Re: eGroups

From: Graham Robinson <>
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 16:30:57 -0000

Loren Miller wrote :

> I don't like the position I seem to be getting myself in, in which I
> to be in favor of destroying the old flavor of the glorantha digest. But
> that isn't my intention, and I think that egroups under yahoo is a pretty
> good option. Here's why...

That certainly isn't the impression I'd got of anyone on either side of this argument. Some people feel the majordomo nature of the list contributes to its flavour, but that's not argument I quite understand.

> Second, Yahoo and Egroups are merging. Egroups copyright policy has always
> said that they do not own the copyright of any group postings, but that
> postings to the service are the property of their individual copyright
> holders. They do, however, keep a worldwide non-exclusive royalty-free
> license to reproduce group postings so they can be read by other members
> the groups. I've read the Yahoo policies, and Yahoo is keeping the Egroups
> copyright policies.

Geo-cities under Yahoo did the exact opposite - quietly changing the copyright policy. I'm afraid I don't trust 'em...

> Third, I don't think the format of the glorantha digest is what ensures
> character. I think it's the posters to the digest, with all their
> inventiveness and foibles. I used to think the format ensured its
> back when I took over list-owner status from Henk, and that's why it was a
> digest-only list then, but I no longer think so. Nowadays, I tend to agree
> with Alex Ferguson, that a digest of messages makes it harder to find the
> content you want amid a plethora of topics, and obviously it makes it much
> harder to use threaded mail reading software or to keep consistent subject
> lines across a discussion.

Trouble with a non-digest approach is it tends to favour those with constant access to the net in discussions. The various Hero Wars digests are nearly useless - by the time you've seen the first message, you've also got the discussion following it. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but is worth discussing.

> Fourth, majordomo supports email delivery of archives while eGroups
> web browsing of archives. Neither one supports the downloading of masses
> archives to be read at leisure. That functionality has been supported in
> past with other software. I see no reason why we couldn't mirror or
> otherwise reproduce a set of archives at another site.
> Fifth, the glorantha digest has had a few spam attacks, but not a lot,
> the years, but there is nothing other than a highly involved list owner to
> stop spam or punish spammers. Egroups has automated anti-spam measures
> already in place.

Both of these can be handled to a large extent with careful scripting/e-mail filters. One possibility would be to restrict the list to subscribers only, but this has proved unpopular when suggested in the past. Another would be to filter out non-plain text messages - that would save irritation for those of us on plain text mailers, and block large chunks of spam as well.

> Sixth, I've run the glorantha digest as a majordomo list for four years.
> the only person other than Eric Rowe who has. I'm a reasonably competent
> sysadmin and perl hacker. And it took no less than 10 hours a week to run
> through all the list owner messages, bounces, make sure that unsubs and
> mis-addressed email went through, and so on. On the average, there were
> 100 administrative messages a day. Egroups mailing lists are much less
> intensive. Bouncing email addresses are visible on a webpage, can be
> unsubbed with the click of a checkbox, and do not dump huge amounts of
> email into the inbox.

Not sure I can argue with this. My experience of managing other lists suggests far lower admin traffic should result, but Loren should know what he's talking about. That said, I'm not convinced web interface or not that e-groups is going to be that much less work.

> Seventh, eGroups has a searchable, threaded, web-based interface. And it
> on a fast server that is almost always up. That's unbelievably cool from a
> web-designer point-of-view.

As I've said, I have my own server co-located at a web hosting company. Setting up such a web interface wouldn't be much work - I do such things day after day. As for always up, our expected down time is less than 4 hours a year, and we're working on improving that...

> Eighth, Egroups allows us to create databases, ask and score polls, upload
> and download files, automate delivery of FAQL and other files, link to
> websites, and keep these things all in one place.

No problem with me providing web space to do this too...


> All in all, my opinion is that the positives greatly outweigh the
> If Issaries should agree, then I think Egroups would be an excellent
> and system for running the Glorantha mailing list.

I, obviously, believe the opposite. However, in the end, who and how the list is being administered is far less important than who is posting to it.

By the way, has anyone other than me said they WOULD be willing to run the list on Majordomo?


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