Subject: A way to restrict_post NetBSD lists (was Re: Please make it stop.. )
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Michael Richardson <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/11/1998 16:34:19

>>>>> "Jim" == Jim Wise <> writes:
    Jim> This suggestion comes up every time some spam slips through onto these
    Jim> lists, but there are some clear reasons this is probably a bad idea:

  I'm sorry, but the reasons just don't hold water. We have the technology,
we can eliminate spam from the lists.

  First, go read:

  [yes, I authored it a couple of weeks ago when I realized that it wasn't in
the FAQ. Russell McOrmond probably originated the idea, although he claims
that he picked it up from somewhere else]	 

    Jim>     1.)  Cross-posting:  There are (at last count) 39 NetBSD mailing
    Jim> lists.  Many messages are of clear interest to more than one list, and
    Jim> thus messages are often cross-posted among multiple lists.  A
    Jim> members-only restriction on the lists would cause thread fragmentation,
    Jim> as each member would get bounced from those lists thehy weren't on
    Jim> whenever they hit `reply'.

  A cron job could do:
	cat port-[a-zA-Z0-9]* tech-[a-zA-Z0-9]* ... | sort -u >alladdrs

  One can then add the "alladdrs" file to the restrict_post list. 
  There is also the issue of cross posts between the netbsd, freebsd,
openbsd, linux, etc, lists. I think this is a special case of #2.

    Jim>     2.)  Gateways:  Several sites provide local mail-to-news gateways
    Jim> for the NetBSD lists, which both reduces the amount of work the list
    Jim> servers have to do, and helps users to keep up with the high volume of
    Jim> lists like current-users.  If we had a members-only policy, users at
    Jim> these sites would not be able to post questions to any of our lists.

  One can make a netbsd-nomail list, put that on the list of restrict_post. 
I see no reason to have a per-list nomail list.

    Jim>     3.)  Questions from non-members:  A lot of the NetBSD lists exist
    Jim> so that users can ask questions about our OS.  It is not odd for a user
    Jim> to have a question best directed to a list they are not on.  For example,
    Jim> a user who only uses the mac68k port may have a question best answered in
    Jim> the more general m68k list, but may not generally be interested in that
    Jim> list.

  This is a form of cross-post.
  If the person is not subscribed to any list, then it goes to the list owner,
who either forwards the message or not. Given the kind of kruft that we see
on netbsd-help, this would be a good thing.
    Jim>     4)  Try-before-you-buy:  I strongly suspect that if your average newbie
    Jim> has to deal with the volume of current-users or even netbsd-users in order
    Jim> to get help with an initial install, they are going to go looking for a
    Jim> penguin instead...

  This has nothing to do with whether or not the lists are open or closed. 
  What would be the point of sending messages to the list and never reading 
anything from the list? 

  Now, the list-owners will get deluged for a period with postings from
non-members until these people subscribe to netbsd-nomail with the email
address they are posting from. 
  I am willing to help the list owners in any way that I can.
  I should point out that the list owner is going to get that email anyway
if it was posted directly to the list, unless the list owners don't read
their own lists.

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