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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: [Proposal] Shutting down legacy OOo mailing lists
Date Thu, 20 Oct 2011 18:12:59 GMT
On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 1:55 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
<> wrote:
> I did not assert anything about how the auto-subscription offer is done.  I did note
that the lists may already be in the custody of a US-hosted system, so transnational border
crossing is not involved in any movement of subscribers.  Since this is an opt-in, not an
opt-out procedure, it might be considered that the benefit far outweighs the harm.  Of course,
this is all speculative because there is likely not time to do any of these things.

It still comes down to saving a single mouse click, while also gaining
more spammers.   So the argument is not very persuasive, IMHO.

> My thinking is that the current moderators be the ones best able to determine which subscribers
are "real."  Also, the current moderators, if they can be found, are appropriate folks for
notifying the lists they moderate of the imminent retirement, the opportunity to subscribe
to ooo-listX@ i.a.o, and of the plan to offer them an opt-in message for subscription to ooo-listX.
 Also for translating ezmlm messages into the native language that is the working language
of a particular list.

Volunteers are welcome, to translate and send out the notice to the
various lists.  This includes legacy list moderators.  There will be a
place on the wiki page for anyone to affix their name. I'll send out a
note for any lists that receive no other volunteers.

There is a "moderator" list at OOo.  I can send them a note at the
same time I notify the PPMC that I have the initial migration list
ready for review.  That way any existing moderators can jump in if
they want.

> There are problems when moderators have absented themselves.  Regina just posted a message
on ooo-dev looking for a moderator of users@ to solve a problem with an
user who can't find a way to unsubscribe and whose efforts at following the various instructions
have failed.  So there is a problem with moderator abandonment.  It is clear that there
are any number of folks still on that list who could moderate it, if there was a way to grant
> Maybe that is something Andrew Rist can help with.

As you know, users will always have problems with mailing lists.  This
will be true on Apache lists as well.   I think one thing we'll want
to do is cross-promote the user forums in the initial post, at least
the post to the user forums.

> With regard to pulling the plug, I am not sure how it is possible to even warn folks
of this, unless material can be put in known web locations that informs list users of the
possible sudden retirement of the lists they subscribe to.  Again, our not having the keys
to properties is a barrier.  It might fall on us bloggers to have a joint
message that is propagated as far as our reach allows, including the podling blog.

Why do you think sending notes to the lists themselves would be
inadequate?  Isn't that the most direct and logical way to engage with
a list subscriber?  The number of list subscribers that also read the
project blog is probably miniscule.  And those would be the ones that
are already more engaged and know what is going on.  But you are
welcome to do a blog post on this if you want.


