[sf-lug] relocate SF-LUG list from linuxmafia.com (on linuxmafia.com) to lists.sf-lug.org (on BALUG VM)?

Michael Paoli Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu
Sun May 2 20:46:49 PDT 2021

So ... I think it's been a while since this was last discussed ...

So, what say y'all?  Should we (uhm, like me - whatever)
relocate the SF-LUG list from linuxmafia.com (hosted on linuxmafia.com
operated by Rick Moen)
to lists.sf-lug.org on BALUG Virtual Machine (VM) (operated by Michael Paoli)?

Anyway, various pros/cons ... I'm sure folks could add to the list.

I also put up a not very scientific survey at:
Just select and option and the DONE button ... and it's done and submitted
(essentially anyone can do that ... also nothin' to prevent same person
voting more than once - like I said, not very scientific).  And I
randomized the order of the response options - so they'll be shown in
random order (okay, maybe a little bit scientific).


DKIM ... it's nasty, e.g. folks using email addresses with strict DKIM
policies, e.g. like @yahoo.com - that causes significant problems with
lists.  The older Mailman version on linuxmafia.com suffers the full
impact of that.  The newer version(s) on the BALUG VM effectively kludge
around that - notably rewriting of From: header and adding/altering a
Reply-To: header (which unfortunately clobbers any different existing
Reply-To: header - but that's still better than not applying such kludges
for list postings).  The DKIM issues, notably on the older Mailman 2.x
causes headaches for listadmins - and list members too.
And seeing how Jim Stockford ain't exactly been up to promptly attending
to ...

linuxmafia.com ... just "temporarily" there under good graces of Rick Moen,
until Jim Stockford properly sets up elsewhere, and that Jim Stockford
at least reasonably perform the appropriate listadmin duties on it there.
Uhm, yeah ... while we wait for that ... anyway, could move it.

If it moves, the URLs to the archived items break.  But that can always
happen with Mailman version 2.x anyway even if they don't move (and sometimes
does happen - same URLs end up going to different messages, etc.)
Oh, in the meantime, if you're looking for more persistence, there's
The Internet Archive.

Mailman 3 fixes the above - offering persistent URLs (would still change
domain with a move, though) ... but ... not goin' to Mailman 3 ... yet,
but guestimating that happens sooner on the BALUG VM, than on

Mailman version 3.x is on the BALUG VM's path ... installed but not yet
fully configured.  Lists will eventually migrate from 2.x to 3.x ...
certainly before the host upgrades from Debian 10.x Buster to 11.x Bullseye
(the latter of which doesn't support Mailman 2.x as that requires Python 2.x
for which support is going away (already gone from upstream)).
But also as there are some other lists fairly probable to migrate to the
BALUG VM that are presently on Mailman 2.x, the BALUG VM will probably
run Mailman 2.x until those migrations are done (or when it's better to get
on with migrating to 11.x Bullseye regardless)
See also:

[*.]sf-lug.org supports IPv6 & CA signed TLS(/"SSL") cert.  But Mailman
(at least version 2.x) does stupid insecure stuff with passwords, so never
think that https will suffice to fully protect 'em (2.x stores them in
clear text or reversibly encrypted form).  That may be better with
Mailman 3.x, but haven't checked/confirmed.

In either case, I expect anyone will be able to have public access to and
backup the entire list archive (raw mbox format).  linuxmafia.com makes
that available - both via http and public rsync.  I expect same would be
made available on the BALUG VM.  Also, newer Mailman on the BALUG VM,
URL to access that full archive automagically shows, whereas it doesn't
for the older version on linuxmafia.com.

As for backing up list membership, I'm presuming the BALUG VM would be set
up similar to linuxmafia.com - e.g. periodic emailings (I think currently
it's emailed to Jim Stockford weekly), and also made securely available via
rsync (encrypted to my key daily, and I daily snag, decrypt, and update
copy for backup ... which is also on the BALUG VM presently ... also
use RCS to track changes ... that's what also makes the monthly reports
with history doable, e.g.:
Could provide other secure means to access roster, e.g. sftp, for backup

Putting all on BALUG VM - more single point of failure (web & list on one
host).  There are semi-regular backups, and some redundancy (that VM
semi-regularly live migrates to other physical host).  linuxmafia.com
is presently running on older hardware.  There's probably some hardware
redundancy (spare parts), but I'm guestimating a move/repair there due
to hardware failure would take longer.  Though also I believe there are
still (longer term?) plans for linuxmafia.com to get virtualized onto
considerably newer and more supportable hardware.

Gee, wouldn't something under sf-lug.org domain be more logical?
Okay, sure, that doesn't require moving ... but were it to use such
and not move, that's also fair bit more reconfiguration bits on
linuxmafia.com (and thus yet more burden for those covering that).

@lists.sf-lug.org?  Why not @sf-lug.org?  Because highly my preference.
By using separate subdomain - and lists is a pretty logical and commonly
used one for such, it allows for MTAs for @lists.sf-lug.org and
@sf-lug.org to be quite separate and independent.  So, if for any reason
at any time, it's desired to have list traffic and other MTA traffic such
as webmaster at sf-lug.org be quite independent and separate, that's fully
doable.  Whereas if list is @sf-lug.org then they're necessarily
intertwined at MTA at that domain level.  Separating them also allows
stuff like postmaster at sf-lug.org and postmaster at lists.sf-lug.org to
not only go separate places, but to be highly independent.  And
postmaster@ is a required address for any mailing domain.


Well, feel free to add pro/con points, questions, whatever.

And don't forget, (quite unscientific) survey:

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