[PLUG] Mailing list issues

Sudhanwa Jogalekar sudhanwa.com at gmail.com
Wed Jan 2 12:33:07 PST 2013


On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 12:23 PM, Mandar Vaze / मंदार वझे
<mandarvaze at gmail.com> wrote:
> Sudhanwa,
> It was great to finally hear from "the other side".

"the other side" ?? What is it? I am not representing any side. I told
what I know/remember.
In the earlier years, I was not even knowing who were the moderators.
For me, it was not even required to know. Out of the 12+ odd years of
the list, I was not there (admin/mod) at all for most of the time.
Even today, if required, I do mail admin job only in very rare
situations. (That too, releasing my own critical mails is being
objected now)

> If PLUG is indeed supposed to be "very popular" mailing list then we would
> see enough discussions about linux.

Popular is a generic and relative word. Start using SMS lingo on the
list, it will be popular instantaneously. No need to talk about FOSS
anymore to become popular.

> Quick look at the archives tell me that in 2006-07 monthly messages were
> 150+, in recent times it is < 50
> I leave it up to each of the pluggie to interpret the numbers, and come to
> their own conclusion.

During that time, people really had many problems right from
selection/getting a distro, installation and devices support etc. Now,
CD/DVDs are available everywhere and they properly install/run out of
the box without any hardware issues. As such, the very basic purpose
of initial support for the users is lost quite some time back. Also,
thanks to LUG activities in the background, FOSS is almost everywhere
in most of the University courses. As such, the outreach and
additional support required at that time is not required now. However,
people do get to list more, when they realise project work on Linux
can fetch good marks :-)

By the way, less number of mails and overall less activity is the
general trend across all the LUGs and not only for PLUG.

> Personally, I think while a public mailing list should be spam free, it MUST
> be useful.
> No one is asking to "remove all filters" - but some rules can be relaxed
> (one such touchy issue is top posting)
> What is more important ? Being useful or sticking to the principle and being
> shunning away the community ? A point to ponder.

Please understand that top posting can not be trapped. If a mail is
already held up for any reason for moderator approval, only then it
can be seen and rejected for top posting. Any top posting mail can
reach directly if it is not trapped because of filters (or for users
with moderation bit set).
And even if one gets rejection for top posting, why the person can not
take it as a basic etiquette of the list? Why he/she want to continue
top posting further?

>> added by default for every new list member. In any case, new members
>> were supposed to be on the list for some time, understand what is
>> happening and then start posting to the list. The typical time frame
>> for this was about a month or so. After that, the new member was
>> supposed to send mail to admins to remove the moderation for them.
>> Well, as usual, very few people really understood this and became
>> unhappy about it. Unfortunately, the unhappy trend still continues.
> Is this practice still "on" ? http://www.plug.org.in/mailing-list/ does not
> mention this - Especially that part that "the new member was
> supposed to send mail to admins to remove the moderation for them"

I think it was there somewhere/some time. No idea when/if it is lost.
May be it was mentioned in the joining mail to the user.

>> moderation in their own perspectives. On the PLUG mailing list, it is
>> a practice that the mail will either reach to the list as_it_is (that
>> means without any moderation/editing)
> I think this needs to be explained better to the world. Most people
> (including myself) understand moderation as "reject unwanted emails"
> no one thinks moderation as "editing before sending out to the list". Later
> is practically impossible (in terms of time)
> I suggest the website is updated to say "emails are sent to the list as-is
> without editing" rather than saying "list of unmoderated"

My understanding is coming from whatever I heard/understood and was
told by the seniors that time in the initial phases. My understanding
still continues the same way. If those oldies have changed their
thoughts, I can not do anything about it.

>> Apart from a very few people on the list who are raising questions
>> about the mailing list, I have not come across anyone who is raising
>> the issue.
> That may be because very few people are persistent enough to raise voice for
> what they believe. Others' emails are "rejected" my mailman :) Thus giving
> impression that "very few people" raising concern.

I don't think any mail is rejected by mailman or the list admin/s just
because it has words against the functioning the the list/PLUG.

>> Well, it is upto the mailing list members to decide how the list
>> should work. If majority feels that it should be more open, let it be.
> Only if majority is heard. Not if majority emails are rejected by the list
> (humans or filters or combination, it doesn't matter)
> It seems several people have discussed this issue offline as well - but no
> change.

Well, there are more than 1200 people on the list. We see just about
10 people on this (or any such other) thread. Either so many people do
not understand what is happening or they are not interested or they
want to remain neutral.

ps: I am not taking any stand here. Just stating the facts.


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