[CentOS-mirror] A rant

Mon Jan 25 15:42:41 UTC 2016
Valeri Galtsev <galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu>

On Mon, January 25, 2016 8:36 am, Dattatec Mirrors wrote:
> El Sábado 23/01/2016, Carsten Otto escribió:
>> Dear Cent OS mirror admins,
>> and also dear admins not related to CentOS,
>> this mail only regards the mailing list centos-mirror at centos.org and is
>> not related to specific mirroring issues. I kindly ask you to read it
>> nevertheless.
>> I'm an administrator of a mirror serving content of more than 50
>> projects, CentOS being one of them. As it happens, some things like
>> changed IP addresses, firewall issues, DNS changes, and bigger outages
>> need to be announced from time to time. Please read this message trying
>> to understand my perspective, wanting to serve as many projects with as
>> little effort as possible.
>> For this task, I have at least one contact address for each project. In
>> the case of CentOS it is this list. This list only accepts mails from
>> subscribers, which I learned the hard way. Based on this I have the
>> following suggestions and topics for discussion:
>> 1) Open the mailing list to allow unsubscribed admins to send. This
>> works with almost all of the other projects, and I guess they are
>> perfectly fine with it. Try mirrors at debian.org,
>> mirror-list-d at redhat.com, mirror-admin at gentoo.org, admin at opensuse.org,
>> mirrors at ubuntu.com just to name a few.
> I believe this list was open at some point, it was later closed due to
> spam
> problems, and I actually prefer it like that.

I agree, it is better to accept posts from members only. I suggested the
same to some other projects (FreeBSD to name one), but they wouldn't do

>> 2) If you decide against 1), at least INFORM the senders that their
>> messages are filtered out. In the past week I thought I was being
>> ignored, as I did not receive such mails. This obviously is not a
>> feeling you want to nurture in admins supporting your project.
> Agreed, but are you sure the bounces weren't being filtered on your side?
> (A few minutes ago I sent a mail from a gmail address, still no bounce
> received).

I would disagree here. Basically, it is on subscriber's side to find out
that the way you handle your mail and subscriptions to mail lists works.
Doing it differently will make centos mail list a source of "backscatter".
Those who maintain mail servers know whet it is. In a nut shell, someone
sends message forging From and making this from look as it is from me.
Message can not be sent forth, then the notification about that is sent to
me. To me, who has nothing to do with sending original message. This
"backscatter" is one of the spammers tactics. This is why "notification"
that the message can not be posted to mail list jeopardizes mail list

>> 3) (As a precaution) Make sure to reply to the original sender, not only
>> to the list. I don't want to receive the messages relating to specific
>> issues sent by OTHER mirror admins, as this is what I consider spam.
>> Those mails are not of any interest to me.

That should be the opening statement. If I don't want to receive enything
sent to particular mail list, I do not subscribe. Or you can set "nomail"
option on your subscription. Or just receive digests.

> Moot point if the list is closed to susbcribers only.
>> 4) Make the "Mail delivery" option default to false. I appreciate that I
>> can disable receiving messages from other admins (see 3), but having to
>> set this up myself is putting even more work on my shoulders.

As always: if you are too burdened by something don't do it. Like in:
don't subscribe to the list (that was a burden too). In general, mirror
maintainers are voluntarily putting their effort and some of the resources
(hardware, bandwidth) into public mirror. Mail list part is what comes in
the bundle of burdens. We do benefit from this mirror burden too, and we
do want the project benefit as wel, as we benefit much more from the
existence of the project.

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with CentOS, so what I considered
unreasonable on your side, may be quite acceptable for CentOS. Mine is
just a point of view of "external observer" ;-)


> Sorry but no, if I subscribe to a mailing list I *expect* to receive
> mails.
> A sepparate announces only mailing list might be an option, but due to the
> low
> message rate of this list I don't know if it's worth it.
>> Thank you,
>> Carsten
> Regards,
> --
> Ricardo J. Barberis
> Senior SysAdmin / IT Architect
> DonWeb
> La Actitud Es Todo
> www.DonWeb.com
>   _____
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> CentOS-mirror at centos.org
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247