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Old June 23rd, 2003, 04:36 PM
Daniel Walker Daniel Walker is offline
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Well, the argument for using a listserver is a strong one. Listservers do not work the way they do because the people who make them are lazy and unimaginative :). In many cases they are built on nearly three decades development work. As such they form the very best solutions to the problem of running a mass mailing system that exists, and are amongst the most highly evolved of all networking daemons. It would be hard to improve upon the vast legacy of high quality code to be found in the average listserver, and Lyis is far from an average listserver... To paraphrase that learned cove from Warwickshire: "A wheel, by any other design, is just as round".

You could, not so much BLOCK, as invalidate, the more offensive spam by simply disallowing HTML mail (only those Chinese agricultural merchants in Guandong and the people who want to sell me a septic tank ever bother to send me any PLAIN TEXT spam). It would sort out a good deal of your Web interface problems at the same time, if you blocked HTML mail, I might add!

You can't stop Out of Office replies since, as I believe Ken Schaefer has already said, the reply goes straight from the recipient to the sender: your mail engine is never involved. Short of insisting that none of your subscribers ever take holidays, you _could_ switch on the "precedence bulk" header, which will often stop this in some cases, but it will also cause many mail filtering systems to block all messages from the listserver on the basis of being suspected spam. That's the way it goes, I'm afraid, though.

As for _which_ listserver to use... Wiley should have inherited the Lyris Platinum lisence Wrox bought to run the P2P lists upon (not to mention the twin-processor Dell Poweredge with the half a Gig of RAM and the SCSI RAID array, that they were running off, and the Dell T550 Windows Advanced Server machine that fed off it - plus the ASP interface that Dave Long built for it).

Now, that Poweredge could send about four times as much mail as the cable running into Arden House could carry away - and it was managing the subscriptions of about 40 000 real individual subcribers towards the end! It also sent the Developer's Journal out every month to another 250 000 subscribers. It was a very powerful machine, and even if you no longer have it, you could replicate it very easily and get the software to run it for the cost of a phone call :). As for customising the interface... well, it was running on very powerful and immensely customisable SQL-base Postgre database on Debian. PostgreSQL supports transactions, SPROCs, and whathaveyou - and there are the Windows ODBC drivers for ASP (or you could even use a PHP interface running on another Linux box).

Certainly I agree with your general point: the less money it costs the better. Don't let people just start chucking money around in a general panic: I've seen how that story ends ;).

Anyway, take it easy, and best of luck with it,

quote:Originally posted by KenSchaefer
 Hi Hal,

I wasn't trying to say that we should use Lyris or LSoft. I'm saying that these products already do most of what you need, so, we should look at how *they* handle these issues and replicate them, rather than rebuilding the wheel. I'm pretty sure you can still get evaluation editions of both of those two products.