[SDL] IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

René Dudfield renesd at gmail.com
Thu Mar 30 02:16:16 PDT 2017


on the issue of spam(and back scattering)... I think I 'solved' it for the
pygame.org website(so far). Using a combination of rate limiting, rbl spam
lists, better email validation, web application firewall, moderation tools,
and spam classification. All that stuff is open source, and if you're
interested I can answer any questions about it or the techniques.

best regards,

On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 3:52 AM, Ryan C. Gordon <icculus at icculus.org> wrote:

> tl;dr: We're going to try to move the mailing list and web forums to a new
> piece of software. Please go to https://discourse.libsdl.org/ and claim
> your account. You can still use it as a mailing list or a web forum. This
> list will (probably) be going away soon.
> So this is an experiment with Discourse (https://discourse.org/), to see
> if we can solve our mailing list and forum woes:
> Problems we currently have:
> - The forum software is wildly out of date, and couldn't be upgraded
> without losing the email bridge. Upgrading the software breaks a
> fundamental feature we rely on, not upgrading it is a massive security
> risk. We tried--and failed--to move the web server to PHP7; the forums
> needed massive work to just run at all. Serious problems, like not being
> able to register an account or post a reply, were failing silently, so we
> could never be sure if we ever really had fixed it up completely. For now
> we have dropped the web server back to PHP5, but being trapped on old
> versions of basic software to support old versions of custom software is
> doubly bad.
> - The spammers on the forums were brutal; they couldn't actually post
> because we had to approve the accounts, but they'd just flood our SMTP
> server with backscatter trying to make thousands of accounts, all day long.
> - We have to manually approve forum accounts in the first place.  :/
> - The mailing list was unreliable, and would lose mail, lose the archives,
> etc. This was largely a problem with the list provider and not mailing
> lists in general, but migrating somewhere more reliable was non-trivial, so
> changing direction entirely was a reasonable option if we had to do that.
> - The glue that bridges between the mailing list and the forums was not
> great in general.
> As I see it, these are the primary benefits of Discourse for us:
> - It runs on our server.
> - Is well-maintained and constantly improving open source, concerned with
> what modern Internet communication looks like (silly things like Emoji and
> Gravatar, really important things like Unicode and REST APIs and
> downloadable archives of your posts, etc).
> - Is one central place where all communications happen.
> - If you like the mailing list, you can use it exclusively through email.
> - If you like the web forums, you can use it exclusively through a web
> browser.
> - If you want to use it through the web interface and occasionally shoot
> off a quick reply by email, you can do that too.
> - The web interface looks modern and responsive, with all that AJAX-y
> goodness. It runs well and looks good on mobile devices, too.
> - It has all our email archives imported! After a lot of manual cleanup
> and one-off perl scripts, all the existing mailing list content, all the
> way back to _1998_ has been turned into Discourse topics with threading
> intact. More than 20,000 topics, more than 100,000 posts!
> - It has all the old forum posts imported too, thanks to a lot of manual
> cleanup and one-off perl (and PHP!) scripts.
> - It has all the users (more than 2000!) imported. We took efforts to try
> to merge people that posted from different email addresses over the years
> into one account, using the latest email address we saw, and deal with
> people that used both the forums and mailing list interchangeably over the
> years.
> - An actual search function that works.
> - Lots of bells and whistles and control over everything...not just as an
> administrator, but as a user, so you get the experience just how you like
> it.
> So we're going to give it a little time and see if we can turn off the
> existing list and forums. So that we don't end up with two separate
> communities, we're going to make this decision pretty quickly. As such, if
> you have problems (including a generic "I hate this"), please speak up
> loudly as soon as possible.
> To get started: Go to https://discourse.libsdl.org/
> If you sign up for an account and it thinks your email is already in use,
> we probably generated a user for you when the list archives were imported.
> Just tell it your forgot your password and it'll email you a reset link so
> you can take control of the account. In this case, we assigned you a
> best-guess username, but you can change it yourself once you log in.
> If you exclusively used the web forums, we have an account for you but not
> your email: hit me up and I can hand the account over to you, or you can
> just make a new one, if you like.
> If you want to use Discourse as a mailing list and never see the website
> again, you can; there is an option to turn on "Mailing List Mode" in your
> user prefs. New topics can be started by writing to
> sdl at discourse.libsdl.org, or you reply to the address on whatever email
> you want to reply to, and it ends up in the right place.
> If you have trouble, we can fix things (including getting you a username
> from a legacy account, assigning ownership of old posts to a new account,
> etc). Just let me know!
> --ryan.
> _______________________________________________
> SDL mailing list
> SDL at lists.libsdl.org
> http://lists.libsdl.org/listinfo.cgi/sdl-libsdl.org
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