IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

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IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

Ryan C. Gordon

tl;dr: We're going to try to move the mailing list and web forums to a
new piece of software. Please go to https://discourse.libsdl.org/ and
claim your account. You can still use it as a mailing list or a web
forum. This list will (probably) be going away soon.


So this is an experiment with Discourse (https://discourse.org/), to see
if we can solve our mailing list and forum woes:

Problems we currently have:
- The forum software is wildly out of date, and couldn't be upgraded
without losing the email bridge. Upgrading the software breaks a
fundamental feature we rely on, not upgrading it is a massive security
risk. We tried--and failed--to move the web server to PHP7; the forums
needed massive work to just run at all. Serious problems, like not being
able to register an account or post a reply, were failing silently, so
we could never be sure if we ever really had fixed it up completely. For
now we have dropped the web server back to PHP5, but being trapped on
old versions of basic software to support old versions of custom
software is doubly bad.
- The spammers on the forums were brutal; they couldn't actually post
because we had to approve the accounts, but they'd just flood our SMTP
server with backscatter trying to make thousands of accounts, all day long.
- We have to manually approve forum accounts in the first place.  :/
- The mailing list was unreliable, and would lose mail, lose the
archives, etc. This was largely a problem with the list provider and not
mailing lists in general, but migrating somewhere more reliable was
non-trivial, so changing direction entirely was a reasonable option if
we had to do that.
- The glue that bridges between the mailing list and the forums was not
great in general.


As I see it, these are the primary benefits of Discourse for us:
- It runs on our server.
- Is well-maintained and constantly improving open source, concerned
with what modern Internet communication looks like (silly things like
Emoji and Gravatar, really important things like Unicode and REST APIs
and downloadable archives of your posts, etc).
- Is one central place where all communications happen.
- If you like the mailing list, you can use it exclusively through email.
- If you like the web forums, you can use it exclusively through a web
browser.
- If you want to use it through the web interface and occasionally shoot
off a quick reply by email, you can do that too.
- The web interface looks modern and responsive, with all that AJAX-y
goodness. It runs well and looks good on mobile devices, too.
- It has all our email archives imported! After a lot of manual cleanup
and one-off perl scripts, all the existing mailing list content, all the
way back to _1998_ has been turned into Discourse topics with threading
intact. More than 20,000 topics, more than 100,000 posts!
- It has all the old forum posts imported too, thanks to a lot of manual
cleanup and one-off perl (and PHP!) scripts.
- It has all the users (more than 2000!) imported. We took efforts to
try to merge people that posted from different email addresses over the
years into one account, using the latest email address we saw, and deal
with people that used both the forums and mailing list interchangeably
over the years.
- An actual search function that works.
- Lots of bells and whistles and control over everything...not just as
an administrator, but as a user, so you get the experience just how you
like it.


So we're going to give it a little time and see if we can turn off the
existing list and forums. So that we don't end up with two separate
communities, we're going to make this decision pretty quickly. As such,
if you have problems (including a generic "I hate this"), please speak
up loudly as soon as possible.

To get started: Go to https://discourse.libsdl.org/

If you sign up for an account and it thinks your email is already in
use, we probably generated a user for you when the list archives were
imported. Just tell it your forgot your password and it'll email you a
reset link so you can take control of the account. In this case, we
assigned you a best-guess username, but you can change it yourself once
you log in.

If you exclusively used the web forums, we have an account for you but
not your email: hit me up and I can hand the account over to you, or you
can just make a new one, if you like.

If you want to use Discourse as a mailing list and never see the website
again, you can; there is an option to turn on "Mailing List Mode" in
your user prefs. New topics can be started by writing to
[hidden email], or you reply to the address on whatever email
you want to reply to, and it ends up in the right place.

If you have trouble, we can fix things (including getting you a username
from a legacy account, assigning ownership of old posts to a new
account, etc). Just let me know!

