free software and priorities // Discussion Digest, Vol 57, Issue 17

MJ Ray mjr at
Mon Oct 1 18:48:43 UTC 2007

"Alfred M. Szmidt" <ams at> wrote:
> Would you like to help with developing mailman? Complaining to people
> who do not maintain mailman will not help making mailman better.

I'd like to help develop free software mailing list services, but I
have no particular attachment to Mailman.  Using Mailman as an example
of free software not helping should make free software mailing list
services better, because people might realise how closed it is,
practically, and use something more free-as-in-free-participation

A service provider using Mailman doesn't usually help users, despite
it being free software - unless you can persuade the service provider
to patch locally (which most won't do), you can only improve the
service by becoming a provider yourself, or to fork the software and
persuade your provider to switch.  I've little incentive to fork,
unless someone here is willing to pay me to fork and fix it?

Or maybe one day, I'll use it as an example and someone will say "Hey,
you're wrong, their wiki is no longer an error message, they don't
leave new subscribers to their -devel list awaiting approval until the
system removes them, they answer submissions to their patch tracker,
the maintainer's email address doesn't bounce and/or there's life on
their IRC channel at time X" but it seems that day hasn't come yet.

Hope that explains,
MJ Ray tel:+44-844-4437-237 -
Webmaster-developer, statistician, sysadmin, online shop builder,
consumer and workers co-operative member -
Writing on koha, debian, sat TV, Kewstoke

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