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Old June 23rd, 2003, 07:16 PM
Hal Levy Hal Levy is offline
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quote:Originally posted by Daniel Walker
 Well, the argument for using a listserver is a strong one.
Not going to happen. That's the final answer. Let's stop talking about what if and use what we have the best we can.

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!
Since the mail FROM the server will soon be HTML formatted- and by default outlook sends messages in HTML format- this isn't really workable, unfortunately.

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:
This is usually the case, yes- however some servers send to the FROM: which would be the list- not the person sending it.

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).
If this was only true... The Lyris server was at a co-location facility and the machine was leased. The leasing company repossessed the machine WHILE the Wiley employees were trying to download the archives from the server, this is why we are missing the last two months of posts- the data was corrupt on the download and they recovered as much as they could. The version of Lyris that was being used was 2 versions old. To upgrade to a current version was expensive (Wiley uses Lyris elsewhere in their organization- specifically to manage the dummies mailing lists).

The source code for the web interface was completely lost- since there was no employees at "classic wrox" no one could provide it- and it was not downloaded off the co-located server before it was repossessed. I am told the server was actually POWERED DOWN by the co-location facility while Wiley was connected to try and get the files and source code.

They used what they had to try and get the site back up- however it was completely unstable since they didn't get everything. (You might remember the lists went back up, as was, for a day or so) The decision was made to scrap the old system- they had to start over.

Wrox had done some heavy modification to the Lyris system - not even considering the front end. There was no source code for this as it is/was in the hands of classic wrox employees that are unknown.

Wiley was faced with a decision- How do we get P2P up QUICKLY- It had been offline already for too long! Well, Lyris was going to cost a lot of money, require lots of resources, and take a long time to put up. Snitz they felt they could get online quickly and met their requirements for the web interface. At the time they only had web traffic information- and they knew it was considerable.

So, if what you said was true, that they could have just picked up the server and plugged it in somewhere else, I'd agree with you- They did the wrong thing. However, reality is quite different.

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 :).
Not quite- the lyris software was due for an expensive upgrade and the machine was long gone. The lyris system, as I said above, was customized by Wrox people. Customizations that wiley didn't have any source code for.

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).
Ah- another issue- They have nothing but windows servers at Wiley. They have no Linux experience. They have no PostgreSQL experience.

So, in short, they had no server, no source code, an out of date Lyris licence, a corrupt database, a front end that (even according to classic wrox employees) needed daily reboots to stay online and no experience with Linux.

I agree, I liked using e-mail. I thought it was better. Certainly more convenient. Faster to load. I could take it with me on my laptop. I could sort, organize, group, fiddle with, and muck around how ever I was comfortable using it. However, from my extended conversation with the "powers that be" it's been made clear to me that if there was going to be a P2P at all, this is how it was getting done.

SO here we are- with Snitz and there's no way that's changing. So, Dan, are you going to help us make it more mailing list like?

Hal Levy
NOT a Wiley/Wrox Employee- Got a job for me?