--ryan.
_______________________________________________
SDL mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.libsdl.org/listinfo.cgi/sdl-libsdl.org
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Re: IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

Michael Taboada (AI5HF)
Hi,
First things I noticed: the activation email went directly to junk for me, so it may be worth setting up some kind of relay through something like spark post, a email deliverability service. That way you're more likely to get there, although it may depend on how much email you actually plan to send. Maybe only for sign-ups. Although also of course, if you are stopping spammers bye requiring email verification, and only that, that would probably be a bad idea, as then you get tons of bounces and spark post wouldn't like that. Second thing is, the activation link was http, not https.I'm sure there's someway to fix this
 Michael.
PS. If you do plan to use something for email deliverability, spark post is probably a good choice especially if you're planning to do all email  through it, as they provide 100,000 emails a month for free.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 27, 2017, at 8:52 PM, Ryan C. Gordon <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
> tl;dr: We're going to try to move the mailing list and web forums to a new piece of software. Please go to https://discourse.libsdl.org/ and claim your account. You can still use it as a mailing list or a web forum. This list will (probably) be going away soon.
>
>
> So this is an experiment with Discourse (https://discourse.org/), to see if we can solve our mailing list and forum woes:
>
> Problems we currently have:
> - The forum software is wildly out of date, and couldn't be upgraded without losing the email bridge. Upgrading the software breaks a fundamental feature we rely on, not upgrading it is a massive security risk. We tried--and failed--to move the web server to PHP7; the forums needed massive work to just run at all. Serious problems, like not being able to register an account or post a reply, were failing silently, so we could never be sure if we ever really had fixed it up completely. For now we have dropped the web server back to PHP5, but being trapped on old versions of basic software to support old versions of custom software is doubly bad.
> - The spammers on the forums were brutal; they couldn't actually post because we had to approve the accounts, but they'd just flood our SMTP server with backscatter trying to make thousands of accounts, all day long.
> - We have to manually approve forum accounts in the first place.  :/
> - The mailing list was unreliable, and would lose mail, lose the archives, etc. This was largely a problem with the list provider and not mailing lists in general, but migrating somewhere more reliable was non-trivial, so changing direction entirely was a reasonable option if we had to do that.
> - The glue that bridges between the mailing list and the forums was not great in general.
>
>
> As I see it, these are the primary benefits of Discourse for us:
> - It runs on our server.
> - Is well-maintained and constantly improving open source, concerned with what modern Internet communication looks like (silly things like Emoji and Gravatar, really important things like Unicode and REST APIs and downloadable archives of your posts, etc).
> - Is one central place where all communications happen.
> - If you like the mailing list, you can use it exclusively through email.
> - If you like the web forums, you can use it exclusively through a web browser.
> - If you want to use it through the web interface and occasionally shoot off a quick reply by email, you can do that too.
> - The web interface looks modern and responsive, with all that AJAX-y goodness. It runs well and looks good on mobile devices, too.
> - It has all our email archives imported! After a lot of manual cleanup and one-off perl scripts, all the existing mailing list content, all the way back to _1998_ has been turned into Discourse topics with threading intact. More than 20,000 topics, more than 100,000 posts!
> - It has all the old forum posts imported too, thanks to a lot of manual cleanup and one-off perl (and PHP!) scripts.
> - It has all the users (more than 2000!) imported. We took efforts to try to merge people that posted from different email addresses over the years into one account, using the latest email address we saw, and deal with people that used both the forums and mailing list interchangeably over the years.
> - An actual search function that works.
> - Lots of bells and whistles and control over everything...not just as an administrator, but as a user, so you get the experience just how you like it.
>
>
> So we're going to give it a little time and see if we can turn off the existing list and forums. So that we don't end up with two separate communities, we're going to make this decision pretty quickly. As such, if you have problems (including a generic "I hate this"), please speak up loudly as soon as possible.
>
> To get started: Go to https://discourse.libsdl.org/
>
> If you sign up for an account and it thinks your email is already in use, we probably generated a user for you when the list archives were imported. Just tell it your forgot your password and it'll email you a reset link so you can take control of the account. In this case, we assigned you a best-guess username, but you can change it yourself once you log in.
>
> If you exclusively used the web forums, we have an account for you but not your email: hit me up and I can hand the account over to you, or you can just make a new one, if you like.
>
> If you want to use Discourse as a mailing list and never see the website again, you can; there is an option to turn on "Mailing List Mode" in your user prefs. New topics can be started by writing to [hidden email], or you reply to the address on whatever email you want to reply to, and it ends up in the right place.
>
> If you have trouble, we can fix things (including getting you a username from a legacy account, assigning ownership of old posts to a new account, etc). Just let me know!
>
> --ryan.
> _______________________________________________
> SDL mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.libsdl.org/listinfo.cgi/sdl-libsdl.org
_______________________________________________
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[hidden email]
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Re: IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

Ryan C. Gordon

> PS. If you do plan to use something for email deliverability, spark post is probably a good choice

(all our Discourse email is sent through SparkPost already, fwiw.)

