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From Shane Curcuru <...@shanecurcuru.org>
Subject Re: [What?] Why and How did this reach my inbox?
Date Tue, 23 Aug 2011 20:50:13 GMT
I can provide some general context about how mailing lists are 
traditionally handled at Apache, since there are some specific mailing 
list etiquette & technology issues being discussed here.

- Complete mailing list contents are always public, with the exception 
of specific lists that are archived privately (private@, board@, etc.)

- This means that messages, subjects, and email addresses sent to any of 
our public lists are published publicly.

- We have an official infrastructure policy for our archives:

   http://www.apache.org/foundation/public-archives.html

- The ASF provides our official mail archives at mail-archives.a.o. 
While the mod_mbox interface is not the most beautiful thing in the 
world, providing an official copy of the archive ourselves ensures that 
we can (and will) maintain the archives permanently, with stable URLs.

For example, in the future, people will be able to see that I'm replying 
to this message:

 
https://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/incubator-ooo-dev/201108.mbox/%3C012101cc61ca$7dc5e0f0$7951a2d0$@acm.org%3E

- Other services are welcome to rearchive our mailing lists as long as 
they don't interfere with the operation of our lists.  Many projects 
make regular use of some of the alternative mailing list archiving 
services for their day to day use, or in some cases (I just found this 
one myself [1]) for data analysis use.

- Some project communities use GMane.  That's fine, as long as the way 
that messages are posted to our lists isn't disruptive, *and* as long as 
it's obvious who the author of each message is.  Project communities 
should feel free to set their own rules about moderating such messages, 
if spam or disruptive comments become an issue from this kind of service.

Some project communities seem to actively discourage GMane and/or 
Nabble.  It seems to depend on how the community formed and what they're 
comfortable with.  (I personally don't like either service, but that's 
just me)

- It is unlikely (in my mind) that the ASF will provide an NNTP 
interface for our lists in the near future.  But it's certainly possible 
- given committed and skilled volunteers, who will build and *commit* to 
maintaining the service in the future.  8-)


In many ways the Apache Way of having everything in email can seem a 
little bit old fashioned, in the days of Web 3.0 or whatever number it 
is now.  But email really is the lowest common denominator: unskilled 
normal humans can figure out how to get and send emails, and skilled 
geeks can always figure out a way to put emails into their own favorite 
format or application.

Email also has the non synchronous aspect: for serious project 
discussions, we *want* them to take a while.  72 hours is always the 
minimum for a vote, because it allows enough time such that most of our 
global volunteer community will have a chance to participate.

- Shane

P.S. One key mailing list etiquette tip: use caution whenever sending 
(or replying to) an email that goes to both a public list, and to a 
private list!  In that case, it's often worth bcc:'ing one of the lists, 
so that replies made in haste don't mistakenly send private information 
to the public lists.


[1] https://aws.amazon.com/datasets/7791434387204566
Other frequently used archives:
   http://apache.markmail.org/ (excellent search capability!)
   http://www.mail-archive.com/ (only some lists)
   http://marc.info/ (only some lists)
   http://gmane.org/ (newsgroup interface and allows replies)
   http://nabble.com/ (newsgroup and allows replies)



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