[SDL] IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

René Dudfield renesd at gmail.com
Thu Mar 30 02:43:52 PDT 2017

Did you consider Mailman3, postorous, and HyperKitty? They are the new
mailing list manager and a modern web interface built on top. I don't know
if you're already using mailman, but HyperKitty works well with it.

This old article from 2015 gives a good introduction, but there have been
lots of improvements since then. https://lwn.net/Articles/638090/

There's a live demo of the web interface here:

Seems to work well from what I've experienced.



On Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 11:16 AM, René Dudfield <renesd at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> 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 - The forum software is wildly out of date, and couldn't be upgraded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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