--ryan.



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Re: IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

Michael Taboada (AI5HF)
Oh wow. I wonder why it went to junk. I guess it could just be bad email filters, I have been getting quite a few junk emails that are actually real emails in my junk folder recently.
Michael.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 27, 2017, at 9:28 PM, Ryan C. Gordon <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
>> PS. If you do plan to use something for email deliverability, spark post is probably a good choice
>
> (all our Discourse email is sent through SparkPost already, fwiw.)
>
> --ryan.
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> SDL mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.libsdl.org/listinfo.cgi/sdl-libsdl.org
_______________________________________________
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[hidden email]
http://lists.libsdl.org/listinfo.cgi/sdl-libsdl.org
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Re: IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

Rainer Deyke
In reply to this post by Ryan C. Gordon
On 28.03.2017 03:52, Ryan C. Gordon wrote:
> If you exclusively used the web forums, we have an account for you but
> not your email: hit me up and I can hand the account over to you, or you
> can just make a new one, if you like.
>
> If you want to use Discourse as a mailing list and never see the website
> again, you can; there is an option to turn on "Mailing List Mode" in
> your user prefs. New topics can be started by writing to
> [hidden email], or you reply to the address on whatever email
> you want to reply to, and it ends up in the right place.

What about those of us using gmane.org?


--
Rainer Deyke - [hidden email]

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Re: IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

Mason Wheeler
In reply to this post by Ryan C. Gordon
When this came up a while ago, I mentioned that I had previous experience with Discourse and it was a huge mess, and it sure looked like you and Sam acknowledged it and said thanks for the warning.
Since it looks like that warning wasn't heard, please let me reiterate: I don't deny that there are serious, severe problems with the current mailing list, but if you forge ahead with Discourse as the solution, you will just be trading one set of serious problems for another.  When another community I'm part of switched to Discourse, we found this out the hard way.

It has huge architecture and scalability problems that you won't notice early on, but will bite you in the butt once you get going.

XSS/XSRF vulnerabilities galore.  (You say the current forum has security issues?  Discourse is no better!)

The front-end is so sloppy that attempting to run it on a mobile phone will literally cause your phone to heat up in your hand as if you were playing a high-end game.

The team is *exceptionally* unprofessional and actively hostile to bug reports, to the point where Jeff Atwood personally made a point of banning anybody from our community who reported bugs in Discourse, simply because we were finding too many and making him and his software look bad.

Speaking of Jeff Atwood, even though he was not a member of our community, he took it upon himself to use a developer's backdoor to set up a special administrator account on our community and go through policing things, arbitrarily moving posts from one category to another because he felt it fit better there, to the point where "Jeffing" became a verb among us meaning "moderator action to move a post to another thread/category".  I can't help but think this behavior would be completely unacceptable for the SDL forum.

I cannot emphasize this strongly enough: if you switch over to Discourse, we will all end up regretting it.  I agree that we need a better forum software, but please, please, find something less toxic!

Mason


From: Ryan C. Gordon <[hidden email]>
To: SDL Development List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2017 9:52 PM
Subject: [SDL] IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list


tl;dr: We're going to try to move the mailing list and web forums to a
new piece of software. Please go to https://discourse.libsdl.org/ and
claim your account. You can still use it as a mailing list or a web
forum. This list will (probably) be going away soon.


