Mailing lists using usenet newsgroup

jim jim at
Tue Jan 6 17:45:41 PST 2015

     As usual, you are entirely correct, if
overly polite.
     Thank you.

On 01/06/2015 03:43 PM, Rick Moen wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 2:40 PM, jim <jim at> wrote:
>> I'm for MailMan. Either we wait until Rick gets to
>> it or we set up our own (after we get the backups
>> from Rick).
> I'm pretty sure I've sent this information to you-plural in the past,
> but I'll do it now just in case:   This is intended to help your
> collective memory and improve your process going forward.
> 1.  GNU Mailman can be trivially configured (by the site admin) to
> permit public download of the cumulative mbox of any hosted Maliman
> mailing list.  That is the set of all past postings to date, from
> which the archives can then be recreated anywhere desired, with a
> single command (using /var/lib/mailman/bin/arch).  Thus, it is 95% of
> the important data comprising the mailing list's 'state'.  In the case
> of SF-LUG's mailing list on, the relevant URL was (and
> will again be) /
> .  Not all Mailman instances are configured to enable that function,
> but all of the ones that I administer are.
> If I never brought that matter to Jim's attention (and I'm pretty sure
> I did), I'm doing so now.  Yr. welcome.
> It is common sense for you to periodically back up that file, and
> doing so is greatly in your interest.  Shortly before I started
> hosting a mailing list for SF-LUG, you guys completely lost all back
> traffic to a previous iteration of the SF-LUG mailing list somewhere
> else -- to something like a failed hard drive or such -- and at the
> time I wondered why you never bothered to back up the mbox, given your
> then-recent somewhat ignominious loss.  E.g., anyone whatsoever could
> do that task daily or weekly using a simple 'wget -c' fetch in a cron
> job.
> 2.  The other indispensable part of a Mailman mailing list's state is
> the subscriber roster.  The mailing list admin can arrange to have
> that information mailed to interested parties periodically using the
> /var/lib/mailman/bin/list_members utility.   We might call that 4% of
> the mailing list's 'state'.  The other 1% would be things like any
> unusual mailing list settings, individual subscriber's subscription
> passwords, and the like, none of which is a huge loss if you happen to
> lose it.
> In the case of my server, all mailing list information is present on
> both my backups and on the live hard drives of the (down) server.  If
> you-all decide you wish to get the current data, you can visit my
> house and bring a Linux machine able to read an ext3 filesystem from a
> USB device.  I can easily give you the cumulative mbox file during
> your visit.  For the roster, I can give you Mailman's stored copy,
> which is in a Python's 'pickle' stored-data format.  You would need to
> figure out how to extract what you need from that.
> You have my cellular number.
> Might I suggest that you guys start showing some basic initiative
> towards self-preservation?  If you had bothered to do that, you would
> not have ignominiously lost your entire previous hard drive, and you
> would not be needing to ask me for 'backups from Rick'.

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