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From David Crossley <>
Subject Re: Improving our welcome docs pitiful(wasRe: Simple committership)
Date Wed, 10 Aug 2005 00:13:55 GMT
Tim Williams wrote:
> Ross Gardler wrote:
> > Tim Williams wrote:
> > >
> > > I personally wasn't overwhelmed.  The docs are fairly good except for
> > > the pitiful email situation.
> > 
> > Tim, can you explain what you mean by "pitiful email situation". I see
> > an opportunity to improve the learning process.
> Ok, pitiful may have been a bit too strong;) 
> Here are the issues I faced while setting things up.
> 1.  The preferred way of sending with address is
> apparently header mangling.  My problem is that gmail doesn't yet
> support alternate from addresses as far as I can tell.
> 2.  Setting up client for it with ssh tunneling.  I read some mail
> posts about setting up an ssh tunneling using port forwarding but
> after an hour or so with PUTTY, I abandoned that solution. (may very
> well be a firewall issue that I'm unable to figure out).

I don't use Putty, but i heard people talk on Infra@ that
you now need to use ssh v2. However see below.

> 3.  PINE.  Pine seems to be the only user-friendly client loaded on
> minotaur but I wasn't able to receive email to it, but I could send
> successfully.

Perhaps mutt. However see below.

> My current state of affairs:  If I really want to send from my apache
> address, I'll just ssh to minotaur and use PINE.  All
> twilliams((at)) mail now forwards to my gmail account,
> meaning if I do reply to it, it will be from my gmail account. 
> Alternate "from" addresses is on the gmail wishlist so hopefully this
> won't be an issue any for long because I do like using gmail for all
> mailing list stuff because of its labels and "conversation" views --
> don't know how I got along without it honestly.
> Numbers 2 and 3 could use some documentation that I'm not smart enough
> to write.

No need. See the last paragraph at

The ASF does not encourage either of those methods.
I am not entirely sure of the reason. I gather that
we don't want to get into managing mail accounts,
backing-up personal spaces, and other resaons.
Probably the Infra volunteers would rather spend
their time on other things. (I am not joking.)

Actually someone needs to go to Infra@ and work out
the exact reasons and then add that to [1]. Then work
out how to provide, or explain, alternatives.

Even though not encouraged, the ssh and pine/mutt
methods were once documented at Try the, or our SVN, for dev/committers.html

> All this just seems unclean to me.  I suppose it just seems somewhat
> ironic that apache, where everything is accomplished through email,
> has such a cludgey approach.  I've never looked at James but it seems
> that since we have our own mail system we should be able to come up
> with a secure email approach that "just works" without "figuring it
> out".

Until now we have not been able to run dynamic
apps at a.o due to many reasons: too many services
on one machine, cannot risk dynamic apps gobbling
the resources, not enough volunteers, too much else
to attend to. Gradually this is being fixed.

>  I realize documentation would help ease the burden but I guess
> I've got to wonder why (given how mature a technology email is) there
> is such a burden that needs easing?

This is brilliant, Tim. You have identified a
huge impediment for new committers. If we can
clear this up, then there will be a big benefit
for all of us.

> As I write this, it is apparent how dumb it was of me to stumble
> through some of this without at least asking a question on the list,
> so hopefully I didn't miss something simple and obvious.

Always ask, don't stumble. Start here on dev. If we can't
answer or point to ASF doco, then someone can take it to Infra@


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