So this is an experiment with Discourse (https://discourse.org/), to see
if we can solve our mailing list and forum woes:

Problems we currently have:
- The forum software is wildly out of date, and couldn't be upgraded
without losing the email bridge. Upgrading the software breaks a
fundamental feature we rely on, not upgrading it is a massive security
risk. We tried--and failed--to move the web server to PHP7; the forums
needed massive work to just run at all. Serious problems, like not being
able to register an account or post a reply, were failing silently, so
we could never be sure if we ever really had fixed it up completely. For
now we have dropped the web server back to PHP5, but being trapped on
old versions of basic software to support old versions of custom
software is doubly bad.
- The spammers on the forums were brutal; they couldn't actually post
because we had to approve the accounts, but they'd just flood our SMTP
server with backscatter trying to make thousands of accounts, all day long.
- We have to manually approve forum accounts in the first place.  :/
- The mailing list was unreliable, and would lose mail, lose the
archives, etc. This was largely a problem with the list provider and not
mailing lists in general, but migrating somewhere more reliable was
non-trivial, so changing direction entirely was a reasonable option if
we had to do that.
- The glue that bridges between the mailing list and the forums was not
great in general.


As I see it, these are the primary benefits of Discourse for us:
- It runs on our server.
- Is well-maintained and constantly improving open source, concerned
with what modern Internet communication looks like (silly things like
Emoji and Gravatar, really important things like Unicode and REST APIs
and downloadable archives of your posts, etc).
- Is one central place where all communications happen.
- If you like the mailing list, you can use it exclusively through email.
- If you like the web forums, you can use it exclusively through a web
browser.
- If you want to use it through the web interface and occasionally shoot
off a quick reply by email, you can do that too.
- The web interface looks modern and responsive, with all that AJAX-y
goodness. It runs well and looks good on mobile devices, too.
- It has all our email archives imported! After a lot of manual cleanup
and one-off perl scripts, all the existing mailing list content, all the
way back to _1998_ has been turned into Discourse topics with threading
intact. More than 20,000 topics, more than 100,000 posts!
- It has all the old forum posts imported too, thanks to a lot of manual
cleanup and one-off perl (and PHP!) scripts.
- It has all the users (more than 2000!) imported. We took efforts to
try to merge people that posted from different email addresses over the
years into one account, using the latest email address we saw, and deal
with people that used both the forums and mailing list interchangeably
over the years.
- An actual search function that works.
- Lots of bells and whistles and control over everything...not just as
an administrator, but as a user, so you get the experience just how you
like it.


So we're going to give it a little time and see if we can turn off the
existing list and forums. So that we don't end up with two separate
communities, we're going to make this decision pretty quickly. As such,
if you have problems (including a generic "I hate this"), please speak
up loudly as soon as possible.

To get started: Go to https://discourse.libsdl.org/

If you sign up for an account and it thinks your email is already in
use, we probably generated a user for you when the list archives were
imported. Just tell it your forgot your password and it'll email you a
reset link so you can take control of the account. In this case, we
assigned you a best-guess username, but you can change it yourself once
you log in.

If you exclusively used the web forums, we have an account for you but
not your email: hit me up and I can hand the account over to you, or you
can just make a new one, if you like.

If you want to use Discourse as a mailing list and never see the website
again, you can; there is an option to turn on "Mailing List Mode" in
your user prefs. New topics can be started by writing to
[hidden email], or you reply to the address on whatever email
you want to reply to, and it ends up in the right place.

If you have trouble, we can fix things (including getting you a username
from a legacy account, assigning ownership of old posts to a new
account, etc). Just let me know!

--ryan.
_______________________________________________
SDL mailing list



_______________________________________________
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http://lists.libsdl.org/listinfo.cgi/sdl-libsdl.org
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Re: IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

Ryan C. Gordon

> When this came up a while ago, I mentioned that I had previous
> experience with Discourse and it was a huge mess, and it sure looked
> like you and Sam acknowledged it and said thanks for the warning.

I tried to find a better alternative and couldn't. I'm not sure that the
technical issues you mentioned are still a problem, as development
continued on, fwiw, but this quote here:

> Speaking of Jeff Atwood, even though he was not a member of our
> community, he took it upon himself to use a developer's backdoor to set
> up a special administrator account on our community and go through
> policing things, arbitrarily moving posts from one category to another
> because he felt it fit better there, to the point where "Jeffing" became
> a verb among us meaning "moderator action to move a post to another
> thread/category".  I can't help but think this behavior would be
> completely unacceptable for the SDL forum.

Do you mind if I ask Jeff about this? That would be a pretty serious
breach of trust, and I'd like to understand the details.

> I cannot emphasize this strongly enough: if you switch over to
> Discourse, we will all end up regretting it.  I agree that we need a
> better forum software, but please, /please,/ find something less toxic!

