heard from 
them about this.

Things went reasonably smoothly (including eliminating the annoying 
"bounced mail" problem of the previous lists) until early last year 
when eGroups was bought by Yahoo. Lots of people has problems and 
between timeouts, bad cookies and other nasty things it was a wonder I 
ever did get my eGroups  identity moved to Yahoo. Albertina didn't 
receive mail from the list for many months, though I could find nothing 
wrong with her account. Gordon was mysteriously unsubscribed and seems 
to be having other problems while the Sun people can't post with their 
new "Eng-less" addresses. It is likely that other people have been 
having problems and didn't complain (or don't even know about them: if 
you don't receive mail you might just assume the list is quiet).

On the other hand, while Majordomo is better than the qmail list 
manager I experimented with, it has its share of problems too.

I hope this provides a context in which we can decide what is the best 
way to move forward.

-- Jecel

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