On Thu, 24 Jun 2004, Tim Peters wrote:

[Ken Manheimer]
I noticed this when it went initially went by, but didn't have time to
follow up.  The upshot is that there is absolutely no way *under the
current arrangement* that this is going to happen.  I can see a way to
swing it, requiring earnest volunteer effort.  Here are the details.

I think you have something different in mind than was being discussed. "Members only" comes in several flavors. You seem to have the "... and non-member posts are held for moderator review" flavor in mind. That wasn't suggested. Two other flavors were:

- "... and non-member posts are rejected".  No messages are held for
 moderator review then.  A would-be poster with a legitimate email
 address gets an auto-generated rejection reply msg.  Since most
 rejection msgs would go to bogus addresses on spam and virus
 email, m.z.o gets another bounce back for most attempts to send a
 rejection reply.

- "... and non-member posts are discarded".  No messages are held for
 moderator review then.  Non-member posts go to the bit bucket, without
 comment or recourse.

In either mode, essentially, list members would be able to get postings to the list only from their registered account. I don't have a confident guess about whether that would be prohibitive to any or many. I suppose we could try it and see whether how it sits with people.

There's also the incidental considerations - both modes have drawbacks.

As you point out, non-member-posting-rejection increases the incidental mail spew being sent to zope.org, not insignificantly.

Non-member-posting-discard mode means some percentage of posters will have their postings discarded, and some percentage of those will fail to notice it never showed. I think that kind of failure mode leads to really bad, insidious problems, and don't think it's an acceptable kind of noise to put into a system, so i would be a solid -1 on it.

So i could see giving a try to non-member-posts-rejected, if the membership thinks the added inconvenience is worth the reduced spam. I have the impression, though, that the spam on most of the high-traffic
zope.org maillists is relatively low-proportion. Am i mistaken?


There is an option, however.  It's possible to add moderators to lists,
separate from list administration privileges.  I would be willing to set
the lists to hold non-member postings, *if* there were volunteer
moderators that would actually take care of some significant portion of
the load - ie, i would not have to approve one non-member (alternate

In my (limited but real <wink>) experience, this doesn't work. Without a single clear owner, postings held for review eventually grow to unmanageable bulk. Nobody enjoys the moderation task, it does consume time, and when there are multiple moderators they all eventually reach a point of believing that "someone else" can handle it for a while. After a few days go by like that, a co-moderator who is able to make some time logs in and finds such a backlog that they decide they have more urgent work to attend to. Then it snowballs out of control. We had a clear example of this about a month ago, when the backlog of python-help messages waiting for review reached thousands. At that point the only realistic option was to discard all of them, effectively making python-help the "... and non-member posts are discarded" list flavor.

Well, that's useful info.

The only "... and non-member posts are held for review" list I moderate that
works is the PSF Board mailing list.  That works because I'm the only
moderator, legit traffic on it is very light, and I know enough Visual Basic
to automate the reject/approve process without leaving Outlook <wink>.

Reject (actually, discard) is pretty easy - you just have to reply to a particular attachment in the held-message notice. (I **wish** the confirmation message for the discard would indicate that a discard happened - instead, it says "Confirmation succeeded", which is nearly worse than no feedback at all, because it sounds like my discard instrucation was taken as an approval. But i haven't taken the time to do anything about it, sigh.) Never tried approval-via-reply, since i'm afraid of screwing up the header, and mostly don't have to do emailled approvals, anyway.

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