The bulk of the hard work was cleaning up the archives outside of
Discourse; those are all sitting here as mbox files that can probably be
moved anywhere. If you have a better solution, please suggest it, but we
have to move quickly in whatever direction we go.

--ryan.


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Re: IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

Mason Wheeler
Go ahead, ask Jeff what happened with The Daily WTF forums on Discourse.  Just be aware that whatever answer you get is likely to be heavily slanted.  Then tell us what he said, and I'll show you the archives.
Mason


From: Ryan C. Gordon <[hidden email]>
To: SDL Development List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 11:00 AM
Subject: Re: [SDL] IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list


> When this came up a while ago, I mentioned that I had previous
> experience with Discourse and it was a huge mess, and it sure looked
> like you and Sam acknowledged it and said thanks for the warning.

I tried to find a better alternative and couldn't. I'm not sure that the
technical issues you mentioned are still a problem, as development
continued on, fwiw, but this quote here:

> Speaking of Jeff Atwood, even though he was not a member of our
> community, he took it upon himself to use a developer's backdoor to set
> up a special administrator account on our community and go through
> policing things, arbitrarily moving posts from one category to another
> because he felt it fit better there, to the point where "Jeffing" became
> a verb among us meaning "moderator action to move a post to another
> thread/category".  I can't help but think this behavior would be
> completely unacceptable for the SDL forum.

Do you mind if I ask Jeff about this? That would be a pretty serious
breach of trust, and I'd like to understand the details.

> I cannot emphasize this strongly enough: if you switch over to
> Discourse, we will all end up regretting it.  I agree that we need a
> better forum software, but please, /please,/ find something less toxic!

The bulk of the hard work was cleaning up the archives outside of
Discourse; those are all sitting here as mbox files that can probably be
moved anywhere. If you have a better solution, please suggest it, but we
have to move quickly in whatever direction we go.


--ryan.


_______________________________________________
SDL mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.libsdl.org/listinfo.cgi/sdl-libsdl.org



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Re: IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

Ryan C. Gordon
In reply to this post by Rainer Deyke

> What about those of us using gmane.org?

I thought gmane died last year...?

Are you using it through a usenet client? If it's a question of having a
web interface or access to post archives, those are basically solved by
Discourse, but there isn't currently an NNTP interface available.

(in terms of list archives being part of the Gmane public record, I
think we could probably just make an account for it with Mailing List
Mode turned on; if replies originating out of Gmane come from a unique
email address for each user, we can probably make it mostly work...but
there are some important differences from a standard mailing list that
Gmane would probably need to be able to handle on its end of things.)

--ryan.


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Re: IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

Alberto Luaces
"Ryan C. Gordon" writes:

>> What about those of us using gmane.org?
>
> I thought gmane died last year...?
>

No, it was quickly taken over by an external company.  There are more
details at the Wikipedia.

>
> Are you using it through a usenet client? If it's a question of having
> a web interface or access to post archives, those are basically solved
> by Discourse, but there isn't currently an NNTP interface available.
>

I cannot answer for the OP, but gmane makes it really convenient to
follow a big number of lists, without having to subscribe —at least
until you post, were you have to send a confirmation post once.  Plus,
having all the archives on the same interface is a big pro.

Yes, I understand that it is not a big deal to subscribe to a mailing
list either.  Just convenience.

>
> (in terms of list archives being part of the Gmane public record, I
> think we could probably just make an account for it with Mailing List
> Mode turned on; if replies originating out of Gmane come from a unique
> email address for each user, we can probably make it mostly work...but
> there are some important differences from a standard mailing list that
> Gmane would probably need to be able to handle on its end of things.)
>

I think it is worth trying to subscribe gmane as is to see what
happens...

--
Alberto

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Re: IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

René Dudfield
In reply to this post by Ryan C. Gordon
Hello,

on the issue of spam(and back scattering)... I think I 'solved' it for the pygame.org website(so far). Using a combination of rate limiting, rbl spam lists, better email validation, web application firewall, moderation tools, and spam classification. All that stuff is open source, and if you're interested I can answer any questions about it or the techniques.


best regards,


On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 3:52 AM, Ryan C. Gordon <[hidden email]> wrote:

tl;dr: We're going to try to move the mailing list and web forums to a new piece of software. Please go to https://discourse.libsdl.org/ and claim your account. You can still use it as a mailing list or a web forum. This list will (probably) be going away soon.


