[dev] Re: Mailing lists sucks.

From: Black Rider <softwareworks_AT_use.startmail.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2015 13:23:27 +0000 (UTC)

El Sun, 13 Dec 2015 11:35:27 +0100, FRIGN escribió:

> On Sun, 13 Dec 2015 10:29:02 +0000 (UTC)

> No, it's proof that you don't understand how to deal with IMAP. And
> regarding size: My _entire_ suckless inbox which reaches back nearly two
> years is only 68M, which is a joke.
> I'm sure Google doesn't want to have 68M stored on their servers, so
> that's why your inbox fills up. You don't want old mails to sync anyway,
> so make backups or use POP3 for strict archiving, or run your own bloody
> mailserver. :P
> Cheers

It is interesting to note that, often, when you don't like a certain tool
as much as other person, the other person will automatically tell you
that you don't know how to use it.

I have my own email server and I also have inboxes with 10 GB of spare
room. This does not deny the fact that you are the party filtering,
storing, scheduling and organizing a lot of traffic your inbox gets
regardless of how interested you are in each message.

Regarding backups and archiving:

* Reasonable email ways:

1) You use a pure POP3 client for reading your emails. If your connection
is not good, you are in trouble, because you will be downloading lots of
messages with a bad connection regardless of how interested you are in
them. That means you will be downloading lots of messages you are not
going to read under bad conditions. Not optimal. Definetively not an
option if you are subscribed to many high traffic lists.

2) You use a pure IMAP client for reading the emails, you delete the ones
you don't want, and you use POP3 or some syncing tool (including IMAP
itself) for archiving to your workstation. It can be ok or not depending
on how you handle it.

* Typical NNTP way:

- I use an NNTP client. I get a list of the new posts to the group, I
click on the ones I want to read (which are saved to the computer on the
fly) and mark everything else as read with a keyboard shortcut. This way
is more or less like the previous 2) when done well, with the advantage
of not depending on having to use an email account.

Further considerations:

- Mailing lists have multiple points of failure. If Alice and Bob are
having a discussion on a mailing list, the conversation will be
interrupted if any of the following events take place:

++ Alice's email provider goes down.
++ Bob's email provider goes down.
++ The mailing list service goes down.

However, if Alice and Bob are having a discussion on a NNTP network, for
the communication to be interrupted, every single node of that network
must go down -although some messages could be lost or delayed if a
significative part of the network went down at once.

- The way you subscribe to a mailing lists is usually not standarized
among mailing lists and requires you to craft one or two messages
according to the mailing list instructions. A NNTP group has standarized
subscription mechanisms that are the same across implementations and
allow you to subscribe and unsubscribe with just one click. That means:
subscribing to an NNTP group is less complex than subscribing to a
mailing list. And yes, I have encountered mailing lists with bugs that
messed the subscription and unsubscription processes.

- NNTP networks automatically archive the conversations by design
according to the policies of the operator, and make the archives
available for public use. Mailing lists only do so when some cruft is
added to the server to make it work that way.

- Mailing lists usually draw a bullseye on your email address for
spammers to practice their dark arts.

- NNTP networks that don't require a registration are easy to spam away.
The ones that require registration and user/password make the
subscription step a bit more complex (as complex as, say, subscribing to
a regular mailing list), but once you have a user/passwrod, you can
subscribe to any group with one point-and-click each.


Mailing Lists are serviceable. I suspect email was not created to emulate
forum-like communications, so that functionality had to be added over it.
NNTP services seem to have been conceived to serve as forum-like
communication and bulletin board like services straight from the begining
and actually do much of the same.

I don't think that switching from mailing list to NNTP makes sense from
an admin point of view, if the solution in place is working. Gmane
provides an NNTP interface to common mailing lists anyway. However, if I
was setting a forum-like service for a community I were part off, I would
consider NNTP first because of the marginal benefits.
Received on Sun Dec 13 2015 - 14:23:27 CET

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