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= Mailinglists for collaborative maintenance = = Mailinglists for collaborative package maintenance =

Mailinglists for collaborative package maintenance

The following thoughts were exchanged during the Alioth Sprint 2017.

Discussion summary

  • the most recent user survey showed wide interest for the mailinglists feature

  • currently there are 1384 lists on alioth
    • the most widely used list types:
      • 500 commits
      • 383 devel
      • 220 maintainers
      • 40 discuss
      • 35 users
      • 19 announce
      • 15 general
      • 10 bugs
    • the above list was compiled via:

      list_lists | sed 1d | awk '{print $1}' | tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]' | grep -- - | sed 's/^.*-//' \
          | sed 's/^user$/users/; s/^commit$/commits/; s/^dev$/devel/; s/^maint$/maintainers/; s/^changes$/commits/; s/^team$/maintainers/; s/^maintainer$/maintainers/; s/^vcs$/commits/; s/^cvs$/commits/; s/^cvslog/commits/; s/^scm$/commits/; s/^developers$/devel/; s/^pkgs$/packages/; s/^group$/maintainers/' \
          | sort | uniq -c | sort -n
    • the "commmits" list functionality is superseded by the notification feature of the new development platform
    • "bugs" lists are superseded by the issue tracker
    • the list types "devel", "maintainers", "discuss", "users", "announce" and "general" are probably acceptable for being hosted on lists.d.o service
  • we also contemplated to host a mailing list service that would be integrated in to the new development platform, but there were some objections:
    • mail-based services are a heavy maintenance burden (spam, IP blacklists, ...)
    • there is already a lists.d.o mailing list service within Debian, which would probably suffice for most of the above use cases (based on a quick assessment of the lists.d.o requisites for new mailinglists)

Possible manual migration of Alioth mailing lists to lists.d.o

Listmasters are willing to have some more lists on lists.debian.org, but not all that are currently on alioth.

Lists may be granted on request based on the following requirements:

  • team discussion list would be OK
  • support lists maybe as well (ask for it)
  • commit lists are not OK (use the notification system) (1/3 of current lists)
  • aliases for maintainers are not OK (subscribe on tracker.d.o instead)
  • getting a new mailinglist: file a wishlist bug against lists.debian.org (https://www.debian.org/MailingLists/HOWTO_start_list.en.html)

New lists will have common list settings - open list, free subscription, open archives.

Every list owner needs to request a list manually. There will be no automatic migration.

We prepared a minimal export script for retrieving the mailing list archive and the subscriber list from alioth. These can be imported by the listmasters.

Migration tasks

  • (./) prepare a howto (targetting current list-owners on alioth) for requesting a new mailinglist on lists.d.o and how to import the original mailinglist

  • discuss the above draft with list-master
  • (./) prepare a description (targetting users of the new development platform) for requesting a mailinglist on lists.d.o

  • bonus: embed/link this description in the new development platform
    • this could help to prevent requests "where the mailing list feature went"
    • encourage collaborative packaging teams to establish a communication channel