So this is an experiment with Discourse (https://discourse.org/), to see if we can solve our mailing list and forum woes:

Problems we currently have:
- The forum software is wildly out of date, and couldn't be upgraded without losing the email bridge. Upgrading the software breaks a fundamental feature we rely on, not upgrading it is a massive security risk. We tried--and failed--to move the web server to PHP7; the forums needed massive work to just run at all. Serious problems, like not being able to register an account or post a reply, were failing silently, so we could never be sure if we ever really had fixed it up completely. For now we have dropped the web server back to PHP5, but being trapped on old versions of basic software to support old versions of custom software is doubly bad.
- The spammers on the forums were brutal; they couldn't actually post because we had to approve the accounts, but they'd just flood our SMTP server with backscatter trying to make thousands of accounts, all day long.
- We have to manually approve forum accounts in the first place.  :/
- The mailing list was unreliable, and would lose mail, lose the archives, etc. This was largely a problem with the list provider and not mailing lists in general, but migrating somewhere more reliable was non-trivial, so changing direction entirely was a reasonable option if we had to do that.
- The glue that bridges between the mailing list and the forums was not great in general.


As I see it, these are the primary benefits of Discourse for us:
- It runs on our server.
- Is well-maintained and constantly improving open source, concerned with what modern Internet communication looks like (silly things like Emoji and Gravatar, really important things like Unicode and REST APIs and downloadable archives of your posts, etc).
- Is one central place where all communications happen.
- If you like the mailing list, you can use it exclusively through email.
- If you like the web forums, you can use it exclusively through a web browser.
- If you want to use it through the web interface and occasionally shoot off a quick reply by email, you can do that too.
- The web interface looks modern and responsive, with all that AJAX-y goodness. It runs well and looks good on mobile devices, too.
- It has all our email archives imported! After a lot of manual cleanup and one-off perl scripts, all the existing mailing list content, all the way back to _1998_ has been turned into Discourse topics with threading intact. More than 20,000 topics, more than 100,000 posts!
- It has all the old forum posts imported too, thanks to a lot of manual cleanup and one-off perl (and PHP!) scripts.
- It has all the users (more than 2000!) imported. We took efforts to try to merge people that posted from different email addresses over the years into one account, using the latest email address we saw, and deal with people that used both the forums and mailing list interchangeably over the years.
- An actual search function that works.
- Lots of bells and whistles and control over everything...not just as an administrator, but as a user, so you get the experience just how you like it.


So we're going to give it a little time and see if we can turn off the existing list and forums. So that we don't end up with two separate communities, we're going to make this decision pretty quickly. As such, if you have problems (including a generic "I hate this"), please speak up loudly as soon as possible.

To get started: Go to https://discourse.libsdl.org/

If you sign up for an account and it thinks your email is already in use, we probably generated a user for you when the list archives were imported. Just tell it your forgot your password and it'll email you a reset link so you can take control of the account. In this case, we assigned you a best-guess username, but you can change it yourself once you log in.

If you exclusively used the web forums, we have an account for you but not your email: hit me up and I can hand the account over to you, or you can just make a new one, if you like.

If you want to use Discourse as a mailing list and never see the website again, you can; there is an option to turn on "Mailing List Mode" in your user prefs. New topics can be started by writing to [hidden email], or you reply to the address on whatever email you want to reply to, and it ends up in the right place.

If you have trouble, we can fix things (including getting you a username from a legacy account, assigning ownership of old posts to a new account, etc). Just let me know!

--ryan.
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Re: IMPORTANT: Migrating away from mailing list

René Dudfield
Did you consider Mailman3, postorous, and HyperKitty? They are the new mailing list manager and a modern web interface built on top. I don't know if you're already using mailman, but HyperKitty works well with it.