>  - Dennis
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rob Weir []
> Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2011 10:24
> To:
> Subject: Re: [Proposal] Shutting down legacy OOo mailing lists
> On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 1:14 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
> <> wrote:
>> Rob,
>> As were you, I was looking at the value of the ezmlm confirmation e-mail and
>> its opt-in requirement for moderator-initiated subscriptions.  It seemed to me
>> that would provide a clean opt-in point for users of lists about to be
>> retired.
>> The process for the moderator-initiated subscription needs to know
>> subscription e-mail addresses for the current members of the to-be-retired
>> list.    It depends, of course, on a moderator having the subscriber e-mail
>> addresses, and I did not indicate how that could be solved any more than your
>> experiment did.
> So you are recommending that we send an unsolicited opt-in message to
> all list subscribers, including the spammers that have taken over many
> of the lists?
> Work it through and see what the savings in effort really is for the user:
> 1) They still need to read two emails:  One that tells them to expect
> an opt-in email and then the actual opt-in notice.  If we don't do the
> first one then the 2nd note will scare many of them, since it appears
> to come unsolicited.
> 2) Whatever we do, they still need to respond to the opt-in email
> 3) The net savings in effort is that the user does not not need to
> click an initial mailto: link to generate the confirmation email.  So
> in order to save the user a single click, we're going to risk going
> against data protection laws as well as sending an invite to spammers
> to join our list?
> This makes zero sense for me.  If you want to do it, then please
> volunteer.  But as an employee of a large multinational corporation
> that does care about data protection laws, I will not be involved in
> any such approach.
> -Rob
>> I think the modifications to ezmlm messages is important regardless.
>>  - Dennis
>> On the other hand, making moderators of the current list be moderators on the
>> new list and being sure that they notify the list of the move prospect would
>> be a way to subdivide the work with people who presumably do have access to
>> the distribution list of the retiring ML.  Those moderators can be expected to
>> follow the rules that apply in their jurisdictions.
>> And wait: Aren't the lists on a US hosted site already?  The Oracle Privacy
>> Policy might be the governing situation.
>> Providing an opt-in migration that is not a surprise to the list members,
>> announced clearly in advance, might be a clean way to navigate all of this.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Rob Weir []
>> Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2011 09:29
>> To:
>> Subject: Re: [Proposal] Shutting down legacy OOo mailing lists
>> On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 12:23 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
>> <> wrote:
>>> The moderator-issued subscription e-mail seems useful, especially because it
>>> is done as an opt-in (requiring confirmation from the recipient).  If the
>>> list
>>> to be retired was informed of this process, its near-automatic operation
>>> could
>>> be considered.
>> I don't see how this could work.  Maybe if you happen to be a
>> moderator of the legacy list and are willing to take on yourself any
>> personal liability related to data protection laws.  But I don't see
>> how this would work in general.  Any thing we do to automate this
>> would still require proactive action by the user, either sending an
>> email, clicking a mailto: link in an email, or going to a website and
>> entering their email address.  They would need to do an action like
>> that, and then respond to the confirmation email.
>>>  - Dennis
>>> With regard to the messages from ezmlm, I wonder if these are ones that are
>>> customizable by list.  I thought they were.  A valuable way to do this might
>>> be to include a link to an English-language version of the message in all NL
>>> ones.  Pointing to other useful web pages might also be valuable.  I notice
>>> that ezmlm is designed to work relying on e-mail alone and that should be
>>> preserved, but links to web-based support is also valuable and is very
>>> useful
>>> to link to.  The web page could also deal with thing such as what OOo lists
>>> does this one replace, where are the archives for the original list(s), etc.
>>> It strikes me that there remains the issue I see, in that the ooo-younameit
>>> @
>>> i.a.o lists are considerably less friendly than the theynamedit@ OO.o lists.
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Rob Weir []
>>> Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2011 07:57
>>> To:
>>> Subject: Re: [Proposal] Shutting down legacy OOo mailing lists
>>> On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 4:11 PM, Andrea Pescetti
>>> <> wrote:
>>> <snip>
>>>> I would turn the post you describe into a warning that the mailing list
>>>> address will change, including all information about Apache but not
>>>> requiring users to take action. I volunteer to consolidate the 12 lists
>>>> into
>>>> 3 and to subscribe users to the right ones (of course, being "project
>>>> owner"
>>>> of, I have a list of all subscribers to the 12 lists).
>>> I did an experiment on how we can subscribe users to the mailing list
>>> automatically.  I looked just at the technical aspect of this.  I did
>>> not look at the legal or policy implications.
>>> Moderators of Apache lists can subscribe new users to the list, by
>>> sending a specially addressed email to the list manager.  For example,
>>> to subscribe to this list, you would send an email to:
>>> Note the @ in the address is replaced by an =
>>> A moderator can do the above, but this still will generate a
>>> confirmation email, to, in English:
>>> -----------------
>>> "Subject:  confirm subscribe to
>>> Hi! This is the ezmlm program. I'm managing the
>>> mailing list.
>>> I'm working for my owner, who can be reached
>>> at
>>> To confirm that you would like
>>> added to the ooo-dev mailing list, please send
>>> a short reply to this address:
>>> Usually, this happens when you just hit the "reply" button.
>>> If this does not work, simply copy the address and paste it into
>>> the "To:" field of a new message.
>>> or click here:
>>> -----------------
>>> So with the moderator rights available to us now, we can't do a fully
>>> automated sign up of existing list members, even if we had resolved
>>> the legal and policy issues.  I don't know if there are other,
>>> administrative functions in ezmlm that could be used, by Apache Infra,
>>> to more fully automate this.
>>> -Rob

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