Future of cctalk/cctech

Rich Kulawiec rsk at gsp.org
Thu Jun 18 09:59:25 CDT 2020

On Wed, Jun 17, 2020 at 09:46:53AM -0500, John Foust via cctalk wrote:
> I'm most puzzled by the eager hosting volunteers who'd volunteer even before
> they have a full understanding of the job.  Wouldn't you want to know
> how much time it might take you to administer the list, how much 
> bandwidth it eats, storage, format of the archives, etc.?

I can't speak for anyone else, but in my case: I've been running mailing
lists for 35-ish years, so I may have a fairly good handle on the scope.

To address some of those points: administering a migrated mailing
list -- once it's past the transition -- requires very little effort.
How much effort it takes during the transition can be guesstimated via
the number of users and their aggregate clue level, e.g., technical
lists are usually much easier because people on them know how to
speak to Mailman/majordomo/et.al. or can figure it out.   Bandwidth is
inconsequential for all but the largest/busiest lists, e.g., thousands of
subscribers X thousands of messages a day.  Storage is too: I have decades
of archives of a few thousand mailing lists and they fit comfortably on
a 250G drive without even bothering to compress them.

Archives, if kept in mbox format, are easy to manipulate, combine,
separate, etc.  If they're not in mbox format, tools like formail can
assist in making them so.  (It's not at all unreasonable for every member
of a mailing list like this one to stash a complete copy of the archive
as insurance.)  This isn't entirely pain-free: I run a mailing list with
an approximately 250,000-message archive accumulated over many years
over multiple hosts, and there a few outlier messages that Mailman's
archiver won't process.  But: "few", so while it's an annoyance it's
really quite a minor problem.


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