This old article from 2015 gives a good introduction, but there have been lots of improvements since then. https://lwn.net/Articles/638090/

There's a live demo of the web interface here:
https://lists.stg.fedoraproject.org/archives/


Seems to work well from what I've experienced.

https://wiki.list.org/HyperKitty


best,


On Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 11:16 AM, René Dudfield <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello,

on the issue of spam(and back scattering)... I think I 'solved' it for the pygame.org website(so far). Using a combination of rate limiting, rbl spam lists, better email validation, web application firewall, moderation tools, and spam classification. All that stuff is open source, and if you're interested I can answer any questions about it or the techniques.


best regards,


On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 3:52 AM, Ryan C. Gordon <[hidden email]> wrote:

tl;dr: We're going to try to move the mailing list and web forums to a new piece of software. Please go to https://discourse.libsdl.org/ and claim your account. You can still use it as a mailing list or a web forum. This list will (probably) be going away soon.


So this is an experiment with Discourse (https://discourse.org/), to see if we can solve our mailing list and forum woes:

Problems we currently have:
- The forum software is wildly out of date, and couldn't be upgraded without losing the email bridge. Upgrading the software breaks a fundamental feature we rely on, not upgrading it is a massive security risk. We tried--and failed--to move the web server to PHP7; the forums needed massive work to just run at all. Serious problems, like not being able to register an account or post a reply, were failing silently, so we could never be sure if we ever really had fixed it up completely. For now we have dropped the web server back to PHP5, but being trapped on old versions of basic software to support old versions of custom software is doubly bad.
- The spammers on the forums were brutal; they couldn't actually post because we had to approve the accounts, but they'd just flood our SMTP server with backscatter trying to make thousands of accounts, all day long.
- We have to manually approve forum accounts in the first place.  :/
- The mailing list was unreliable, and would lose mail, lose the archives, etc. This was largely a problem with the list provider and not mailing lists in general, but migrating somewhere more reliable was non-trivial, so changing direction entirely was a reasonable option if we had to do that.
- The glue that bridges between the mailing list and the forums was not great in general.


As I see it, these are the primary benefits of Discourse for us:
- It runs on our server.
- Is well-maintained and constantly improving open source, concerned with what modern Internet communication looks like (silly things like Emoji and Gravatar, really important things like Unicode and REST APIs and downloadable archives of your posts, etc).
- Is one central place where all communications happen.
- If you like the mailing list, you can use it exclusively through email.
- If you like the web forums, you can use it exclusively through a web browser.
- If you want to use it through the web interface and occasionally shoot off a quick reply by email, you can do that too.
- The web interface looks modern and responsive, with all that AJAX-y goodness. It runs well and looks good on mobile devices, too.
- It has all our email archives imported! After a lot of manual cleanup and one-off perl scripts, all the existing mailing list content, all the way back to _1998_ has been turned into Discourse topics with threading intact. More than 20,000 topics, more than 100,000 posts!
- It has all the old forum posts imported too, thanks to a lot of manual cleanup and one-off perl (and PHP!) scripts.
- It has all the users (more than 2000!) imported. We took efforts to try to merge people that posted from different email addresses over the years into one account, using the latest email address we saw, and deal with people that used both the forums and mailing list interchangeably over the years.
- An actual search function that works.
- Lots of bells and whistles and control over everything...not just as an administrator, but as a user, so you get the experience just how you like it.


So we're going to give it a little time and see if we can turn off the existing list and forums. So that we don't end up with two separate communities, we're going to make this decision pretty quickly. As such, if you have problems (including a generic "I hate this"), please speak up loudly as soon as possible.

To get started: Go to https://discourse.libsdl.org/

If you sign up for an account and it thinks your email is already in use, we probably generated a user for you when the list archives were imported. Just tell it your forgot your password and it'll email you a reset link so you can take control of the account. In this case, we assigned you a best-guess username, but you can change it yourself once you log in.

If you exclusively used the web forums, we have an account for you but not your email: hit me up and I can hand the account over to you, or you can just make a new one, if you like.

If you want to use Discourse as a mailing list and never see the website again, you can; there is an option to turn on "Mailing List Mode" in your user prefs. New topics can be started by writing to [hidden email], or you reply to the address on whatever email you want to reply to, and it ends up in the right place.

If you have trouble, we can fix things (including getting you a username from a legacy account, assigning ownership of old posts to a new account, etc). Just let me know!

--ryan.
_______________________________________________
SDL mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.libsdl.org/listinfo.cgi/sdl-libsdl.org



_______________________________________________
SDL mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.libsdl.org/listinfo.cgi/sdl-libsdl.org
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